Genre: Gypsy Infused Rock n Roll
Record Label: Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 23rd October
Current Line Up:
Spike – Vocals
Guy Griffin – Guitar
Paul Guerin – Guitar
Keith Weir – Keyboards
This Is Rock n Roll
Show Me What You Got
Taken For A Ride
Enough For One Lifetime
Never Let Me Go
Hey You 2014 (Bonus Track)
Misled 2014 (Bonus Track)
7 O’ Clock 2014 (Bonus Track)
There She Goes Again 2014 (Bonus Track)
First released in 2001, This Is Rock n Roll II was the third album from the band and the first after they reformed since splitting in 1993. Not widely released back then, it has now been repackaged and re-released with four re-recorded classics added to the original album. I’ll admit I’m not a lifelong fan of The Quireboys but having recently seen them live, I was interested to hear their recorded output, so I was pleased when this album landed with me.
To anyone unfamiliar with the band then Spike’s voice might come as quite a surprise as it is quite similar to Rod Stewart or Bonnie Tyler but if anything, even rougher. Once you are used to this though, you’ll find his singing perfectly suits the music, whether it’s the feeling he brings to the slower ballads such as “Seven Days” or “To Be” or when he’s blasting out the rock n roll like on “This Is Rock n Roll” or “C’mon”.
Musically, the album highlights the strengths of the band really well. Each member’s contribution is important to the songs and the overall sound is of a unit and not individuals who happen to be playing together. When the keyboards are important they come to the front and are given the space they need to enhance the music but not at the expense of the rest of the band and at other times they are left more in the background but still evident. The same holds true for the guitar work too – some songs are more guitar based but by no means all. The bass and drums are also important too and create a solid bed for the rest of the band to build on.
Lyrically, Spike and writing partner Guy Griffin have a great knack for crafting songs that keep you interested and singing along with the more upbeat numbers but when they choose they can also tell a good story, which is a style I’ve always particularly liked. “Taken For A Ride” is a great example of this, telling the tale of a very bad day over a wonderful blues soundtrack. Speaking of lyrics, I quite enjoyed the irony of the repeated line in “C’mon” saying “Don’t go changing my favourite songs” on an album with four re-recorded older songs!
Speaking of the old songs, they make a great addition to the album if you don’t have any other material because they are classics for a good reason. “Hey You” in particular is one of those songs that you already know but didn’t realise until it starts and then you find yourself singing along.
While I will never be a Quireboys fanatic, I enjoyed this album a lot and will play it again in the future but not regularly. But if I’m in the mood for some “Gypsy Infused Rock n Roll” then I will look no further than this album as it ticks all the right boxes and satisfies my urge to get my groove on perfectly!
I’m sure it’s been said many times before but The Quireboys’ music makes probably the perfect party soundtrack and this album is an excellent example of that. All the things they do best are here – rock and roll, bluesy numbers, more mainstream rock and ballads. Just pick your tracks to suit your mood and your all set for a great night. And they’re even better live so see them if you get the chance.
Written by Duncan Everson