Gig Review: QUIREBOYS – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh,16 February 2014

The Quireboys - photo by Simon Dunkerley

The Quireboys have to be one of the hardest working and most enduring bands on the UK rock scene. This year sees the band celebrate their 30th anniversary with the promise of a new album, some special birthday shows, and a full tour later in the year but to kick things off the guys decided to get back to basics and perform an acoustic tour up and down the country. With sold out signs at most of the venues it would seem that the band are as popular as ever and rightly so.

The evening kicked off with a brief set from Curran, a three piece fronted by Mark Curran.  Playing a mix of original numbers and the odd, choice, cover version the band put in an entertaining set.

The band major in melodic rock and the covers of ‘Rosalie’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘ Blood On Blood’ appear to sum up their influences. Mark is an enthusiastic frontman who encouraged the crowd to sing and clap along at every opportunity although the response was muted.  The original numbers aired from their ‘Beginnings’EP  with their latest single ‘My Love Won’t Let You Down’ rounded off a decent set.

The evening though was all about one band and the Quireboys took to the stage to a huge cheer. With just two acoustic guitars, Keith Weir on piano, and Spike on vocals this performance was as stripped back as you can possibly get.  However it became clear very quickly that the back to basics approach didn’t mean that the performance was lacking in any way; on the contrary, it allowed you to hear – and to see at close quarters – how talented the band are.

The Quireboys - photo by David Wilson

Spike was in great form, the band had played in Ireland the previous night and I got the feeling that he may have enjoyed the craic late into the night! His between song chat and quips from the rest of the band were priceless and added to the already fantastic atmosphere.

It was the music and musicianship on show which impressed the most, with all the guys putting in great performances. Although the show was stripped back the set list was not with 19 tracks played spanning all the band’s career including their latest album ‘Beautiful Curse’.

There were many highlights throughout the set, a blistering ‘Misled’, with excellent piano work from Keith Weir, usually in a live setting Keith’s playing can be buried behind the guitars but tonight it was to the fore and ‘There She Goes Again’, which turned into a mass singalong, being standouts.

The Quireboys - photo by Simon Dunkerley

The main set was rounded off with ‘7 o’clock’, again with much participation to push the temperature in the compact venue even higher ( many thanks to whoever turned on the air conditioning mid set!). The band weren’t finished though and returned for ‘I Love This Dirty Town’ before finishing the night with a stunning rendition of the heartfelt ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’, again with the Edinburgh choir providing the vocals.

I have seen the Quireboys many times in the last couple of years and this performance was one of the best. It is clear to see why after 30 years the band still have a large and loyal following, there is after all no substitute for talent and the band proved once again tonight that they have talent in spades. The Quireboys acoustic, the pure essence of rock ‘n’ roll!

Review and Photo by Dave Wilson
Spike photos by Simon Dunkerley

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