The London Quireboys

The London Quireboys

This is Rock ‘n’ Roll


OK, I hafta like a record that proclaims in its title and opening track, “This is Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Sure, that takes pretty big cojones, but if you ain’t got ’em, rock and roll ain’t your game anyhow, Nancy.

And take a listen to that first song. After the Nicky Hopkins soundalike boogie piano backing track hits you, listen to the rhythm guitar track. That’s right, the rhythm guitar track. In your mind’s ear, turn up the gain on the guitar amp just a couple notches.

Holy crap, it’s AC/DC’s classic “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)!” Yesssss! A song about rock and roll that cops from — wait for it — a song about rock and roll! Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so! Only instead of sweltering Australia in the late ’70s, think clammy Blighty in the early ’70s. Think Rod the Mod with those whiskey-soaked vocals; it would be hard not to, the way lead singer “Spike” sounds.

This is a “time capsule” record in the best sense of the word. Lemme explain what I mean by that. Many years ago, on my honeymoon in London, I spent a couple hours in a pub putting away pints in an upstairs snug. It was like being in an alternate reality — songs would come on the jukebox from groups I knew, from the eras in which I knew their work, but instead of their US hits, I would hear their UK hits, often from the same albums but virtually unknown on this side of the pond.

This sounds like a lost Rolling Stones or Small Faces record from the early ’70s. Hammond B-3 churning away in the background on some songs, soul sistahs doing the “Gimme Shelter” vibe on others, man, if you dig guitar grooves in a Britrock blues-based vein, this is required listening.

Buy. Now.

Sanctuary Records: • The London Quireboys:

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