Live Review: The Quireboys, The Marquee, 12th October, 1989

Whiskey in the Bar


A clear but cold October evening in London is a far cry from the sunshine and smog of Los Angeles, but the bar room boogie of the Quireboys was born on the streets of Soho, not Sunset Strip, and the boys have come back to their roots. Back at long last to the Marquee. Not on the same site, but undoubtedly still the same club that the Queerboys (as they then were) used to regularly rip apart, dressed in boots and bandanaslong before Guns n' Roses and Faster Pussycat became the role models for rock n' roll wannabes.

As they take to the stage the welcoming roar that signals the months of waiting are over, almost drowns out the first number and the boys are soon steaming into Misled. Spike, mikestand spinning, grin a mile wide, looking like the cat that's got the cream, says it's good to be back. He looked like he meant it. The new song Whipping Boy is received like the old favourite it will no doubt become and it's back to the familiar with Roses and Rings. Nigel, head down, foot stomping out the beat, covers the stage like Pete Way on speed while Guy, still wearing that bizarre hat, slouches as cool as Keef. The new 'guy' on guitar (sorry about the pun) steps into Ginger's boots with ease, looking as if he has been there since day one, relaxed and confident, you wouldn't guess this was his UK debut.

How Do Ya Feel, Pretty Girl, Hey You, and There She Goes Again are just as good as you remembered them. Slight changes in arrangement and a good sound highlight just how important Chris Johnstone's keyboards (which occasionally got lost in the mix previously) are to the Quireboys' songs. I Don't Love You Anymore, about Nigel's love life according to Spike, and Take Me Home have both matured into classics showing off the power and passion of Spike's voice.

The soon to be hit single Seven O'Clock, with its new chorus, sees Spike surrendering his mikestand to the front row and as the band hit overdrive and crash in and out of Mayfair to end and it's not just the mikestand that ends up in the crowd. As new drummer Rudy Richman climbs back on stage to say goodnight, he couldn't have looked happier if he had won the pools. The fans took him to their hearts, literally.

Everyone knows there is going to be a Sex Party for the encore, and, surprise surprise, there is, the Marquee screaming out the chorus. At the end of the night Spike yells a sincere thank you to the crowd. The feeling was mutual.

If you don't see the Quireboys soon you'll be missing out on one of the best shows on the road. They can wipe the floor with any of the overhyped, overrated pretenders to the rock n' roll throne L.A. has to offer. I'll see you att Hammersmith boys, but not supporting anyone. I don't think it will be too long before you're playing there on your own, and that Wogan performance can't be too far off either.


Simon Robinson
Riff Raff
December, 1989

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