Gypsy souls

Four years or so ago, I was honoured to have the opportunity to review this unique album release from the very down to earth and talented English group “The Quireboys:

The Quireboys “Halfpenny Dancer” Vol I
JCPL Recording
Review by: Bruce E.J. Atkinson

For the life of me, I do not know why Spike and The Quireboys are not a household name around the musical world!  The expanse of talent seems to know no bounds.  The Quireboys are simply a top drawer group and ‘Halfpenny Dancer’ cements that notion.

This release sees the group rework some of their finest compositions and breathe in to them some fresh air.  Coupled with some new gems, ‘Halfpenny Dancer’ is certainly a ‘must have’ for any serious music lover.  Now, being that this cd is subtitled ‘Volume One’, we should expect more from the lads along this stunning vein of musical expression.

Exploring the acoustic side of the Quireboys allows us to further appreciate the high talent of Spike’s song writing and the poignant slant of his lyrics…and his interpretation of others.  Everything this group writes about is genuine---they have lived through every moment.

Let the Quireboys take you on a musical voyage that will tear at your heartstrings…and let you in, just a little, to their world of musical adventures and halfpenny dancers!


Now, as the musical voyage continues, with the group releasing critically acclaimed albums in 2013, “Beautiful Curse”, and in 2014: “Black Eyed Sons”, it seems like they have got their second wind, or maybe it is their third!  2015 sees “The Quireboys” releasing their most ambitious project yet!  “St. Cecilia And The Gypsy Soul” is a four disc set, including “Halfpenny Dancer”—long out of print, in its original form—with two discs featuring live performances of these special versions.  The fourth disc?  It is the actual “St. Cecilia…” disc, with brand new material from these veteran English blues-rockers!  With titles like; “Land Of My Father”, “The Hurting Kind”, and “Out Of Your Mind”, we can only expect an exceptional and deep musical experience from ‘Spike’ and the boys!

So, what is the point of this project?  Well, “Halfpenny Dancer” in its first go round, saw the group lay down the electrics and take up acoustical instruments—including banjo, fiddles and such!  The live discs capture the same in exclusive shows the group did in ‘09 and 2010.  The actual “St. Cecilia…” set is more of the acoustic direction, and utilising some interesting acoustic instruments—the vocals being more powerful and all in all…a side of “The Quireboys” we really haven’t heard or seen!  Of course there are some rockers on this set, set in the traditional Rock n’ Blues that this group is famous for.  The band totally believes in this new direction, as they are currently on the road delivering a killer combination of hard hitting electrics with deepening acoustic explorations that will leave you breathless!

Truly a band of gypsy souls, “The Quireboys”…where the rivers of sound run pure and deep!

Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:   Zamboni Brothers:  July 24th & 25th  July 30th & 31st – Aug. 1st

Barley Mill Brew Pub & Bistro (Penticton): -Every Sunday-Blues/Rock Jam & Showcase hosted by TR2 (7pm-10pm)    Surf Cats:  August 8th  Boom Chicken:  August 15th

Dream Café:  Devin Cuddy Band:  August 6th

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub:  Michael Wood Band:  Aug. 2nd  Devon Coyote:  August 7th

Fernando’s Pub:  Tanner James:  July 29th  The Fallers:  July 30th

The Naked Pig (Vernon):  Local talent highlighted every Sunday Afternoon!!

Memphis Blues:   Poppa Dawg:   July 23rd & July 30th

O’Flannigan’s Pub:   Young’Uns  July 31st & Aug. 1st   Rockaholicks:  August 7th & 8th plus August 14th  Radio Lifeline:  August 14th & 15th   Rockaholicks:  August 15th 

Whiski-jack’s Pub:  Jimmy LeGuilloux Band:  August 7th & 8th

Notable Concerts:   

Penticton Peach Festival (68th) Music Highlights:  Judy Rowe…Aiden Mayes & Mandy Cole…Gypsy And The Rose…Marty Edwards & the Revival…Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts: August 5th    Nikita Afonso…Cosmic Brew…54-40:  August 6th   13 Broken Bones…Dale Seaman & Hwy 97…King & Cash…George Canyon: August 7th   Halfway To Hollywood…Legg ZZ…High voltage: August 8th   Yard Katz…The Legendary Lake Monster…The Phonix: August 9th (for complete line-up please click on www.peachfest.com for a list of all events and talent!! Annual Peach Festival-Penticton August 5th to 9th

   …if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....


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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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