The Quireboys – St Cecilia & The Gypsy Soul


After all, what does F. Scott Fitzgerald know…

Review by Gary Cordwell

Off Yer Rocka

Release date: 30 March 2015

Now don’t get me wrong, that F. Scott Fitzgerald knows a thing or three about writing but he ain’t the fountain of all knowledge. “There are no second acts in American lives”, he said. Ok, you may well be right about that F, but there sure as hell are in good olde British rock ‘n roll! You need only look to the triumphant return of Thunder, the spirit of Lynott and Lizzy living on in The Black Star Riders and the continued winning run of those perennial purveyors of nouveau-Faces, good time barroom rock ‘n raunch – The Quireboys.

Since getting back together in ’02 they have gone from strength to strength, topping off a string of quality releases with St Cecilia & The Gypsy Soul, their brilliantly titled 9th studio album. Locked away in a remote, secluded Swedish studio, the idea was to record a follow up of sorts to their long unavailable acoustic album Halfpenny Dancer – but the isolation, along with an assortment of odd instruments and unusual samples, must have affected them because this album isn’t as straightforward as its predecessor.

The first thing you notice is the production – warm, organic and crystal clear. And then the sound, not exactly entirely acoustic but certainly more adventurous. There is electric guitar, bluesy slide, lashings of mandolin, barrelhouse piano that Johnnie Johnson would be proud of, plus an assortment of strings, electronic pulses and beats and gospel organ. This melding of acoustic and electric is perfect, equally important to their sound, I think, as their foot down, good time stomp. It fits their gypsy troubadour style as neatly as a red bandana and tailored waistcoat.

Oh, and don’t forget the songs – some of the best of the bands career and easily good enough to showcase this new sound. Yes, there are plenty of bruised, broken hearted ballads. Spike can channel his inner Sir Rodney of Stewart with ease now and write these with his eyes closed. Songs of resignation and world weary acceptance – yeah, he knew the heartache was coming but it’s nothing that a bottle of Jack won’t fix and, hey, one day he’ll be able to look back and raise a glass to her memory with a bittersweet smile. And the band are always there to pick him up, dust off his coattails and help him forget with a raucous, boozy Faces romp or a loose, sleazy Stones groove – and this band do both better than most. As Keef once said, lots of bands can rock but very few know how to roll and The Quireboys definitely have roll!

As with all of The Quireboys recent releases the packaging is stunning. The album artwork continues with the beautiful Mexican ‘Day Of The Dead’ motif that began on 2013’s ‘Beautiful Curse’ and they don’t stint on the extras! This sumptuous 4-disc set also includes the aforementioned ‘Halfpenny Dancer’ (a more straightforward Romany/country coustic romp through old hits and covers) plus a lively 2 CD concert from the accompanying tour. So what are you waiting for? Don some gypsy chic, get dumped, charge your glasses and hitch a ride on The Quireboys wagon!

The Quireboys – St Cecilia20159 out of 10

Track listing:

Disc 1 – St.Cecilia

  1. Gracie B
  2. Land Of My Father
  3. Cecilia
  4. The Promise
  5. Can’t Hide It Anymore
  6. Out Of Your Mind
  7. The Hurting Kind
  8. Adaline
  9. The Best Are Not Forgotten
  10. Why Did It Take So Long

Disc 2 – Halfpenny Dancer

  1. There She Goes Again
  2. Devil Of A Man
  3. Love To Love
  4. Mona Lisa Smiled
  5. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  6. Roses & Rings
  7. Baby It’s You
  8. Hello
  9. Pretty Girls
  10. He’ll Have To Go
  11. Long time Comin’
  12. Hates To Please
  13. King Of New York

Disc 3 – Halfpenny Live (Part I)

  1. There She Goes Again
  2. Devil Of A Man
  3. Mona Lisa Smiled
  4. Roses & Rings
  5. Pretty Girls
  6. Can’t Stop Loving You
  7. One For The Road
  8. Hello

Disc 4 – Halfpenny Live (Part II)

  1. Hates To Please
  2. Long Time Comin’
  3. Have A Drink With Me
  4. Late Night Saturday Call
  5. Misled
  6. I Love This Dirty Town
  7. 7 O’Clock
  8. I Don’t Love You Any More



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