The Quireboys s/b Black Star Bullet – Nuneaton Queens Hall, 30th November 2018
Local boys Black Star Bullet career headlong into a Bon Jovi ramped up to eleven with a whiff of Nirvana set of blistering rockers. Titles like ‘Hate’ and ‘Shut Up and Listen’ unsurprisingly take us into the darker recesses of the genre with Trev Goddard’s powerful vocals, Andy Tite’s guitar and the engine room of Martin Hughes (bass) and Gav Hunt (drums) placing us in safe hard rock hands.
New single ‘Don’t Look Him in the Eye” takes the tempo if not the angst down a notch and introduces some mean Goddard slide guitar to the mix while “Breathe’ is the kind of toe-tapper ZZ Top churned out by the bucketload in their eighties commercial pomp.
“Our Own Noise” is more at the metal end of the spectrum and ‘8-50am’ may be a lie-in for most of us but in the hands of The Bullets is an anthemic end to a well-received support slot that would put many headliners to shame.
Main attraction The Quireboys may be thirty-odd years on from their breakthrough into the burgeoning glam scene of the early nineties but the sizeable Nuneaton crowd lap up their sleaze-blues rock epitomised by opening numbers ‘Dirty Town’ and ‘Misled’. Lead singer Spike plies his trade like Rod Stewart on acid as he treats proceedings as more Knebworth than Nuneaton with an evening of mic stand twirling and Cuban-heeled strutting.
‘There She Goes Again’ from 1990 debut album ‘A Bit of What You Fancy’ has the land of Larry Grayson singing along to every word while ‘Blackwater’ showcases stalwart Guy Griffin and 2004 addition Paul Guerin’s menacing guitars providing the antithesis to the ferocious opening to the set.
The boys dip into 2017’s ‘White Trash Blues’ for an irresistible cover of Taj Mahal’s twelve bar treat ‘Leaving Trunk’ and 2009’s ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’ also sits well amongst their earlier standards.
Sleazy slide and hands in the air signal that ‘This is Rock’n’Roll’ is more than a clever song title, more a way of life and ‘Hello’ takes us into Ry Cooder influenced Stones territory. ‘Whippin’ Boy’ appropriately flagellates the crowd into a frenzy (or as near as you can get to it in the birthplace of Mary Whitehouse) and lead singer Spike’s favourite, 2015’s ‘Take a Look at Yourself’, is a ‘Tumblin’ Dice’ for the new millennium.
‘One for the Road’ and ‘Tramps and Thieves’, with honky-tonk piano from Keith Weir to the fore, continue in the singalong vein while breakthrough hit ‘Hey You’ is a highlight of the seventeen song set and ‘Sweet Mary Ann’ is an unashamed rocker that sounds like it could be straight out of the Stewart songbook.
More louche blues with ‘7 O’clock’ closes the main set before an encore of early hits ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ and ‘Sex Party’ leave a sated Queens Hall crowd to reflect on a quality night’s entertainment from these consummate purveyors of rock’s gamut.
Words by guest writer Jayson Burns
Photos by guest photographer David Sansoni