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The Quireboys – Unplugged and Upfront

An unplugged and upfront show that is actually a real pleasure to see and hear

A picture of the Quireboys by Carl Byron Batson

On a cold damp Sunday night we find ours-selves once again rocking up at The Borderline, London, nestled discretely away between those all too familiar piss-soaked alleyways of old Soho.

Sacré bleu, not only is the Crobar closed for some inexplicable reason (what will we do for pre show shots now?), but before finishing his super high octane support set, Mark Curran (you gotta go see Curran) also tells us we are missing Prince to be here.

Oh how we suffer for our art.

A picture of the Quireboys by Carl Byron Batson

Anyhow, with a ‘why aye man’, an overdose of ‘the London look’, and drink in hand, headliners The Quireboys (in their current incarnation) took centre stage to continue the evening of acoustic rock and roll.

Yes indeedy, guy-liner aplenty, suited, booted, and complete with buttonhole and rather smashing trademark headscarf, Spike greeted the audience with outstretched arms.

Not having taken Northern at school, it wasn’t always clear what was being said between songs, but I gathered the boys had rubbed shoulders with some impressive names during their long and varied career, almost three decades of it. A picture of the Quireboys by Carl Byron Batson

One memorable name-dropping anecdote that was translated to me ended in “that was when they used to like us”.

The Quireboys have actually played along side some of the biggest in the business and by their own admission, have consumed enough of the right kind of stuff to make them forget certain parts of their own history, which did remind me of I time I was chatting with Bev Bevan (name drop) who said, “we played with Hendrix, but I can’t remember it”. Rock and fucking roll.

It was clear to see that people do actually still like The Quireboys as the venue was full to the frothy brim with an army of sweaty sing-a-long fans who mouthed away to the gravely classics from the days of A Bit Of What You Fancy right through to numbers from the 2013 Beautiful Curse album. Every last bitter sweet and twisted drop excreted by the boys was dutifully lapped up.

This is an unplugged and upfront show that is actually a real pleasure to see and hear, made more so by the pairing of Curran, supporting.

Catch ‘em while you can.

Photos: Carl Byron Batson. Not to be reproduced without prior permission.

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