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
MembersGuy Griffin
Paul Guerin
Keith Weir
Nick Mailing
Pip Mailing
Past members
Jonathan Gray (Spike)
Guy Bailey
Nigel Mogg
Chris Johnstone
Paul Hornby
Nick Connell (Coze)

Gary Ivin Ginger
Rudy Richman
Luke Bossendorfer
Martin Henderson
Phil Martini
Jason Bonham

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 Albums Chart. Their highest-charting single in the UK Singles Chart was with the song "Hey You".

In 1993, the Quireboys broke up but briefly reformed live in 1995 with a new drummer. A more permanent reformation came in 2001 when frontman Spike and guitarist Guy Griffin put together a new line-up. The band's most recent album, Amazing Disgrace, was released on 5 April 2019. In March 2022, Spike was fired from the band,[2] prompting cancellations of upcoming dates.[3]


1985–89: Formation[edit]

Vocalist Jonathan Gray (commonly referred to as just 'Spike') moved from Newcastle upon Tyne to London when he was 17 years old.[4] 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.[5] Gray and Bailey were joined by bassist Nigel Mogg (nephew of UFO's Phil Mogg),[6] Chris Johnstone on piano and Paul Hornby, who had previously played drums with 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.[7] 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).[5] 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.[8]

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.[5] 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.

1990–95: A Bit of What You Fancy and Bitter Sweet & Twisted[edit]

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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[9]

The debut album was produced by Jim Cregan and George Tutko at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California.[5] Ron Nevison mixed the album. The band entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 2.[5] A Bit of What You Fancy drew positive reviews and was compared favourably to British rock names such as Rod Stewart and Faces.[5]

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 Live (Recorded Around the World).[5]

They began working on the follow-up, Bitter Sweet & Twisted, which was released in 1993;[5] 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.

1996–2021: Reformation and subsequent albums[edit]

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."[10]

In 2010, three members of the Quireboys (Guerin, Griffin and Weir) 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 No. 1 in the US Rock radio chart in 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.[11][non-primary source needed][12] 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.[13]

They have consistently released 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).

In late 2021, the Quireboys supported the Dead Daisies on their UK Tour.[14] The February 2022 Monsters of Rock Cruise included the Quireboys as a five-piece without Spike, with Griffin covering vocal duties.

2022–present: Spike's departure and ongoing dispute[edit]

In March 2022, the Quireboys announced that they had released founding member Spike from the band, and were intending to continue without him.[2] His departure sparked an ongoing dispute about legal ownership of the Quireboys name.[15] Fan reaction was negative, with many asking for ticket refunds. Two venues cancelled their upcoming Quireboys dates.[3] In May 2022, Spike announced that he had reunited with original members Guy Bailey and Nigel Mogg to write and record new music using the Quireboys name.[16][17]


Current members[edit]

  • Guy Griffin – Vocals, Guitar (1989–1993, 1995, 2001–Present)
  • Keith Weir – Keyboards, piano (2001–Present)
  • Paul Guerin – Guitar (2004–Present)
  • Pip Mailing – Drums (2004–2008, 2013, 2020–Present)
  • Nick Mailing – Bass guitar (2014–Present)

Former members[edit]




Year Album US UK[18] 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
1988 "Mayfair" 95
"There She Goes Again" 87
1989 "7 O'Clock" 41[19] 36
"Hey You" 82[20] 14
1990 "I Don't Love You Anymore" 71[21] 76 24
"There She Goes Again" / "Misled" 37
1992 "Tramps and Thieves" 41
1993 "Brother Louie" 68[22] 31
"Last Time"
2005 "Tears in Heaven" 88
2008 "Blyth Spartans"
2012 "Biking for Bobby"
2013 "Too Much of a Good Thing"
"Diamonds and Dirty Stones"
2015 "Gracie B"


  • A Bit of What You Fancy (1990)
  • Bitter, Sweet & Live (Live at The Town & Country Club, London) (1993)
  • One More for the Road (Live at The Mean Fiddler, London) (2006)


  1. ^ [1] Archived 11 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Colothan, Scott (29 March 2022). "The Quireboys part ways with singer Spike". Planet Rock. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b Colothan, Scott (1 April 2022). "Two music venues cancel Quireboys concerts following Spike's departure". Planet Rock. Retrieved 7 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Quireboys". Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 359/360. ISBN 0-7535-0257-7.
  6. ^ "Nigel Mogg". 28 February 2003. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  7. ^ "22 October 1986 The Queerboys". The Marquee Club. 22 October 1986. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Nuzz Prowling Wolf: The Queerboys/Pretty Girls And The Babysitters – Live: Sometime, Somewhere". 15 November 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Let It Rock – Ian Wallace interview". Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  10. ^ [2] Archived 20 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Monsters of Rock Cruise". Retrieved 23 December 2012 – via Facebook.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ " interview with MULATSCHAG". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  14. ^ Lewry, Fraser (9 August 2021). "The Dead Daisies and The Quireboys announce UK tour". Louder Sound. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  15. ^ Colothan, Scott (6 April 2022). "Spike hits back at The Quireboys' statement and vows to continue band name". Planet Rock. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  16. ^ Colothan, Scott. "Spike reunites with The Quireboys co-founder Guy Bailey and they start new album". Planet Rock. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
  17. ^ Colothan, Scott. "The Quireboys - Original Members Spike, Guy Bailey and Nigel Mogg Reunite". Brave Words. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
  18. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 446. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  19. ^ "RPM 100 Singles" (PDF). 21 July 1990. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  20. ^ "RPM 100 Singles" (PDF). 20 October 1990. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  21. ^ "RPM 100 Singles" (PDF). 19 January 1991. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  22. ^ "RPM Weekly" (PDF). 3 April 1993. Retrieved 21 July 2021.

External links[edit]