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Review: 'The Quireboys and Rebecca Downes'
'Live at Thousand Island, Highbury Corner.'   

-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '10.2.19.'

Our Rating:
This show may have been a little under publicized as I only found out about it through a friend while at the Buckcherry gig on Friday, as it seems were a good few people in the audience at this gig. That has to be the explanation of why it was switched from the main room at the Garage and into what used to be Upstairs At the Garage and The Comedy room of the T & C 2 etc etc that holds about 120 at most and when we arrived during Rebecca Downes set there weren't more than 40 people in the crowd.

It was a shame as Rebecca deserved to sing to a bigger audience than that and it was my fault we missed the train and so only caught the last 3 songs of her set, the song she was singing as we got our beers was a good blues rock song about what she was Waiting for that reminded me of Hazel O'Connor live a good bit.

Never Gonna Learn is her bad girl anthem and her band of guys know just how to make it strut and rumble as Rebecca's tells us all the lessons she doesn't want to learn. They closed with Believe that reminded me a lot of Bex Marshall playing on the same stage many years ago it must be said, back when her husband booked the venue. Either way this was a good song to leave the slowly growing crowd smiling.

By the time Alan Clayton introduced The Quireboys Who were ready to Thank us all for helping to Keep Acoustic Rock alive with them in the glitterball heavy Thousand Island it was nearly full but still rather bijoux compared to seeing them sell out The Forum last September in front of over 2000 fans.

Of course Spike and the boys were the first to point out how small a club they were playing before they opened with There She Goes Again that sounded great in this acoustic setting with both Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin perched on not very comfy stools with Keith Weir at the back on Keyboards and drummer Simon Hanson reduced to standing and heckling from the side of the stage throughout the show.

Spike then implored everyone to raise their glasses and have a little with him on Misled that everyone sung along too of course. Then the band started to play Roses and Rings while Spike started singing a totally different song after about three lines Spike heard the music smiled and asked to start the song again and those guitars chimed once more as Spike finally got all romantic on Roses and Rings.

I think it was before Devil of a Man that Spike told us about a gig in the main room when he and Guy opened for Cheap trick and Spike may have upset Mr Zander by being that devil of a man with his girlfriend, Yes Spikes cheeky grin said it all and it was really rousing version.

Reminding us of the gig at The Forum being the 10th anniversary show for Homewreckers & Heartbreakers before they did Mona Lisa Smiled that had all of Spikes finest scarf twirling moves squeezed into a postage stamp sized stage you couldn't but help make eye contact as he seemed to flirt with the entire audience while Keith Weirs piano really set the scene.

Spike asked us if we could all say Hello with him well of course we all could, we could also all sing along to Beautiful Curse that followed it with a good few swirls of Spikes ever unfurling scarves. After some more quipping between the band and Simon Hanson they were all looking for a Whipping Boy to dance along with.

Now core to The Quireboys ethos has always been that you have to Have A Drink With Me and Spike is always thirsty but everyone raised there glasses and cans and thirstily sang along with them.

Then while Spike got confused again about what day of the week it was and of course thanked us once again for helping to keep rock and roll alive with The Quireboys they got all wistful and drunk and emotional on late Night Saturday Call that as ever is as near to a tearjerker as they get.

Then Spike gets about as romantic as he can on what he introduced as being a Country Honk that was of course Sweet Mary Ann and it had to be said the entire band look like they are having a great time along with all of us in the crowd.
Then being the party animals that they are they just have to invite Rebecca Downes back onstage to make us believe it's 7 O'Clock and it's time for a party! oh yes and don't we all have fun singing along to it and Rebecca belts out her parts sharing the microphone firstly with Spike and then with Guy Griffin and they said goodnight.

Of course they come back for an encore after Alan Clayton has helped to work us up for some more from The Quireboys, while also managing to knock a microphone over and into one fans head, the band were mortified and quickly provided her with a beer and an offer of dinner from Spike afterwards. Before confirming they are still keeping Rock & roll alive! Alan stayed onstage for I Don't Love You Anymore although he was mainly there to sing back up's during the break down into Fool To Cry before they did the good swaying chorus repeats at the end.

The evening then closed with another Invite from Spike and much joking from the band on the prospects they now make when going to a Sex Party. Either way from the way we all sang the lyrics back at them it seemed like everyone was at least in there minds up for going to a Sex Party once more.

This was a great a very cool little gig to be at, even if I still think at least another 400 people should have been downstairs with them enjoying as great a set as this as they get ready to put out the bands next album later this year.
  author: simonovitch

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