Live Review: The Quireboys, Hammersmith Odeon, April, 1990


At long last it's my turn to cast my beady little eye on the Quireboys. Commercial hype and success has led to the boys playing the Odeon. I don't want to unnecessarily belittle one of London's major concert venues but the Odeon really has become a dispiriting place. This vibe is reinforced by surly, hawk-eyed security people who curb any dancin' down the aisles.

Hardly conducive to the Quireboys' bar-room, bourbon-soaked persona, but then the simple economic dictates of supply and demand make the situation almost inevitable. However, this won't justify things if they attempt Wembley Arena; even 3 or 4 nights at this place would be preferable. Presumably in an attempt to retain some degree of intimacy, Rudy Richman's drums are on first stage level as opposed to on a drum riser and gone is the 'authentic' bar-room stage set - more bloody obvious than intimate!

Early into the set Spike informs us that "there's a few surprises tonight/' However, there's nowt surprising about the recycled Stones riffs. Still, you don't go and see the Quireboys for their originality content! Roses and Rings provides a slight contrast with some sweet lilting violin but normal service is soon resumed. Yup, from dirty riffs to dirty talkin'!

"Who's into dirty songs?"
The crowd's response is emphatic!
"Bit of a perverted lot really!"
Spot on there Spike!

With all the subtlety of Sid the Sexist, Spike introduces the 'dirty' song Long Time Coming as "a song about Nigel's ****!"

Whippin Boy, co-written with Willie from the Grip, is a moody, hard-edged song and arguably the best track on the album. Take Me Home also impresses with it's big chorus and razor-sharp riffs.

"What's the Time?" Cue 7 O'Clock, and it's time for a - cue - Sex Party: "It's a bit of a rude party/ a disgusting party," uttered with lecherous glee by Spike!

The boys round off the party with a few covers including what's "probably the worst version of Hoochie Coochie Man you'll ever hear." Spike quoting from an unfavourable review I suspect. Hold On wraps it all up. This is just the song you could imagine old THUNDER THIGHS Tina Turner doing!

The Quireboys' musical horizons may be limited and they're unlikely SEX SYMBOLS. However, their ball is still a rollin' and they perform their straight-forward rock 'n' roll with real panache and an infectious sense of fun. One major gripe though. Spare us the f**kin' MINI ORCHESTRA next time!

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
June, 1990
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