Gig review: QUIREBOYS – The Garage, Glasgow, 11 October 2013

The Quireboys’ annual autumnal visit to The Garage in Glasgow has has now become a firm favourite of my wife and I. There is always a great atmosphere at the gig and a special bond between band and audience that makes this gig one our highlights of the year. The fact that Spike and co usually have a great support along for the ride is always a bonus!

Tonight’s gig is no exception and we arrived just in time to catch the tail end of a well received set from Norfolk rockers Bad Touch. The guys play solid, classic rock with some style and they certainly impressed the building crowd with their enthusiasm and great songs. I will make sure I arrive earlier next time!

Next up were a band I had been interested in seeing for a while but had yet to witness, Swedish rockers Bonafide.  I had heard lots of good reports about the band’s live performances and was not left disappointed. Out in support of their newly released album ‘Bombo’, the guys kicked off with the title track and their class instantly shone through.

The band have quite a following in Glasgow due to extensive airplay of one of their tracks, ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’, on the local rock radio station a while back, so the crowd were vocal from the off.  Bonafide’s mix of AC/DC like melodic rock and their bouncy delivery made for a very entertaining set. More tracks followed from the new album including the excellent ‘Rock n Roll Skal’ but the back catalogue was also plundered with ‘Hard Livin’ Man’ being a personal favourite.

It was though the afore mentioned ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ that received the biggest cheer of the night and also brought Bonafide’s set to a close. Whilst signing off, frontman Pontus Snibb  said the band would be back in town early next year, one for the diary I think.

Tonight though was all about one band, the Quireboys love Glasgow and the feeling in the crowd is mutual. To start things off in style the band were piped onto the stage to up their Scottish points, not that they needed to, but the reason there was a piper in the house would become apparent later in the night.

Spike took to the stage with the ever present pint in hand and a huge smile plastered across his face as the band launched into ‘Black Mariah’. This was followed by ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing’, the first of many tracks from the band’s excellent new album ‘Beautiful Curse’ which Spike mentioned at every opportunity, he would make a good salesman!

The band, as always, were on top form. The guitar interaction between Paul Guerin and Guy Griffin is central to each song and drives each track with both well up for the task. Another integral element in the sound is the keyboard work of Keith Weir.

It is easy to forget his input as he sits hidden at the back of the stage for the most part, but it is his playing which underpins each track and creates the Quireboy’s sound. The focal point of the performance though is Spike who appears to love every minute of the show and his enthusiasm is highly contagious whilst his rasping vocal delivery is as emotionally charged as ever.

The new album featured heavily in the set list but there was still plenty of room left for the crowd pleasers. ‘Mona Lisa Smile’, ‘Hey You’, ‘This Is Rock N Roll’ and the huge ballad ‘I Don’t Love You Any More’ all went down a storm with the capacity crowd singing along for all they were worth. The band finished off the main set with ‘I Love This Dirty Town’ which was dedicated to Glasgow, and the ultimate party anthem that is ‘7 O’clock’.

After a quick break the guys returned to the stage and we were treated to recent single ‘Mother Mary’ and the tongue in cheek ‘Sex Party’, again with much crowd participation. The band were not done yet though as Spike returned to the stage in the company of Jimi the piper and announced that they were going to play the Frankie Millar song ‘Bottle Of Whisky’ which they have recorded with the Scottish rugby team and which has just been released for download with all profits going to charity. The band were also joined on stage by Donald MacLeod,who runs The Garage, on acoustic guitar. It was an emotional and rousing performance which no doubt brought a smile to Frankie Millar’s face as he was in the crowd.

A great end to a great night, as the song title says ‘This Is Rock N Roll’ and it doesn’t get much better.

Review and photos by David Wilson

Bonafide album review

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