The Quireboys Live at Bannermans

qb4The Quireboys arrived in Edinburgh for the second last gig of their “Unplugged and Personal’ tour and really couldn’t have picked a better venue than Bannermans. Apart from being a small and intimate venue, which obviously helps this type of show, there is only one way for the band to get to the stage – and that’s through the audience. It doesn’t get more personal than that!

You can tell by the name of the tour that this wasn’t your usual Quireboys gig. No electric guitars to be seen and no Phil Martini on drums either. Instead we had Paul Guerin and Guy Griffin on acoustic guitars, Keith Weir on keys and of course Spike up front on vocals. And just to emphasise what was coming up, Spike slightly changed his customary greeting to “This is ACOUSTIC Rock ’n’ Roll!”

No sooner had the band kicked the evening off with There She Goes Again, you could immediately sense this was gonna be very qb8informal evening where the audience could – and did – sing along to virtually every song. The acoustic reworkings of their material worked extremely well, especially songs such as I Don’t Love You Any More and Pretty Girls. But of course when you’ve got guys as talented as Paul, Guy and Keith backing you there was never any danger of it being anything else than top notch. Even when Guy had to leave the stage to fix a guitar string, the rest of the band pulled off a fantastic stripped back version of Have a Drink With Me. It involved lots of audience participation. Obviously!

qb1In between songs there was plenty of stories and anecdotes, including one which involved Spike reversing into Ringo Starr’s gate in LA. It was all good fun and it helped add to the informal vibe of the evening.

Generally I tend to tune out when rock bands decide to go acoustic. It’s not that I don’t like that type of music, but I just prefer full fat electric guitar-driven rock. But this gig was an exception. Not only was Spike fantastic and the band awesome, the venue was right, the audience was in good spirits and everything just combined together perfectly. Even if you didn’t know any of the band’s music you’d still have a great night.

By the time you read this, the bands latest album – which also happens to be acoustic – St Cecilia and the Gypsy Souls will have been released as part of a 4CD set. Next up, the band take their Unplugged tour to the USA and return to the UK at the Ramblin Man Fair in Maidstone this July. If your near, go see!!!