Interview: GUY BAILEY (Thirsty) – October 2015

Thirsty is the new band featuring former Quireboy Guy Bailey and Russian poet Irina. Their debut album is out now and features guest musicians Simon Hanson (Death in Vegas, Squeeze), Chris Johnstone (The Quireboys) and Lynne Jackaman (Saint Jude).

Nikk Gunns poses a few questions to Guy...


1. How pleased are you with the reception that “Thirsty” has received?

REALLY pleased. We were not expecting a reception like this. After all in some ways Thirsty is so different. Its not just the sound or the vibe, we also create the Thirsty songs in a very different way – by starting with Irina’s lyrics and then creating the music around them.

We found that this writing process was really comfortable and ran with it – writing the music to fit the words was was lots of fun as well as challenging and we quickly went off somewhere on a really surreal tangent. This just worked amazingly well for all of us. We are all very happy with the way so many people seem to understand what we’re trying to achieve. It’s quite surprising for us too, believe me.

2. Could you guide us through the new album?

By the time we had about 8 songs we started thinking about making an album. By the time we had 12, we knew we had an album. The songs are a mixture of fact and fiction…but imagination is the biggest player here.

The running order of any album is one of the most important factors. This one took us about 2 weeks to figure out and then we took it to Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones) for his opinion and it was all systems go. We tried to make the order as varied as possible and we think it worked pretty well. Light and shade throughout and a bit weird at the end! All the lyrical content is available on the

3. The band has a great chemistry and a fine knack for catchy 3 minute songs. How did he band come about?

Chemistry is the vital word. Very easy to write…so much so that we have nearly finished a second album! We all decided that the songs should only be as long as they needed to be… a lot of Phil Spector’s stuff was only 1min 30 after all!

The band itself came about through a bunch of old friends, when we started getting a bit serious we just made a couple of calls and all these great musicians stepped up to the plate. Very fortunate, but we’ve all known each other for years. We knew we’d got the right outfit straight away. Simon and Lynne said yes immediately and we knew that we had a unit.

4. Thirsty has a couple of former Quireboys in the line-up, as did The Peckham Cowboys and Spike & Tyla’s Hot Knives. You obviously all still work well together, will we ever see a reunion of the classic line-up?

Quireboys? Not at the moment…we all have enough to be getting on with! But yes we are all great mates and see each other often as we can.


5. What have been the most memorable points for the band so far?

Memorable points so far? When We all got together for the first time. When we put down the first song – “Donnie to Sonny”. When we all realised that we had an album. When we listened to Chris Kimsey’s mixes in The Engine Room, Bermondsey! (That one was TOO easy!)

6. What is the plan for live shows in support of the album?

Yes obviously we are planning live shows. We are dependent on the availability of all the musicians from the album and we want to be really careful about the choice of venue.. We would like to be out and about before Xmas so we’re keeping our fingers crossed!

7. How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass on to budding musicians?

Chris and myself had our first break with the Quireboys in the days when there WAS a music industry. We all worked pretty hard at it (as did everyone) these days I feel I can only give 3 pieces of advice…
1 There are no rules
2 Gig, gig and gig some more…
3 See Rule No 1…


8. How do you view the current music scene? Have you seen an upswing in interest over the past couple of years in hard rock or was Gene Simmons on to something when he said rock music is dead?

The current music scene is a strange beast indeed. Major labels are dead and now thanks to Spotify etc most people seem to think that we musicians live on fresh air. Album sales are not what they were and so live gigs /merchandising are the new currency, a shame really but bands have to find a way to adapt to this. No, Rock isn’t dead, it’s probably just having a little lie down….

9. What are your plans for the next 5 years or so?

Lots more Thirsty.

10. Finally, a message for your fans…

Just like to thank everyone for their fantastic support for the Thirsty album…See you soon…

(Cheeky extra Q from fellow Stoke fan Jason R) Where do you think Stoke will finish this season and which of the new summer signings has impressed you most?

I think we will end up in the top ten again. We had a shaky start as we had lost three key players (Begovic; Shawcross; N Zonzi) and we have signed some very talented young players from the big Champions League clubs (Barcelona; Inter Milan etc.), who for whatever reason did not quite make the first teams there.

These guys need to regain their confidence, play a bit, and adjust to English football. Bojan is back and Shakiri is also an amazing talent. Our captain Ryan Shawcross is recovered from injury now and Mark Hughes’ teams always finish well – so I am sure we will be fine.

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