It’s been a few years since we’ve had new Quireboys music. In the interim, there’s been the re-recording of A Bit of What You Fancy, frontman Spike has been touring solo as well as recording a couple of volumes of Spike’s Late Night Song Book. However, he’s not neglected the band we know him for. Reconvening with Guy Bailey, Nigel Mogg, Chris Johnstone and Rudy Richman, Spike has a new Quireboys album up his sleeve, powered by virtually everyone who made those first two albums what they were.
And if “Jeeze Louise” is anything to go by, this new album is going to follow on and faithfully capture the magic present on those early albums. As gritty blues-fuelled guitar, swampy harmonica and honky tonk style keys mesh together perfectly, it sounds like something straight out of the late 60s/early 70s. The guitar solo in particular channels prime era Keith Richards but it’s when all those elements combine against the simple drumming which ties it all together to allow the real magic to happen.
Naturally, Spike is in fine form with his vocals, somehow only getting better with age. Sounding more whisky-soaked and cigarette-stained than ever, his gravelly rasp is inimitable and partly what elevates Quireboys music from being good to brilliant. As soon as he makes his presence known, your ears prick up as his voice grabs your attention and simply manages to make you smile and partly that’s just because there’s new Quireboys music.
Whilst the drums may be a touch low in the mix, they’re still present and present something solid you can imagine Spike moving across the stage in time to as he swings that battered microphone stand around. However, it’s not just about him as you can hear the magic that Bailey, Mogg, Johnstone and Richman have brought to the music. There’s an effortless chemistry to them and what made those original records so good, showing the camaraderie and brotherhood they have – they’re simply picking up where they left off.
If you ever needed a reminder of great goodtime rock and roll, as always, leave it to this bunch. If you’re a longtime fan or lapsed, this will immediately pull you in just as they’ve pulled 1990 into 2023. The formula has never really changed for them and whilst the “gypsy” stylings of the purple patch of the 2010s crept in, it’s been stripped out and returned to the core of what was always great about Quireboys – rock and roll in its simplest and purest form.
Header image by Gary Cooper
“Jeeze Louise” is out now