The Quireboys

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The Quireboys
The Quireboys performing in the Hammersmith Odeon venue in London, 7 April 1993
The Quireboys performing in the Hammersmith Odeon venue in London, 7 April 1993
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresRock, hard rock, blues rock
Years active1984–1993, 1995, 2001–present
LabelsOff Yer Rocka
Associated actsDown 'n' Outz, Glimmer, Red Dogs, Spike
Guy Griffin
Paul Guerin
Keith Weir
Gary Ivin
Pip Mailing
Past membersNigel Mogg
Guy Bailey
Chris Johnstone
Paul Hornby
Nick Connell (Coze)
Rudy Richman
Luke Bossendorfer
Martin Henderson
Pip Mailing
Nick Mailing
Phil Martini
Jason Bonham
Simon Hanson

The Quireboys are an English rock band formed in 1984 in London, with strong ties to Newcastle. When the band formed they were originally known as The Queerboys and later as the London Quireboys in the United States and Canada, settling at last with their current name.[1]

The band were successful during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their debut album A Bit of What You Fancy reaching No. 2 on the UK charts. Their highest charting single was with the song "Hey You".

In 1993, the Quireboys broke up but briefly reformed live in 1995 with different members. A more permanent reformation came in 2001 when frontman Spike and guitarist Guy Griffin put together a new line-up.

The band is still active, constantly recording new material and playing live all over the world. Their latest album, Amazing Disgrace, was released on 5 April 2019.


Vocalist Jonathan Gray (commonly referred to as just 'Spike') moved from Newcastle upon Tyne to London when he was 17 years old.[2] Spike met guitarist Guy Bailey in a bar, through his older sister Julie, the two moved in together as flatmates, but did not even discuss playing music until a year later when a friend brought a guitar round and they began playing Chuck Berry songs.

By the mid-1980s the two decided to form a rock and roll band, the name chosen for the group was originally 'The Choirboys' taken from the 1977 movie of the same name, but they soon changed it to the Queerboys. Gray and Bailey were joined by bassist Nigel Mogg (nephew of UFO's Phil Mogg),[3] Chris Johnstone on piano and Paul Hornby, who had previously played drums with The Dogs D'Amour and with Pete Burns in the Liverpool group Nightmares in Wax.

The Queerboys started to build up a following, playing at the Marquee Club.[4] The band's drummer Paul Hornby soon left to join Dogs D'Amour, which contained future friends of the Quireboys, he was replaced by Nick Connell (known as Cozy). Connell, Bailey, Johnstone and Mark Sweetmore were old friends, having grown up together and attended Alleynes School in Stone, Staffordshire in the 1970s.

On 28 March 1986 The Queerboys appeared with Bernie Torme and The Moho Pack at what was Klub Foot at the Clarendon Hotel Hammersmith. In May of that year, they played support dates on a Cherry Bombz tour.[5]

By 1987 the band's controversial name was starting to hinder them, it caused some of the gigs on their tour with Andy McCoy's band to be cancelled. They were also booked to play Reading Festival on the understanding that they would change their name.

Thus they changed it to the Quireboys and have kept the name ever since. They released two singles via Survival Records, entitled "Mayfair" and "There She Goes Again". Another musician from Newcastle was brought in on rhythm guitar, and Ginger made his performing debut at the Hammersmith Odeon where the band were supporting Guns N' Roses. At the end of 1989, the band released the single "7 O'Clock", which entered the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.

Sharon Osbourne was appointed as manager and The Quireboys were signed to EMI for the release of their debut album, A Bit of What You Fancy. By 1990, the Quireboys had fired Ginger (who went on to form The Wildhearts), who they replaced with former Cradle Snatchers / Feline Groove guitarist Guy Griffin. Griffin has remained with the band ever since, appearing on all their albums and becoming the primary songwriter with Gray. For the debut album Cozy was substituted by Ian Wallace who played with Bob Dylan.[6]

The debut album was produced by [[Jim Cregan]] ( Rod Stewart, Cockney Rebel, Family) and George Tutko at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California. Ron Nevison (Led Zeppelin,UFO) mixed the album. The band entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 2. A Bit of What You Fancy drew positive reviews and was compared favourably to British rock names such as Rod Stewart and The Faces.

In support of the debut, the Quireboys toured for the next year. They enlisted American drummer Rudy Richman and played with a variety of bands in different settings in the United States, including L.A. Guns, Soundgarden, The Cramps and Iggy Pop. After the tour, they also played some gigs in the United Kingdom; in Spike's hometown of Newcastle where they supported The Rolling Stones at St James' Park. Two months after the Stones show, they played in front of 72,000 people at Monsters of Rock at Donington with Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Poison and Thunder.

The long touring schedule was finished off with a gig in Japan at the Tokyo Dome on New Year's Eve in front of 50,000 people. A live album was released following this long touring, entitled Recorded Around the World.

They began working on the follow-up, Bitter Sweet & Twisted, which was released in 1993; but the birth of grunge changed the music scene and they were left behind. Axl Rose asked them to join the "Use Your Illusion Tour" with Guns N' Roses, and they followed the band for a while during their 1993 summer European tour.

The band reformed for a number of concerts in the mid-1990s and found themselves with a loyal following. A new line-up recorded and released This Is Rock'N'Roll in 2001 and followed it with the moderately successful Well Oiled in 2004.

The Quireboys at the Norway Rock Festival in 2008

On 12 May 2008, The Quireboys released their next album Homewreckers & Heartbreakers on the Jerkin Crocus label. Talking about the inspiration for the new album, Paul Guerin said "It's a funny story. We were in Malmö, Sweden in the dressing room. It was just before the show and we'd had a few frothy quenchers. We were trying to come up with album titles, and everyone was laughing at the suggestions. A certain member of the band was regaling a story about something he'd done, and another member of the band said "you're just a home wrecker," and someone else said "yeah, and a heartbreaker". We were just having a laugh, and bang, there it was. It was as simple as that."[7]

In 2010, three members of The Quireboys (Paul, Griff, Keith) teamed up with Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott to record an album under the name Down 'n' Outz. Two singles were released, both of which are covers of Mott The Hoople songs: "England Rocks" (June 2010) and "Overnight Angels" (Which reached #1 in the US Rock radio chart)(January 2011). Down 'n' Outz supported Paul Rodgers on tour in April 2011.They subsequently recorded ‘The further adventures of’ and in 2020 released ‘This is how we roll’ with all original material. The album was awarded Best British Rock album by PlanetRock radio.

In March 2013, The Quireboys played aboard the Monsters of Rock Cruise, along with bands such as Cinderella, Tesla, Kix, and Queensrÿche.[8][9] The band released a new single "Too Much of a Good Thing" on 15 May 2013, taken from their seventh studio album Beautiful Curse which was released a month later in June 2013.[10]

They have consistently released strong material since then with the albums’ Black Eyed Sons’ (2014),’St Cecilia and the Gypsy Soul’ (2015),’White Trash Blues’ (2016) and ‘Twisted Love’(2017)

The rest of the band really stepped up to the plate this time,” added Griffin. “I always have confidence that they will improve and enhance the songs that I bring to the table. We’re a really tight unit now. Everyone comes in and does their job and there’s an understanding.”


Current members[edit]

  • Spike - vocals, harmonica (1984-1993, 1995, 2001–present)
  • Guy Griffin - Guitar (1989-1993, 2001–present)
  • Keith Weir - Keyboards, piano (2001–present)
  • Paul Guerin - Guitar (2004–present)
  • Dave McCluskey - Drums (2014–present)
  • Nick Mailing - Bass guitar (2014–present)

Former members[edit]




Year Album US UK[11] Certification Label
1990 A Bit of What You Fancy - 2 UK: Gold EMI/Parlophone
1993 Bitter Sweet & Twisted - 31 - EMI/Parlophone
2001 This Is Rock'n'Roll - - - Sanctuary
2004 Well Oiled - - - SPV
2008 Homewreckers & Heartbreakers - - - Jerkin Crocus
2009 Halfpenny Dancer - - - Jerkin Crocus
2013 Beautiful Curse - - - Off Yer Rocka
2014 Black Eyed Sons - - - Off Yer Rocka
2015 St. Cecilia and the Gypsy Soul - - - Off Yer Rocka
2016 Twisted Love - - - Off Yer Rocka
2017 White Trash Blues - - - Off Yer Rocka
2019 Amazing Disgrace - - - Off Yer Rocka

Live albums[edit]

  • Live (Recorded Around The World) (EMI - 1990)
  • Lost In Space (Snapper - 2000)
  • 100% Live (Demolition - 2002)
  • Quireboys Live (EMI - 2006) (Reissue of 1990 live album)
  • Live In Glasgow (Jerkin Crocus - 2011)
  • 35 & Live (Off yer Rocker - 2020)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • From Tooting to Barking (Griffin - 1994)
  • Rock Champions (EMI - 2001)
  • Masters of Rock - The Quireboys (EMI - 2002)
  • Best of The Quireboys (EMI - 2008)


Year Single Chart positions
US Hot 100 US Main Rock UK[11]
1988 Mayfair - - 95
1988 There She Goes Again - - 87
1989 7 O'Clock - - 36
1989 Hey You - - 14
1990 I Don't Love You Anymore 76 - 24
1990 There She Goes Again/Misled - - 37
1992 Tramps and Thieves - - 41
1993 Brother Louie - - 32
1993 Last Time - - -
2005 Tears In Heaven - - 88
2008 Blyth Spartans - - -
2012 Biking for Bobby - - -
2013 Too Much of a Good Thing - - -
2013 Diamonds and Dirty Stones - - -
2015 Gracie B - - -



  1. ^ [1] Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Quireboys". Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Nigel Mogg". 28 February 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  4. ^ "22 October 1986 The Queerboys". The Marquee Club. 22 October 1986. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Nuzz Prowling Wolf: The Queerboys/Pretty Girls And The Babysitters - Live: Sometime, Somewhere". 15 November 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Let It Rock - Ian Wallace interview". Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  7. ^ [2] Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Monsters of Rock Cruise". Facebook. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  9. ^ Axeman, Andrew (9 April 2013). "Monsters Of Rock Cruise 2013 - Hair Metal Mansion's Exclusive Report & Photos". Hair Metal Mansion. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  10. ^ " interview with MULATSCHAG". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 446. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]