Review by Paul Davis
Prior to the release of their new album, The Quireboys returned to the Robin for another acoustic show. Opening for them tonight was talented Telford teenager Louis Coupe, a member of The Rooz. His band were crowned live band of the year here last year, with judges including Spike and Magnum’s Mark Stanway. Louis also featured on BBC’s The Voice last year. He switches between guitar and piano and plays some of his own songs as well as some songs from The Rooz, including both tracks from their new single that was released today, ‘Pleasantries and Magic Tricks’ and ‘Lowlife’. There’s also a somewhat jazzy cover of ‘Come Together’.
This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll was the first album released after the reformation of The Quireboys back in 2001. Tonight, this is rock ‘n’ roll but in a very laid back fashion as the band go unplugged and personal. Frontman Spike revels in front of what is now a hometown crowd for him. Bilston features quite heavily in the between song stories. After arriving on stage, Spike tells us everything he’s wearing, including the trademark bandana, is from Bilston market. The amusing stories add to the evening and there’s smiles all round, both on and off stage.
The Quireboys line up is completed by guitarists Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin along with Keith Weir on keyboards. The band got the taste for doing the acoustic thing with the 2009 album Halfpenny Dancer, which featured reworked versions of Quireboys hits along with a few covers.
The big hits from the debut album A Bit Of What You Fancy feature some big choruses that get the crowd singing along, including the set-opening ‘There She Goes Again’ and the classic ballad ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’. ‘Misled’ and ‘Roses & Rings’ also work well, while later in the set ‘Sweet Mary Ann’ brings a little country to the Robin.
The best of the recent material is the wonderful ‘Beautiful Curse’ from the album of the same name, released in 2013. Its way past 7 0’Clock and closer to 11 when Keith Weir’s piano (as much a part of The Quireboys sound as Spike’s raspy vocals) introduces that song and set closer.
Despite Spike saying earlier that second album Bitter, Sweet And Twisted was considered by some to be a disaster, it provides two worthy songs for tonight’s encore, ‘King Of New York’ and ‘Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds’. The band depart promising they’ll see us all at the bar and no-one doubts it. The acoustic show has whetted the appetite for the just completed album St Cecilia And The Gypsy Soul and the full on rock shows that will follow.