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THE QUIREBOYS The Garage, Glasgow
30 November 2011

Quireboys, photo by David Wilson

The Quireboys were in town for a full blown set at The Garage, more on which later, but earlier in the evening they were doing a short acoustic set for competition winners at this Real XS secret session at Apollo 23.

These events are very laid back with the band playing 3 or 4 stripped back numbers, a bit of nonsense with a 5 minute Q & A session and a photo opportunity before the band leg it off to the proper business of the night.

After an introduction by the host with the most, the beard of doom Tom Russell, the band, pared back to a 4 piece took to the stage. First up we had the aptly titled 'Hello' which was a great number and showed the guys were all in good form. Spike was in a jovial mood as were the rest and the between song banter was excellent, the wine was flowing well which appeared to help the mood.

The set continued with 'Devil Of A Man', a classy version of 'Mona Lisa Smiled' followed by 'Roses and Rings' all of which were warmly received. The biggest cheer though was reserved for '7 o'clock' which kicked in, much to the bands amazement, at preciously 7pm ! This rounded off the short set and with the band all smiles and wine in hand they took their applause.

The Q&A session was it's usual chaotic self with laughs aplenty after which we left to head for The Garage for round 2, appetites well and truly whetted.

After battling our way through the wind and rain to the other end of Glasgow we needed something to warm us up again, the band given this task were Red, White & Blues. I had not come across the name before, so I had no idea of what to expect.

With the hall still half empty the guys took to the stage and what followed was one of the best support slots I have seen in 30 years ( almost) of gig going. The reason for this I discovered later is that the band are 50% ex Skin plus a bit of Jagged Edge, no wonder they are so good.

Opening with 'Shame On You' the band oozed class. Myke Gray's guitar playing was a joy to watch while Matti Alfonzetti on vocals and bass was spot on throughout. With their debut album just out the guys had a good repertoire and every track was first class, hard rocking blues.

The crowd numbers swelled during the set and the reaction and appreciation rose with every track. By the time we reached the last track 'Stand Up For Rock n Roll', Red,White &Blues had played an absolute blinder and had convincingly won over the crowd. The universal opinion after the set in overheard conversation was the same, utterly fantastic. Catch these guys as soon as you can.

Quireboys, photo by David Wilson

Following such an amazing set might have been a daunting task for most bands but The Quireboys and Glasgow have a mutual love for each other and the band are greeted as old friends. Now up to the full 6 piece they ably demonstrated why they still command this fervent following after all these years.

Spike is in his element in this setting and has an infectious enthusiasm which is the basis of the whole performance.

Musically the band have a back catalogue with so many highlights that no matter what the set list, no one leaves disappointed. Older favourites like 'There She Goes Again', 'Hey You' and 'Roses and Rings' were greeted like old friends. The band aren't resting on their laurels though and two new songs were aired 'Too Much Of A Good Thing' and 'Mother Mary' which will appear on the bands new album early next year.

On the new album front Spike announced that they were releasing a new live album which was on sale for the first time tonight, this had been recorded at the self same venue back in Dec 2010, what better way to win over an audience.

The guys finished the main set once again with '7 o'clock' which involved a lot of crowd participation. Encores followed with 'This is Rock n Roll', more crowd participation on 'I Don't Love You Any More' and a triumphant version of 'Sex Party'. The Quireboys had once again reminded everyone what a talented bunch they are.

As gigs go this was a classic with both bands putting in stellar sets. If you are venturing to one of the gigs left on the tour you are in for a treat, just make sure you get there early enough so you don't miss a second.

Review and photos by David Wilson


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