Thursday, 24 May 2018

Record Collection Random Choice (RCRC) - Q: Quireboys - A Bit Of What You Fancy

The Q section is not that big - only X, Y & Z have fewer entries.
The choices were basically Q-Tips, Queen, Queens Of The Stone Age, Queensryche, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Quiet Riot or The Quireboys (including the singles would've also thrown up Suzi Quatro)
The original random choice fell on the CD re-issue of The Quireboys first two albums.
I have taken the executive decision and decided to concentrate on the first.

Released in 1990, after copping management from Sharon Osbourne and a contract with EMI, the album feels like something of a clipping and (over)polishing of the bands ramshackle Faces/Stones referencing bar-room blues.

The Quireboys formed in the mid-80s (firstly as The Choirboys, and then changed to The Queerboys) and built up a following in London clubland (including The Marquee).
They were invited to appear at the Reading Rock Festival in 1987, but only on the proviso that they change their name.
Wanting to keep the Q (knowing that 30 years later they would be featuring in a little read blog on the  (yet to be invented) internet, they reverted to an adjusted spelling of their original name.
They were first on the bill, and played for 40 minutes to 100s of Festival go-ers.  Their performance was recorded and played later on Radio 1s Friday Rock Show.
Their following increased, club gigs expanded outside London, and they signed a record deal with independent Survival Records (leading to 1988 releases "Mayfair" and "There She Goes Again").
Second guitarist Ginger left soon after to form The Wildhearts.
Also in 1988, they returned to Reading playing higher up the bill, and again featured on the Friday Rock Show.
More heavy gigging, and select Support slots - including Guns n Roses - led to the Sharon Osbourne management deal and a contract with EMI.

Lead single "7 O'Clock" - a good time party song, starting with a tinkling pub piano before the riffing and Spikes raspy vocal kicks in - preceded the albums release, and a relatively healthy position in the chart suggested that EMI might be on for a decent return on investment.
Second single "Hey You" confirmed this by sneaking into the Top 20.
Not their finest moment, and smacked of "simple anthem, give us a hit single" but it did the job, and helped to shift album units, resulting in 'A Bit Of What You Fancy' debuting at Number 2.
Two further singles followed -  "I Don't Love You Anymore" and a re-recording of "There She Goes Again" both achieving airplay and chart action.

Whilst not exactly veering much from the template, there isn't really a duff track here - "Sweet Mary Ann" could've been a Rod Stewart 'Never A Dull Moment'-era leftover, "Man On The Loose" and "Misled" owe a huge debt to Ron Wood's Faces riffs, and "Whipping Boy" (co-written with ex-Rod Stewart alumni and producer Jim Cregan) is a Country-ish Stones knock-off.
(None of this is meant to be a criticism - no-one knew who The Stones or Faces were in 1990, so The Quireboys filled the gap)

It looked like the world was on the up:
They appeared at Castle Donnington Monsters Of Rock and supported Aerosmith on an arena tour of UK, Europe and the United States.
A Live album followed at end of year, proving they could still rock out with the best of them, and the studio was obviously not their natural home.

Oozing good time Rock n Roll, sleaze and Jack Daniels, this album is of the moment and could've/should've been THE party starter of 1990.
Sadly, I think it came a year too late for The Quireboys, and any chance of making a mark was dealt a kicking when Grunge emerged a little later.
Their non-core audience, management and record label all moved on to other things.
The band slowly fell apart (ongoing drummer issues had been something of a constant in the band), but lead singer Spike Gray remained a Quireboy (along with Ginger's replacement Guy Griffin) and they're still treading the boards in small, sweaty clubs somewhere in the world.

7 O'Clock

Sweet Mary Ann

1 comment:

  1. Only really knew the hit single, and liked that at the time, but the ones you selected are pretty good for their time.