Friday, April 3, 2015

The QUIREBOYS: "St Cecilia And The Gypsy Soul" (4CD)

Rating: RRRR
Label: OffYerRocka/Border 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The Quireboys and "St. Cecilia and The Gypsy Soul". Downsizing since the 30th anniversary party and Black Eyed Sons? Hell no. Let's up the game by adding yet another disc to our latest release. Bloody'ell. Let's dive into the ten brand new tracks and album released as part of this very luxurious and grand 4CD set. That's right, four discs, featuring buried treasure, the halfpenny dancer release and bonus cuts. We obviously expect 5 discs on the follow up.

Inspired by the 'Halfpenny Dancer' release, the band entered the studio to record the strictly acoustic release. However, an Aladdin's Cave of intriguing instruments inspired them to push the boundaries and slightly shift the focus. It's still a very laid-back album though and there's plenty of piano, acoustic guitars, steel ditto, mandolin, cello, and various sound effect and loops. It basically sounds like the ultimate bar and piano album with husky vocals (Spike's aging like a fine wine) and the retro rock approach.

Opener "Gracie B" is remarkably dark while the keyboard sound is darn right poppy. "Land Of My father" is the perfect 'gather around the bonfire kids' song with Spike's rusty voice at the centre of attention. "St. Cecilia" speaks volumes and class. "The Promise" send a chill to the bone with those lyric, the cello in the background, and a very classy guitar solo (acoustic). Next up, "Can't Hide It Anymore", this might just at first remind you of the Def Lep/Bryan Adams ballad of the mid 90's. However, there's so much more to this and the steel guitar and retro sound takes you on a trip to the seventies. "Out Of Your Mind", the least impressive new track in my humble opinion. Tired boogie-woogie in slow-motion. "The Hurting Kind", probably the pick of the bunch with clever arrangement and moody refrain. "Adaline", rootsy piano bar song with the spirit of the highlander soaring above. "The Best Are Not Forgotten", dark and moody acoustic rock. "Why Did It Take So Long", the trippy loop, piano chords, hammond, and Spike's voice - that's it. Geordie gone ginger? Well, it's the soft soul-ish tune that could have you thinking about Simply Red?

Disc 2: The Halfpenny Dancer album (13 tracks). Disc 3: Halfpenny Live (9 acoustic tracks). Disc 4: Halfpenny Live Part II (8 tracks). The total of 40 tracks. Spot on with the official press release and had to include this: "Locked away for a week in the Swedish outpost of Klippan, the Quireboys couldn't have imagined what would emerge from the most intensive recording process of their careers. “It was the bleakest place I’ve ever seen,” said guitarist Paul Guerin, following his stay in the town whose name translates as Cliff's Edge. “I felt like I was in the Big Brother house,” added Spike. “I never stepped out of the studio – not once", end quote. You should ever be so "lucky" for staying inside, and for being the pale Geordie bandana geezer. Klippan (and their neighbours: Perstorp), the disgrace of Sweden, the HQ for the Neo-Nazi party and the place of an awful murder (no need to guess skin colour or motive). Make sure to never return or visit again?

Final note: They're probably bored to tears with lazy journalists and the constant Rod/Faces/Stones bit... so I won't even mention them... oh crap... I just did... didn't I? Man... I almost made it...

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