Monday, 25 August 2014

8/12/2011 The Quireboys & The Howling @ The Garage

SubjectThe Quireboys & The Howling @ The Garage
DateCreated12/27/2011 10:52:00 AM

Back to The Garage tonight - a venue I am finally warming to a bit after not beeing so keen when it re-opened post refurb.
Not so pleased about the bar prices, so I headed round the corner to the Wetherpoons for a reasonably priced beverage or two - where I met some friends with exactly the same idea!
Wetherspoons 1 - Garage 0. I used to be less than impressed with the quality of the ales served in Wetherspoons pubs, but you get what you pay for and there is a good reason their beers are cheaper.
However, I have had some very nice pints of ale in their pubs in the last couple of years, and even if the quality wasn't that great I'd still prefer that to being ripped off for the mediocre at best offerings in The Garage and Academy music venues.

Rather to my surprise after being in the pub, I arrive just as The Howling start their set.

After seeing this lot turn in a decent but not amazing set at The Barfly recently I thought they showed a noticable improvement tonight - maybe 'cos the band were playing to more their type of rock crowd as opposed to a bunch of indie kids who didn't know what to make of them. I wasn't too keen on the reliance on samples and technical jiggery-pokery at the begining of some songs - it's something else that can (and does) go wrong in a live situation and leaves you just wanting to shout "Get on with it!"

The Howling were certainly well up for it tonight and The Rev was certainly taking no prisoners - the ex-Towers Of London axeman largely upstaging his ex-Red Star Rebels frontman. The music is sort of what you'd expect to hear from musicians who used to be in the above mentioned bands, plus a member of The Glitterati. Early days yet for this band, but so far their material doesn't match the best of their former bands, even if they do have a ready made but small bunch of followers.

The only real disappointment was the very short setlist - The Howling were only onstage for about twenty minutes....

You can always rely on The Quireboys to get the party going! 

This lot really have been on top of their game for a few years now and are definitely one of the ultimate good-time party rock 'n' roll bands.
With an entertaining and charismatic frontman in Spike and a back catalogue containing so many great songs you can't go wrong - and the other guys in the band a no slouches in the musicianship stakes either. Founder member guitarist Guy Bailey is also in the crowd tonight as he usually is at London shows, although he doesn't get up and play a song or two with the band as he sometimes does.

Like their 1980's peers Dogs D'Amour also in Islington the other day, the setlist is just completey packed with classic songs - although the Quireboys score points for having (nearly) twice as many original members in the current band.

Like nearly all the gigs I've been to in the last couple of weeks, the headline bands have been 'Blasts from the past'. Although there are some really good new bands around these days, it has to be said that although they have some good songs between - they don't have anything like as many as Dog's D'Amour, Whitesnake or the The Quireboys. And however good a band is musically - if they don't have good songs it doesn't count for much. Regardless of who is in the current lineups, the 3 bands I've just mentioned have back catalogues of great quality to pick from, and that why the venues are usually sold out - with virtually no media hype I may add.

Great songs are what keeps making punters go back to see bands year after year - although you have to have an actual good band of musicians who play well together as well if you want people to come back more than once. Like the Dogs gig the other day, this has been one of the most enjoyable gigs I've been to this year, and as is increasingly the case - the most enjoyable gigs have been in small venues with bands who are less than world famous (these days at least) and need no media hype or fashionable image to sell tickets.

A bunch of us end up in the venue's MiniBar after the show - a nice feature that has been retained with the refurb and usually allows the party to go on after the venue's main bar is closed and everybody is thrown out.
Still bloody expensive though - apart from the cheap pints of lager if you know which one to ask for. No Newcastle Brown tonight, unlike my last visit - and with The Quireboys in the house they really should have it in stock tonight!
The nearest they have is Old Speckled Hen, which is normally an acceptable substitute but they only have those stupid small bottles costing the same as a pint so I'm not having any of that! A terrific night apart from my usual issues with the bar - and I still manage to have the presence of mind (for once) to leave around midnight in time for the last train and am home in about 45 minutes. Result!

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