The Quireboys band photo

QUIREBOYS – Beautiful Curse

The Quireboys - Beautiful CurseI think it must have been sometime around 1989. It was late Sunday night and I was, as usual, watching Headbanger’s Ball. Or maybe it was called Metal Hammer then, with the Bailey Brothers and not Vanessa Warwick. And if so, it might have been a Thursday. Anyway, The Quireboys had just released their debut video for the first version of “There She Goes Again” and Ginger was still one of the guitar players in the band. Ginger would leave soon after that and form his own band The Wildhearts. When the song was over I was speechless. I was floored!  And I was certain of that when their debut album arrived, they would become the biggest band on earth. Kind of. Then it took a while for them to complete their album, but when A Bit Of What You Fancy, with its lead singles “7 O’Clock” and “Hey You” came out in 1990, I KNEW that this band would be huge. And I was right. At least partly. The album was a big success and the all the singles became big hits, especially their ballad “I Don’t Love You Anymore”. The tour that followed was also a big smash and at that point the Quireboys could do no wrong. The writing for the follow up began and the boys relocated to Los Angeles to work with hot-shot producer Bob Rock. But Rock was a busy guy and the guys had to wait around for him to find the time in his schedule to record with them and when the album, Bittersweet And Twisted, was finally released we wrote 1993 and grunge had taken over. Even though it was a good album, it didn’t stand a chance compared to the debut. Also, Quireboys were no Mötley Crüe or The Cult, the Quireboys were influenced by stuff like 70’s Rolling Stones and Faces and had more in common with a band like Black Crowes than Guns N Roses, so Bob Rock and sunny Hollywood was completely wrong for a band like this. The Quireboys were a raw rock ‘n’ roll band from England, far away from the glam and sleaze that reigned L.A. in the early 90’s.

The album wasn’t as successful as its predecessor and the same applied to the tour that followed and shortly after, the band decided to split up. But in 2002, lead singer Spike decided to bring Quireboys back to life again – this time with a completely new line up and they recorded the good, but not great albums This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll and  Well Oiled (2004) and the band toured constantly and by then, original guitar player Guy Griffin (well, he actually replaced Ginger…) rejoined the band. By that time, it was in concert Quireboys should be enjoyed, because even though the records weren’t bad, they weren’t actually the shit either. All that changed with their 2008 release Homewreckers & Heartbreakers, an album that didn’t just bring back the true Quireboys sound, but on here they had managed to write a bunch of brilliant songs that made us fans think back to the old days with a grin. And of course, they toured – and they just got better and better and they have knocked me for six every time I have seen them play. All of that made the expectations for the new album rise big time – something that hasn’t happened to me with these guys since after their marvellous debut and then I was let down.

But the few minor worries I did have for this album went out the window after the opener “Too Much Of A Good Thing” was done. A great song that has that Stonesy feel and the classic Quireboys sound. And after that, the killers just kept coming. “Chain Smokin'” is darker and bluesier, but really, really good, “Talk Of The Town” is a pop song, done the Quireboys way with so much catchiness they could put it in a bottle and sell it, “Mother Mary” is a brilliant ballad that has a dark and sad aura around it and “King Of Fools” just swings like crazy – classic Quireboys rock ‘n’ roll. The last album’s title track ended up on this one for some reason and “Homewreckers And Heartbreakers” is groove de luxe – bloody awesome. “Diamonds And Dirty Stones” is a Rolling Stones rip off, but who cares when it is this good? It’s also done with a big Quireboys vibe so they totally gets away with it. With the title track they go down pop avenue once more and the song is magnificent, “Don’t Fight It” is a classic Quireboys ballad and “For Crying out Loud” is a brilliant rock ‘n’ roll ass kicker. With this album, the Quireboys hasn’t only recorded their best album since the debut, they have also reinvented their style and found themselves musically and quality-wise again with classic sound all over the place. I haven’t really heard any reaction on this album from any Quireboys fans yet, but it would surprise me tremendously if the majority of their fan base finds this even remotely disappointing. There are of course people who MUST bash on new releases from old bands, but those reactionaries, who needs them anyway? This is an album for lovers of classic rock ‘n’ roll, classic Quireboys and a good party. If you’re in that category, make sure you get this.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

01. Too Much Of A Good Thing
02. Chain Smokin’
03. Talk Of The Town
04. Mother Mary
05. King Of Fools
06. Homewreckers And Heartbreakers
07. Diamonds And Dirty Stones
08. Beautiful Curse
09. Don’t Fight It
10. For Crying Out Loud
11. Twenty Seven Years
12. I Died Laughing

4 comments on “QUIREBOYS – Beautiful Curse

  1. I saw this band play in late 1990 (December) in Cambridge Ontario Canada at a little place called the Highlands. I had turned 19 (legal drinking age in Canada) and this was my very first bar gig ever.

    Six dudes on that tiny stage, and they owned it. They set the bar pretty high.

  2. Haha. I can imagine. I would have loved to have seen them in that enviroment. They would probably be the best bar band ever. But they still rock and if you ever get the chance to see them live again then do so. I will personally pay you your money back if you are disappointed afterwards. 😉

  3. Funny Mike brings up his story cuz they played here in my hometown (Thunder Bay) on that same tour !
    They were to me at the time of that debut almost like a my generation Rolling Stones,I thought they had all the tools esp with Spike and with being a UFO nut I think Moggs nephew was in the Quireboys at this time….
    Great debut,great live act….and than the wheels fell off…….
    Actually I may have to check this one out..King Of Fools is,pretty good!

  4. They are back on track, Deke, and they are still a stunning live act. And yes, the nephew is still in the band.

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