With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Quireboys, Burning Crows @Slade Rooms 25/11/12

One of the joys of going to gigs is seeing a band that you have never heard before and thinking, “blimey.”

And that is exactly what happens with Norwich’s The Burning Crows tonight. The four-piece give a magnificent showcase of their talents here, with their brand of 80s influenced hard rock going down a treat.

The band’s sound is built around guitarist/vocalist Whipzz and fellow six stringer Lance Daniels, giving a welcome twin guitar twist to songs like “Best Damn Everything” and party anthem “You, Me Tonight.” Really, if like us,  you grew up listening to the likes Guns N Roses and Skid Row and still occasionally hanker after some honest to goodness hard rock to mix with made up genres that end with suffix “core” then these boys could be the ones for you. They are to release a debut full-length album in 2013 – they play a track called “All the Way” from it tonight – and are ones to watch. Very, very good indeed.

If Burning Crows are giving retro rock a modern twist, then tonight’s headliners are just, well, retro. Back in 1989 RTM can remember the excitement when we heard “7 O’clock” and the thrill of buying the “A Bit Of What You Fancy” album when it came out the following year. That debut CD reached the dizzy heights of number two in the charts, then along came a scruffy blonde man with a chorus that said “here we are now, entertain us” and the musical world changed.

Quireboys all of a sudden were dated, out of fashion and album number two “Bitter, Sweet And Twisted” stiffed. The band plodded on, releasing records periodically over the years, and are here touring with two original members – singer Spike and writing partner Guy Griffin – which is more than a lot of bands of their era can manage.

Throughout that time, while the records might have been slightly patchy (with the honorable exception of the quite brilliant “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers”) the band have remained a superb live act. Their Faces/Stones type songs always translate better to a live setting anyway, and so it is tonight.

Geordie he may be but Spike now lives in Wolverhampton, so always produces the goods at his adopted hometown show and it is all smiles when “Tramps And Thieves” from “Bitter….” Kicks things off. Whilst the gig contains songs from most of their albums, it is fair to say it is concentrated on material from their debut. A stone cold classic of a record, the likes of “Hey You” “There She Goes Again” “Whippin Boy” and more sound just as good now as ever.

Later tracks are not neglected, though “This Is Rock N Roll” is tossed out with gusto and “Lorraine” is full of the cheeky charm of their early stuff. They even include a new song in “Mother Mary” a lilting, almost country ballad that hints even in 2013 the band will have plenty to offer.

There is a tremendous camaraderie on display on stage – guitarist Paul Guerin and keyboard man Keith Weir grinning their way through – and this obviously includes Burning Crows too. Whippz is back on stage to duet on “Sweet Mary Anne” and “7 O’clock” with Spike.

The encore sees them run through “I Don’t Love You Anymore” and “I Love This Dirty Town” before Spike invites us back to his to continue the party. Here is a band that might not sell many records these days and plays smaller venues, but still appears happy just to be onstage. Seeing the Quireboys live is, was and hopefully will always remain, a joy and sometimes that is all that is needed. A fine night.

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