The Quireboys - Beautiful Curse

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23 years after their debut album "A Bit of What You Fancy", The Quireboys are back with a storming album that shows that they are every bit as good as they ever were.

After all those years of song writing and touring, night in night out. Playing the biggest venues and the smallest clubs, it wouldn't be wrong to say that this band had matured and grown into elder statesmen of the "Rock Scene". It's true that they are a great live act. They always have been. Right from the first time I saw them at the Concert Hall in Nottingham back on the Fancy Tour.

Beautiful Curse proves in the writing and performance that they have developed into the band that they and everyone knew they could be. Overall the album is very well produced by Chris Tsangarides who has handled production duties for Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy in the past. That skill is shown off to great skill on this set of 12 tracks.

Yet what good is great production if the songs aren't good to start with?

That's the great thing with this album.. every track is a brilliant one. This is what I would class as a 'true album'. It's got a couple of great "singles" on it but there is no filler here. Each track is considered and has been written and recorded with as much attention as was needed to make the track as good as it possibly good be.

The album kicks off with "Too Much of a Good Thing" which harkens back to the early days and could quite easily have fit on the first album. It has that party feel that makes you just dance in your pants.

"Chain Smokin'" follows on from that and it sounds like Spike had been chain smoking for a few hours before recording the vocals to this bluesy track that just growls out of your speakers. The guitars on this track just cry out to be played live. Those who get the chance to see the guys on their October tour later this year will be in for some blistering solos.

"Mother Mary" is quite possibly the bands most soulful and poignant track to date. It cries out for to stop what you are doing and just listen. On my first listen this is the the one track that I just had to replay a couple of times. It's not a rocker and it's not a maudlin ballad it's just soul in 4 minutes 52 seconds. It also has a vocal sound that makes Spike sound very much like Rod Stewart from his Faces days. The days when his voice was used for Good and not Bad.

"King Of Fools" is a honky tonk track with that gruff vocal that would come if you took Lynryd Skynryd and added a Jack Daniels drinking chain smoking geordie on vocals. It's seems by this point in the album (and, folks, we are only 5 tracks in) that this album is destined to be a classic, but this damned review could go on for a week. So I am going to jump down to the end of the album to leave you some surprises.. and there are some great surprises on this album.

Beautiful Curse's closing track "I Died Laughing" is a sneaky track. Sneaky in the respect is that it just leaves you wanting more. Even though there are 12 tracks on this album the 50 minute run time flies by and it feels like you are listening to an EP sampler in preparation for the full release still to come. Once you realise that this isn't the case there is only one remedy, start the CD again.... in this case there is no such thing as "Too Much of A Good Thing"?

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Paul always wanted to be a rock star but his fingers were to short to play guitar and he couldn't get his hands and feet quite coordinated enough to be a drummer. No one wanted to hear him sing so now he writes about things he only wishes he could do.