Review By Woody
Up first tonight is local band Ramblin Boy a hard working band who are gigging heavily in the midlands and have just won the support slot for the upcoming Adler’s Appetite UK tour – including a show at The Robin in Bilston. The band has a very glam rock type image, but their music is a bit heavier and rawer than their image portrays. Unfortunately the band is beset with sound issues from the start, so some of the opening songs do not have the impact they would have liked them to have. Songs amongst their set were “Keep It” & “Can’t Get To Me”.
Regardless of the sound issues I actually quite liked them and would really like to see them with better sound! Given the style they play I think they would have been perfect for supporting the Tigertailz who I saw here in October – and personally I think these guys would have been far more suited than the support bands they did have that night. It’ll be nice to see how this band develops, cause their isn’t many new bands out there doing this style of old school dirty rock n roll ala Guns & Roses but with decent vocals! I must track down another live show from these guys.
Dan Reed was probably the main reason I was here tonight, I’m a big fan of Dan’s stuff from the 80’s/90’s and I absolutely love his new album “Coming Up For Air”. Dan has toured heavily around the UK over the past two years as a one man and his guitar show, which has gone down a storm hence the reason he’s getting the opportunity to play so frequently here. Also his willingness to play anywhere has made him popular with fans; he’s even played a gig at someone’s house! I managed to catch Dan at JB’s at Z Rock 09, and was impressed with the strength of his vocal and the power of the arrangements of his songs stripped bare, but I really wanted to see Dan with a full band and plugged in, tonight gave me that opportunity!
The musicians Dan has assembled, a bunch of young and very talented Swedish guys really help Dan bring his songs to life, I was really impressed with these guys. I think Dan has remained popular with his established fans by moving on musically but retaining the melodic stamp of his earlier work. His new solo work is far deeper and mature and sits well with an audience who want a little more than songs about partying and shagging. Dan’s newer work is far more in keeping with many acoustic driven singer songwriters of today.
I have to say it was a real pleasure watching Dan, his voice is so strong and he sings effortlessly and is totally captivating. His humble reaction to fans reactions only endears many to him even more so. I really can’t think of many other singers out there regardless of genre who can sing like this man especially live. There was obviously quite a few fans as well as myself tonight making their voices heard and Dan’s smiles really said it all, he really does seem to be enjoying been back in the music biz. I think he expected his return to be quiet and only for a few hardcore fans, I think he has been taken aback by the amount of praise he has received from fans and seems to be enjoying the fact that people do care about his music!
Most of Dan’s set was greeted with cheers from the audience old and new alike including “Coming Up For Air” and “Closer” from his latest solo effort. He also played a version of “Holy Diver” and dedicated it to the memory of the late great Ronnie James Dio, and I have to say it came across magnificently. Dan did a favourite of mine “Ritual” but changed up the arrangement of the song, giving it a different feel whilst not as instant as the original it definitely sits better within the current set list in its new form. We also get another network classic “Get To You” and “One Step From Heaven”.
Although my highlight was “Rainbow Child” which seemed to go down well with my fellow fans too. Dan’s voice was perfect throughout and the band delivers it in its original arrangement which pleased me no end, pure melodic bliss! An awesome moment for me catching one of favourite songs performed live. I’d like to see Dan perform a full band headline show, so fingers crossed he’ll be back this way again soon!
Never let it be said you don’t get value for money when you go to see The Quireboys they must have played for over two hours! Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around much longer so I had to leave before the band came back for an encore! Surprisingly given my taste in music this is actually the first time I’ve seen the Quireboy’s perform so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They delivered a full on no frill’s rock and roll show to hardcore fan base, who adore the hell outta these guys! Their very British blues infused rock n roll has made them an extremely popular band over the years here in the UK, especially with Spike’s unique vocal style and qualities helping them stand out in a crowd.
There was so much amongst tonight’s set list I didn’t know, and here’s me thinking I know the Quireboys! I have to say I enjoyed most of what I heard even the songs I didn’t know. The band have a great infectious energy about the way their songs come across live, and Spike makes the most of a very small stage dancing and been an interesting and entertaining front man. Amongst tonight’s set were – “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Don’t Go Changing”, “There She Goes Again”, “Tramps & Thieves”, “Mona Lisa Smile”, “7 O’clock”, “Wine Women & Song”, “Lorraine”, “Whipping Boy” and of course the infectious drunken sing along of “Hey You”.
Spike creates a great rapport with his audience at times laid back and casual, always humorous, and he never loses the attention of his fans. Spike talks quite a lot in between songs, something that goes down well with the Quireboy’s die hard’s and that familiarity creates a really nice and rockin’ atmosphere. Spike refers to tonight’s gig as been like a hometown gig as he now lives in Wolverhampton but of course he is originally from Newcastle. He talks about the similarities between the two towns’ and obviously how he feels home from home, cue some more humour and the crowd are lapping it up. Spike is a great character and does embody the whole Rock N Roll life, or at least that is how he comes across to us.
Such is Spike’s connection with audience that he invites us all be to Pete’s house for a party after the gig. After a little confusion on my part, Spike quickly introduces us all to legendary UFO man Pete Way, who seems to be enjoying the night and he comes on stage briefly to say hello and get a round of applause from the crowd and then in the madness in keeping with a Quireboy’s rock n roll show, Spike dances with him till they are offstage!
Definitely a great live band, they have been at this a while and they deliver all their songs with ease and the crowd who obviously follow and see the band at every opportunity love every moment of it. Fun, energetic and just plain pure good old fashioned rock n roll!