The Quireboys / Pig Iron / Massive / Tequila Mockingbyrd Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 23, 2019    
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The Quireboys / Pig Iron / Massive / Tequila Mockingbyrd - Kentish Town Forum, London (UK) - 14 September 2019

You may have heard in the press that Gill Montgomery of The Amorettes will front Tequila Mockingbyrd for the rest of the year at least, and tonight she brought Sam Wood Of Wayward Sons with her with whom she supported Warwick Johnson. So this was a Tequila Mockingbyrd pretty unrecognizable from the all-female band hitherto. They provided a good time show including some of Montgomery's own material like 'Everything I Learned I Learned From Rock 'n' Roll' which was interestingly more Rock 'n' Roll and less Metal than The Amorettes' version. She did a good job of livening up the crowd, getting them all to clap to 'I Smell Rock 'n' Roll'.

Tequila Mockinbyrd Live 2019

Massive are a band that seem to be everywhere these days, considering they are from Oz. Indeed they said tonight they have traveled overnight from a gig with Phil Campbell in Germany with no sleep and have to be at a festival the next day at 9am in France. This hard work extends to their songwriting as I think this has become way more sophisticated across the time I have watched them rise up through the festival ranks. They were hugely popular tonight and it was impossible to tell they had had no sleep as they threw themselves across the stage and actively engaged the crowd. Nor did it appear to have any effect on their playing and singer Brad Marr sounded better than ever, displaying a whisky-laden Rock 'n' Roll voice strong when featured in acapella and holding a note for an unfeasibly long time to great crowd applause. Ending with "We are Massive and we are here forever", you have to admire their spirit.

Massive London Live 2019

I loved Pig Iron who were like a cross between Black Sabbath and Raging Slab. Like Ozzy they have a penchant for bluesy mouthorgan which adds a haunting countrified air to their material and is spellbinding when crossed with wailing style lyrics to give an otherworldly sound to heavy duty riffs. Mouth Organ to wiggle to – it's that good.

Pig Iron London Live 2019

Since this was all about the Quireboys' 35th anniversary of the band we saw clips of old interviews and appearances from the time of the first album 'A Bit Of What You Fancy' all night, and the intro to the band on stage tonight was the clip from the DJ intro to their appearance on TOTP on screen before the band actually came on to play 'Hey You' for real. We got a high-energy performance with plenty of room for Spike to twirl his microphone and spin like a whirling dervish. While I enjoy the acoustic performances there's nothing like the full electric deal. Perhaps surprisingly there were no appearances from former members of the band tonight since the focus was on the playing of the first album in its entirety, but the album is a huge fan favourite and the reaction from the crowd was huge from the off.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As well as the most popular songs like 'Misled', 'There She Goes Again' and '7 O'Clock' it was a chance to hear songs less well frequently played live, like 'Take Me Home', 'Man On The Loose' and 'Long Time Coming'. Since I was a teenager when I first started listening to this band I think I only just got what they were talking about in the last song tonight, such was my innocence when I first saw this band back in the late eighties at Stairways in Birkenhead.

Spike still cuts a dashing figure in his blood red headscarf to match his red carnation that he threw to the ladies here long into the performance - still hip-swivelling and kicking high, his whippet thin legs ending in shapely boot cuts and Cuban heels. More importantly, despite or perhaps because of undoubted mistreatment, his voice still sounds as distinctively Rock 'n' Roll as it ever did, and he still puts every effort into his phrasing to get maximum emotion into every line. Tirelessly working hard to connect with the audience, including encouraging them to break box office records at the bar, he knows how to keep the party vibe. The rest of the band got on with providing the superb musicianship that is currently taking the band to international levels once more.

The Quireboys London Live 2019

After the anniversary album we got another anniversary just gone referred to, namely the ten-year anniversary of 'Mona Lisa Smiled', celebrated with that very song. Spike then got to go a little bit James Brown with new track 'Seven Deadly Sins' from 'Amazing Disgrace' before moving on to a more typically Quireboys track also from the new album, 'Black Eyed Son'. We were on the home run as they left the stage after a rollicking version of 'This Is Rock 'n' Roll' with its insistent infectious beat.

Lured back by an insistent crowd, the encore was 'Sex Party' which by now the crowd were pissed enough to thrown themselves enthusiastically into, and then much to my delight they finished with my favourite track 'Mayfair' which was a massive hit with the audience too. Adding to the air of celebration there were two huge cannons of confetti which blasted white streamers all over the crowd, adding a NYE feel. Spike is the kind of man that lives his life as though it's New Years Eve every night - he should bottle that and sell it as the world needs this kind of good time fun, especially these days.

Spike took care to thank the former members of the band, many by name, and while I would have loved to have seen former members on stage to join in the fun it was a great night enjoyed by all who attended. My photographs of the event beat all my records for likes on Facebook for gig photos, reflecting the sustained popularity of this band who did themselves proud tonight.

Review and photos by Dawn Osborne

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