Thirsty is the product of a writing collaboration between ex-Quireboy Guy Bailey and Russian poet Irina D, who wrote the words that he has set to music with stunning results. Produced by legendary Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey and featuring musicians Simon Hanson (Death In Vegas, Squeeze) on drums, fellow ex-Quireboy Chris Johnstone providing bass and keys, backing vocals from Saint Jude’s Lynne Jackaman, and guitar from Bailey himself.
However, it is his vocals though that are the biggest revelation on “Thirsty”- with an earthy quality and a feel that is part Keith Richards and part Dogs D’Amour leader Tyla, with a hint of Ronnie Wood thrown in for good measure- and in this band setting, these work really, really well.
Musically, there are Stones like moments, some great flourishes of ‘60’s soul and each of the 10 songs contained on “Thirsty” has a story to tell, and each is perfectly wrapped up in a ball of joy lasting 3 minutes or less.
With an opening that could be Otis Redding, “Surgery” is a heart wrenching tale, whilst “Flawless” is the true story of the perfect diamond heist at 2013’s Cannes Film Festival- it also sounds like the best Stones song in years.
I am torn between “10, 7 and possibly 6” and “Donnie To Sonny” as my favourite song of 2015. Then we have “God bless America”, the story of JFK’s sister and the lobotomy the family forced upon her, and “Libertine”- the highlights here are endless.
The album also has a softer side- album opener “Thirsty” is a gentle number, “Sniper” has a melancholy feel and is inspired by a Russian sniper who during World War Two killed over 300 enemy fighters. “White” is another slower track and to round things off we have “Black”, based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and featuring both English and Russian lyrics it has more of a duet feel between Irina and Bailey and this works to great effect.
“Thirsty” is a fine album and a band I look forward to seeing live. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
Interview (Guy Bailey, October 2015)
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