The weekend arrives and something in Ahoghill stirs. A chilly Saturday night will have most people cuddled up in the house with the central heating and/or fire on, but for quite a few dedicated rockers tonight was a night to journey to The Diamond Rock Club. On the acoustic bill was Davy Kerrigan from the Davy K Project and none other than the iconic The Quireboys.
The Diamond Rock Club was well filled as Davy K took to the stage and with a little light chat with the crowd and wonderfully relaxed. With a broad smile Davy K started laying down a beautiful acoustic blues rock set that showed how talented he was.
Over twenty years of playing live showed, he was at ease, confident and owned the stage without dispute. Delivering a fantastic passionate set with songs like “The Storm”, “Whiskey Road”, “Breathe”, “Lockdown” and “Be Alright” Most of the songs are off his current album “Lockdown”. And album well worth buying, but to hear the songs performed live acoustically show how good they are when they are stripped right back and still gives you chills.
It is without any doubt that Davy K is a very able professional with a real skill on the guitar and has a voice that captures you immediately. He has such a raw emotional and soulful voice that perfectly complements his skill on the guitar.
You can easily hear the passion with which he delivers each and every word. His skills with his guitar is superb and with bluesy efficiency he caressed and then punched out beautiful licks and toe-tapping riffs. What a performance.
Then came the main part of the night with Spike, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, and Paul Guerin coming on stage to a roar of approval. The Quireboys are in the house. Straight off everyone there realised they were in for a very special night as Spike announced “We’re the Quireboys and this is acoustic rock and roll!” and then the jokes really be-gan around it still being the New Year and whether this was the first gig of the year and Spike with his cheeky quips had everyone in stitches as He asked “Have we played one already? Was I There?”.
They also joked about the setlist being written out on a the back of a printed out football betting sheet. This was going to be a great night, everyone knew it, and The Quireboys hadn’t played a note. And finally they started the music, and boy how did it start, The piano, guitars and of course Spike’s unique vocals all combined to produce their first number of the evening “There She Goes Again”.
As one of their most widely known songs it took a few by surprise, as this sort of song is normally left to later in the night. It was expertly delivered and had such a beautiful sound to it being delivered as an acoustic set. The question now was did they peak too early? And once they delivered “Misled”, “Roses & Rings” and “Devil Of A Man” it was without doubt the evening was only going get better. Spike, Guy, Paul and Keith continue the joking in such a relaxed way and with the audience as well. The vibe and buzz in the packed out room made it feel like one of the best house parties you could ever go to.
On through the evening the lads kept the songs pumping with “This Is It”, “Mona Lisa Smiled” and “Hello”. The crowd were loving the whole special experience and joyfully singing along meant the atmosphere was on a complete high.
In with this a local woman had made a lovely crocheted mini Spike which was duly noted by the real man himself, to much amusement all round. It ended up that mini Spike, or as the little guy became known by Baby Spike, ended up on stage. The interaction all round was absolutely genius and wonderfully comical. Baby Spike, in a brilliantly comic move, was voiced by the real Spike before baby Spike was handed back before they launched into “Beautiful Curse”. What a uniquely wonderful moment. On the evening continued with “Whipping Boy” and then all the glasses were raised for “Have A Drink With Me”
The interaction of Spike with the was superb, light hearted and wonderfully profes-sional. It showed in a very intimate setting that whilst The Quireboys are still a big name band, the guys themselves are incredibly humble, funny and real.
On the hits came with “Late Night Saturday Night”, “Sinner Serenade” and “Sweet Mary Ann” highlighting with how they handled themselves that they were absolute pro-fessionals with a huge amount talent. The acoustic delivery was a beautiful thing to behold as they produced perfect honky tonk rock and roll. They finished the set with the iconic “7 O’Clock”. Of course there was an encore and boy what an encore it was too with “Encore: I Don’t Love You Anymore” and an uproarious “Sex Party”.
What a full performance and what a night. Both Davy K and The Quireboys delivered performances worth three times the ticket price and everyone there knew they were taking part in something unique that night.
Without a doubt The Quireboys showed how professional, exuberant and fantastically talented they are. If you get a chance to see The Quireboys then you have to.
Don’t forget that The Quireboys are gigging the rest of January, February, March, April, May and June. As well as that they will be performing two Orchestral Quireboys gigs at the O2 Forum (London) in September.
Review by Ivor Whitten
Photography by David Stewart