Saturday, October 5, 2013

Revisiting a classic - The London Quireboys - A Bit of What You Fancy!

A nice new addition was added to my collection this week. An album by The London Quireboys called A Bit of What You Fancy.


The London Quireboys were a hard rock band formed in 1984 in England by friends Jonathan Gray (Spike) and Guy Bailey. With Spike handling vocals and Bailey on guitar duties, they recruited Nigel Mog on bass, Chris Johnstone on piano and Paul Martin on drums for the initial lineup. Martin didn’t stay long and was replaced by Nick Connell (Cozy) on drums. Ginger Wildheart was later added to the lineup as a rhythm guitarist.

Originally known as The Queerboys, they started gaining some recognition playing at the Marquee Club. In 1987 they decided to change their name to The Quireboys as the former was giving them trouble landing gigs.

They released a handful of singles for an Independent label called Survival Records including their 1989 hit 7 O’clock. This single gained them a new level of success landing on the UK Singles Top 40 Chart. After this success, they scored Sharon Osbourne as their new manager and were signed to EMI Records where they recorded this debut album A Bit of What You Fancy in 1990.

I couldn’t find any clear explanation, but somewhere along the Cozy left the lineup and was temporarily replaced by Ian Wallace (performed and recording with Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt and most notably, King Crimson) for the recording of this album. As well, Guy Griffin replaced Ginger on rhythm guitar.

Now the first obvious comparison listening to this album is Spikes voice bearing a very strong resemblance to Rod Stewart. Oddly enough this album was also by Stewart’s guitarist/musical director Jim Cregan.
This LP meets all the criteria for a successful 80’s based hard rock album. They lead it off with the killer party song 7 O’clock, and keep the party going with hard hitting songs throughout. In true hair metal fashion they even throw in a great cheesy rock ballad called I Don’t Love You Anymore just for good measure.

This album proved very successful for the band and enabled them to live the rock star dream for a few years. They played some huge venues opening for bands/artists including Iggy Pop, The Cramps, Guns ‘N Roses, Soundgarden, and L.A. Guns.

Sadly, the success was short lived as the early 90’s saw the birth of grunge and the demise of hard rock bands in mainstream music. They did release a follow up album called Bitter Sweet & Twisted in 1993 but broke up shortly after. They have since reformed a few times and are currently together with Spike and Guy Griffin being the only members that were a part of A Bit of What You Fancy.



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