It’s the Tyne/Wear derby day in Newcastle, one of the highlights of the North East sporting calendar and what better day for hometown boys The Quireboys to be performing in the city.
The HRH AOR Tour rolls into town and bringing with it a superb bill of both rising and established talent. Joining local lads The Quireboys this evening are Welsh trio Texas Flood, and the Swedish connection of Bonafide and their fellow countrymen Hardcore Superstar.
Texas Flood describes themselves as part of the NWOATYWRB (New Wave Of Annoyingly Talented Young Welsh Rock Bands), and who is to argue with them. The band rocks their way through the likes of new song “Gambling Man” and “Honey” which features some nice vocal harmonies.
“Bulletproof” kicks off with some great bass work from Ben Govier and a healthy dose of wah from guitarist Tom Sawyer. Texas Flood has the difficult task of performing at 6.30pm as the crowd start to arrive, due to an early start, but that doesn’t stop the hard rocking trio from rising to the challenge and giving it their all.
Scandinavian four piece Bonafide features none other than Pontus Snibb from American country-punk band Jason and the Scorchers. Pontus moving up front from behind the drums, to take center stage.
Bonafide deliver a well-balanced set of good old fashioned rock and roll which features tracks from their latest album Denim Devils like “50/50” and “One Kiss” alongside old favorites like “Hard Livin’ Man” from their 2009 album Somethings Drippin. The band closes out their set with “Fill Your Head With Rock” which features a great a capella intro from Pontus, and some crowd participation too.
The precursor to The Quireboys is Swedish outfit Hardcore Superstar, who are the heaviest band on the bill. They bring with them in tow their brand of sleaze infused metal. Drummer Magnus “Adde” Andreasson leaves an unsuspecting member of the stage crew to fill in for him whilst he jumps off the stage to hand out what looked like cocktails to the front row during “Last Call.” Not wanting to be upstaged lead vocalist Joakim “Jocke” Berg marches out into the audience, and even serenades them from the top of the bar during “Above.” The band deliver a high-energy set and get the crowd moving.
Hometown heroes The Quireboys round off the night’s entertainment with a career spanning set. As the band takes to the stage, the compare announces that The Quireboys have been excited about this show the whole tour, and rightly so. They open their set with “Troublemaker” from their 2014 album Black Eyed Sons. Spike opts out of talking about the football unless of course anyone would rather talk about his beloved Blyth Spartans AFC.
With a career spanning over thirty years, The Quireboys encapsulate that essence of good time rock and roll. Spike is a true showman, full of swagger and dressed in his white suit and head scarf, flips and swings his microphone stand through the air.
Some great slide guitar from Paul Geurin leads the band into the foot stomping “This Is Rock and Roll.” Spike dedicates “St. Cecilia” from the band’s latest album of the same name to his mum, who he states raised him as a good catholic boy. St Cecilia is of course the patron saint of music.
The Quireboys take the opportunity to play a few old favorites like “Tramps and Thieves” and “Hey You.” Guy Griffin leads the band into the classic “Sweet Mary Ann” which Spike dedicates to his two sisters who are also in the audience, tonight is very much a family affair.
“What time is it,” asks Spike, which inevitably sparks a euphoric rendition of “7 O’ Clock,” as the song goes its time for a party. Spike reminisces about days gone by at the Mayfair in Newcastle. Having been fortunate enough to have witnessed the band play the Mayfair during their heyday it’s easy to understand why they and so many others still hold a special place in their heart towards the once hallowed venue.
“I Don’t Love You Anymore,” features some beautiful piano playing from Keith Weir, to whom Spike insists is buying the drinks and invites everyone back to Weir’s hotel room. The night is brought to a close with the band’s second encore in the shape of “Sex Party.”
The audience doesn’t want this party to end, it’s apparent the band doesn’t either. The Quireboys have still got it, long may they continue.