Quireboys Biography

After violent incidents at early live shows, this UK band altered their name from Queerboys to Quireboys, to avoid further trouble. Comprising Spike Gray (vocals), Nigel Mogg (bass, nephew of Phil Mogg of UFO), Chris Johnstone (keyboards), Guy Bailey (guitar), Ginger (David Walls, 17 December 1964, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England; guitar) and Coze (drums), they were all originally drinking buddies in London pubs. Drawing musical inspiration from the Faces, Rolling Stones and Mott The Hoople, they specialized in barroom boogie, beer-soaked blues and infectious raunch ‘n’ roll. Gray’s rough-as-a-gravel-path vocal style, closely resembling Rod Stewart’s, added fuel to accusations of the band being little more than Faces copyists.

After releasing two independent singles the Quireboys signed to EMI Records and immediately underwent a line-up reshuffle. Coze and Ginger (who went on to form the Wildhearts) were removed and replaced by Ian Wallace and Guy Griffin, respectively. They recorded A Bit Of What You Fancy in Los Angeles, under the production eye of Jim Cregan (former Rod Stewart guitarist). It was an immediate success, entering the UK album charts at number 2 in February 1990. ‘Hey You’, lifted as a single, also met with similar success, peaking at number 14 in January 1990. An eight-track live album followed, which duplicated most of the numbers from their first album, as a stopgap measure to bridge the long period between successive studio releases. However, when Bitter Sweet & Twisted failed to ignite, Gray left to form his own band, God’s Hotel, denying rumours that he had been invited to replace Axl Rose in Guns N’Roses (after having contributed to Slash’s solo album). The Quireboys had come to a natural conclusion, or, as Gray preferred to put it, ‘we were past our sell-by-date’. Bass player Nigel Mogg put together his own project, the Nancy Boys, in New York.

Gray, Griffin and Mogg re-formed the band in the new millennium with additional members Luke Bossendorfer (guitar), Martin Henderson (drums) and Simon Rinaldo (keyboards). The quintet recorded the excellent This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll for the Sanctuary Records label.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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