I’ve been a fan of The Quireboys since they first appeared on the scene many years ago and have been lucky to see them live several times before. So when I heard that they were on the HRH AOR tour with Faster Pussycat I made sure I could go. Unfortunately with just over a week until the tour started Faster Pussycat were replaced by Swedish rockers Hardcore Superstar. Joining them on the Bristol date were fellow Swedish band Bonafide and young Welsh up-and-comers, The Texas Flood.
Up first were the young Welsh trio who I had met briefly over a pint before the gig. From our quick chat there were several things that I picked up on: these guys are your typical up and coming band who all have day jobs to fund their dreams. They work tirelessly to make these dreams a reality and they have a great sense of humour.
They’ve played gigs right across the country from the small pubs to the much larger venues like this tour.
After meeting them I was eager to see if they were worthy of their opening slot on the tour and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. Their sound from the off literally blew me away. I looked around the sides of the stage expecting to see other band members tucked out of site but this full sound was the sole responsibility of the three visible members. The full sound made by the drum and bass mix was just the backdrop for some amazing guitar work. Sometimes clear but with some grunt mixed in it soon had my foot tapping and the early crowd got a real treat. I say early crowd because due to another function at the venue the gig had been brought forward by an hour so many people missed this outstanding set from a group that deserve to be household names in years to come.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThe next act was supposed to be Bonafide but bad luck had again hit the tour. Shortly after leaving the previous nights accommodation in Glasgow the band’s tour bus suffered a double blowout and broken axle. Thankfully only damage was to the bus and the band although shaken were all safe and sound. The downside was that they didn’t make it in time for their slot on the bill. On the plus side, the band’s frontman Pontus Snibb had been on one of the other bands busses so took to the stage on his own. I’ve seen Bonafide before and had enjoyed their performance so at first I was a little disappointed but that disappointment didn’t last long. Pontus sat on the stage with his guitar and a bass drum bathed in red light. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsFrom the off it was clear those present were going to witness something special and the show Pontus put on was amazing. As Pontus sat playing his guitar whilst beating the drum with his foot he made it look so easy. If it had been a full on Bonafide show Pontus would have been rushing around the stage soloing with his bandmates but this display perhaps suggests he should do this more often as I would certainly pay to see another solo show. The news of the bus incident had created quite a buzz amongst the crowd and many had not expected to see Bonafide in any form but like myself, they were impressed that Pontus had not let down the crowd. They in turn showed their support with a rapturous applause as he left the stage at the end of his set.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Hardcore Superstar were next on but other commitments meant that unfortunately I missed most of their set. However what I did see showed what a good live band they are and how full of energy frontman, Joakim “Jocke” Berg is. The band’s style caught my eye and they certainly have a more glam look to them than most. As their set drew to a close they milked the applause before making way for The quireboys. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
A quick turnaround had The Quireboys on the stage in record time and we were off on the final set of the night. You know exactly what you’re going to get with The quireboys and yet again they didn’t disappoint. They are a hard touring band and the evidence is clear with their live show and they make performing look so easy.
They sounded perfect and the mix seemed spot on. The guitars were clear and Spike’s vocals are as strong as ever. These guys not only have the swagger and the look but the music to back it up. Frontman Spike happened to mention several times that the band’s latest album “St Cecilia & The Gypsy Soul” was available on vinyl from the merchandise stand and I’m sure many in the crowd purchased a copy to take home with them.
Their set included all their classic tracks plus a few new ones thrown in for good measure and whatever they played they had the crowd nodding in full approval. As fans around the venue sang their hearts out to every song it was evident the huge outpouring of love for the band. The only downside of this is that their set seemed to fly by and it didn’t seem long before their time was up. As the band left the stage the fans chanted for more and after a couple of minutes the band returned for one last sing along. After this they left the stage again but alas, this time they didn’t return.
Yet another fantastic night’s entertainment from one of the UK’s finest rock n roll band’s and hopefully with the new album there will soon be another tour and I’ll get to do it all over again. Pontus deserves a big thankyou from all who attended for continuing without his bandmates and pulling off an amazing solo set. I also can’t praise the opening act enough. The Texas Flood sounded like a band who should be touring with the big boys on a regular basis and judging by this performance they probably will.
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