After thirty-six years of making hits the legendary Quireboys are finally getting a chance to play live in front of their Australian fans. At the top of their game since their debut album A Bit Of What You Fancy back in 1990 the band again wowed fans and journalists alike with their new album Amazing Disgrace just last year.
With their tour fast approaching HEAVY Mag was lucky enough to chat to guitarist Paul Guerin from his home in the English countryside. He is in a jovial mood and we start our discussion by wondering how it is possible that they could relay radio transmissions from the moon in the 1960s yet we need something like WhatsApp in order to get a clear signal from the English countryside. “Please don’t spoil my childhood,” he yells laughing as we start to head into the deep territory of whether or not a moon landing did ever happen.
That same excitement is still clear in his voice when we begin to chat about the fact that this will be the first time Quireboys head Down Under. “I can’t even begin to put into words how I feel,” he says with pure excitement. “This band has been going a long time and thank the Lord we have been to most places but Australia always eluded us. Me personally I am one of these guys that doesn’t like to tempt fate and I always think if I look forward to it too much or talk about something too much it won’t end up happening or it will go wrong. But you know what all the boxes have been ticked, the visas are ready and we are coming.”
“This is something that I have wanted to do my whole life,” he goes on to explain. “Not just in a band situation but just for anybody to just afford to go on a holiday in Australia is difficult but to be able to bring Quireboys to Australia is fantastic. I have such a love for the music that has come out of Australia, it kind of keeps me awake of a night time thinking ‘my God, we’re coming… it is happening.’”
The statement that he loves Australian music is not just lip service or something that Guerin tells Australian journalists. He truly does have a deep love for Australian music – especially Jimmy Barnes and Rose Tattoo. “I come from a small town in the north of England,” he explains as he tells us how he came to discover Australian music. “This was the mid-80s and if you wanted any chance of getting a record deal you had to go to London. So I slept on a park bench with my guitar strapped to me until I found somewhere to live and then I started to make some friends here and there who were from New Zealand and Australia and they introduced me to Jimmy Barnes’ music and then to Diesel.”
“Then litearally from the moment we got up in the morning to the moment we calmed down at night it was all that we would listen to,” he continues. “And that opened up a whole new world of genius to me and then I got to see AC/DC with Bon Scott a few times in Newcastle and then Rose Tattoo… my first tattoo was actually a rose tattoo. I got that when I was eighteen and I really didn’t take it all lightly. It was all really a guiding force that these bands could be so heavy but also so melodic and meaningful. You know when I go to the gym it is Jimmy Barnes that I listen to and I honestly still feel like I am going to pop when I listen to those songs. They have never lost that flavour for me.”
The same could also be said for Quireboys, this is the band that has certainly never lost any of its flavour over the years and while chatting to Guerin it is clearly obvious that this is a man who is as excited as a schoolboy about being able to finally come to Australia. “Listen you are in for a treat,” he says when I tell him that I will be at the Melbourne show. “Just imagine how much we are looking forward to being able to come over to your beautiful country. I know everybody is having a terrible, hard time there… I see it on the news every night and it is heartbreaking. But the Quireboys show will be escapism, it is not us and you it really is us all together, the songs mean a lot to a lot of people. We are not just doing this for something to do we can’t wait to come and play for you.”