There’s a neat bourbon in your glass, a good woman on your arm and a long night of hard partying ahead. All you need is the band. And for those seeking a group of true Brit troubadours, capable of crafting the quintessential bar room experience with arena-style hooks, look no further than the Quireboys. Over 30 years and The Quireboys know how to keep the party going with no plans of stopping it anytime soon !!!
There’s true love. Then there’s Twisted Love. And as The Quireboys began crafting the songs that would define their 10th studio album it was the latter that began to dominate frontman Spike’s deepest thoughts against the backdrop of a cold Scandinavian spring. “I decided I had to approach my songwriting from a different angle this time,” he admitted. “Of course the same things keep repeating themselves in life – love and heartache included. And I’ve written about all of that, many times over. But you start to realise that there’s a different twist every time. I started writing the lyrics and showing them to the other members of the band. At first they took them at face value. Then I told them what those words really meant. They were shocked. They said ‘oh my God, we didn’t realise the song was about that’.”
Returning to the remote Swedish outpost of Klippan – and to the Lemon Studios base that spawned the critically acclaimed St Cecilia And The Gypsy Soul – was central to capturing the sound of a band in reflective mood. “It’s a different world,” said guitarist Paul Guerin. “It’s a bleak, stark world that we had inhabited before and we didn’t really plan on a return anytime soon. But in the back of our minds we knew it was the best place to begin again. We took the same approach and brought the same work ethic. But the difference this time was Spike – I’ve never seen him so focused. He was on fire from day one when it came to his lyrics and the songs just flowed.”
Spike hooked up with Guerin and long-time band-mate Guy Griffin to lay down the foundations for Twisted Love. But before long the trio were joined in Scandinavia by keyboardist Keith Weir, bass player Nick Mailing and drummer Dave McCluskey. “You could almost taste the sense of purpose,” added Spike. “We were on a mission.”
Rock and roll avengers assembled, it was time for a band of musical brothers to transform hybrid songs into set-stealing favourites.
“To start with the songs are demos I’ve been working on and I play around with the arrangements but they’re never a full song,” explained Griffin. “I don’t see the point of presenting the finished article when I know the other members of the band will come to the table with new ideas. Sometimes there are verses, a chorus and even a title but I play the songs to Spike and he thinks in a completely different way to me. I like the fact that he’s always had the confidence to stamp his own mark on what we do and this time he didn’t hold back. He’d be in one room scribbling away and I’d be in the other working with Paul on the guitar parts. And suddenly we’d have some pretty special songs.”
Even Griffin couldn’t have imagined how special. “The rest of the band really stepped up to the plate,” he added. “I always have confidence that they will improve and enhance the songs. We’re a really tight unit now. Everyone comes in and does their job and there’s an understanding.”
“I think there’s a really strong bond at the heart of this band right now,” agreed Spike. “It’s a running joke that the Quireboys have been through more drummers than Spinal Tap but for the first time in a long, long time we have a rhythm section that’s built to last. Nick is a sensational bass player and I love working with him. Dave is a young lad who’s so willing to listen and he completely understands what we’re looking for. We’re very lucky to have them both on board. Very lucky. And then there’s Keith. We wouldn’t be The Quireboys without Keith Weir.”
Mailing echoed Spike’s belief that there’s something special about the band’s dynamic right now – the settled line-up and sense of familiarity sparking fresh confidence and creativity. “Spike and Guy wrote really closely together on this record but they always write with the rest of the band in mind,” he said. “A lot of it happened literally as they were living in the studio during the sessions. It’s not exactly big or plush – the two of them sat around this tiny kitchen table and put the core of the tunes together. I’ve been playing with these guys for more than three years now and the vibe has never been better. I play for other bands and other people but The Quireboys’ situation is unique. There aren’t many bands who’ve been around this long and who still enjoy each other’s company and still play with a smile on their faces on stage.”
For more information on THE QUIREBOYS, see;
Tickets for the WAKEFIELD – Warehouse 23 show are available from:
WAKEFIELD – Warehouse 23 Box Office No: 01924 200162
Tickets – £20.00 (advance)
Doors – 7.00pm
Yorkshire Reporter has a pair of tickets to the show to giveaway.
To enter go to the competition page