at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., February 18, 2014

The Quireboys must be about one of the hardest working bands in the business. Not content with supporting the old Metal stalwarts Saxon last year, followed by a comprehensive tour right across the country in the autumn, they return to the region as part of their intimate 18 date Unplugged and Upfront Tour.

What better place to end the tour than at frontman Spike’s hometown of Newcastle, and with a whole bunch of Spike’s family and friends in the crowd, this promised to be one long end of tour party.


With Spike in particularly ebullient form, The Quireboys spent the best part of an hour and a half stripping down their finest material to their bare acoustic bones. With some bands this can be something of an endurance and ends up a touch one dimensional, however, there’s no such problem with The Quireboys, who have this format honed to perfection.

With songs built on towering melodies telling tales of lost love, drinking and mischief all delivered by the cheeky, charming wit of Geordie boy Spike, this was one big bar room sing-along. Covering songs from their latest album Beautiful Curse, including “Mother Mary” and the smouldering “Chain Smokin’”, to their earliest hits like the rabble rousing “7 O’clock” and the honky tonk rampage of “Misled”, they covered a lot of ground including a rare outing for an old B-Side “Pretty Girls” dedicated to the fine women of Newcastle.


Spike’s ode to his beloved Newcastle “I Love This Dirty Town” raised the roof one last time, while his tales of unrequited love in “I Don’t Love You Anymore” left the departing crowd with a more reflective note.

Whether plugged or unplugged, The Quireboys never fail to deliver and again they pulled out all the stops. With a brand new album due later this year, Spike’s solo album featuring unreleased Frankie Miller songs on the horizon and the small matter of a 30th Anniversary celebration and tour, there should be more than enough to keep even the most ardent of Quireboys fans happy this year.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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