“It's A Treat To Be Alive”
Label: Demolition Records
date: May 25th 2007
Cat. #: DEMCD 140
Music Style: Rock
Tracklisting: 1. Have a drink with me - 2. Be good to yourself - 3. Wins, ties and losses - 4. Everyday - 5. Rise above - 6. Won't ya stick around - 7. Without you - 8. Lady and her daughter - 9. When I'm away from you - 10. So far so good - 11. She's a rolling stone - 12. I'm in love with you - 13. True friends - 14. 7/11 roses
Solo artist and lead singer of The Quireboys. the charismatic, energetic, stage strutting Geordie front man, renowned for his trademark bandana and microphone swinging antics, is currently working on a new Quireboys album, heavily involved with the band DAMAGE CONTROL and preparing for tourdates over the coming months.
The first non-Quireboys record release took place in 1987 following a night in a London Soho Club. Spike and a friend, Buttz (Teenage Idols, Babysitters) and some friends that included various members of the Quireboys, Wolfsbane, Nasty Suicide and Rene Berg got together and recorded a 12" single under the name The Gangbang Band. The A side had two songs, the first being a cover of the song Gang Bang by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, the second was Love Me Tender by Elvis. The B-side had two live tracks, Wet Dream and Lucille, they were recorded one night during a gig at Gossips in London where they were joined by more friends (including Dumpy Dunnell, Smash and Berne Torme). The cover artwork was done by friend and Kerrang! journalist, Ray Zell. A raucous, at times comedic sound applies to all tracks, one senses recording this was nothing but fun!
Spike's next project was the much heavier sounding 4-piece band, God's Hotel. God's Hotel formed in LA in 1994, (although the album wasn't released until 1998) and were, Spike on vocals, Ted Hutt on guitar (he was later replaced by Antiproduct's Alex Kane), Dominique Davalos on bass and Doni Gray on drums. Their first recording was a four track cassette known as the Birth Bootleg and featured the tracks, Wheel, Skin, Hole, and Fear (which had been co-written by Guy Griffin, Quireboys band mate). This tape was initially sold at gigs only, and was a prize in a competition run by Kerrang! Magazine. God's Hotel only played 3 gigs in the UK (Dudley JB's, Buckley Tivoli and the London Marquee) they were received with mixed response. Although they were tight and had some great songs, audience numbers weren't high, and anyone who had turned up expecting to see a band like the Quireboys got quite a shock. Dirty guitars, thunderous drumming - and although Spike's vocals were instantly recognisable, it was far away from the Quireboys sound. They went on to release their self titled album on Best Dressed Records (the cover of which was designed by the Dog's D'Amour's and Bubble's Bam). Due to a mistake somewhere along the line, the UK version featured the same four extra songs that were meant to be bonus tracks on the Japanese edition, including a great version of Humble Pie's Fool For A Pretty Face.
Also in 1994, Spike teamed up with Dogs D'Amour guitar hero, Darrell Bath, and recorded an album of ancient blues classics. The album was called Take Out Some Insurance, it was engineered by Mark Wallace and recorded at Chiswick Reach Studios in the December of that year. A collection of 17 songs - 14 covers and 3 new songs penned by the pair, the album was never officially released but some lucky fans picked up a copy at one of the few low key acoustic shows that followed over the next year. These shows usually ended up with various friends joining them on stage at some point, including God's Hotel's Ted Hutt and Dogs D'Amour frontman, Tyla.
1996, Spike was living back in Newcastle and was good friends with Tyla. (The 2 had opened a blues and soul night called 'The Guest List' at London's St Moritz club in September '94). They wrote some songs together and recorded a sadly underrated album as Spike & Tyla's Hot Knives. The album was titled Flagrantly Yours and was released on Bleeding Hearts Records. Spike had 4 songs credited on this album (3 co-written with Tyla and one totally self penned) and sang on all of them. Although not as 'produced' as previous albums, there are some brilliant vocal performances by both artists. Unfortunately, no gigs were ever played as the Hot Knives, but Spike has been known on many occasions if ever he and Tyla have been appearing on the same bill, to join Tyla onstage to perform a couple of songs from this album (as well as dueting with him on the Dog's D'Amour classic, "How Come It Never Rains" when ever he gets the chance).
1998, after a couple years out of the spotlight, Spike returned with a solo album - this time under the name of 'Spike' and titled Blue Eyed Soul. The album had an altogether different sound to previous releases, leaning towards the influence of artists such as the Temptations and Sam and Dave. The result was a 10 track masterpiece. Labelled as Spike's 'Soul' album, it featured a host of musicians including his fellow God's Hotel colleagues plus a complete brass section. The album was produced by Spike and Jim Wirt and also featured a track written by Jim Cregan and Bernie Taupin. With its soul influences, this was a more mature sounding album than his previous recordings, Spike was singing in a style that hadn't been heard from him on record before, although throughout, he still held tight to his love of British rock n' roll. Originally released as a mail order album only over the internet, it was soon picked up by Cargo Records and distributed throughout the UK. He played a handful of gigs to promote the album including a support slot with Thunder at London's Forum and also a co headline gig with old friend Tyla at the Corporation in Sheffield. Audience reaction was good, and Spike, knowing his audience.. treated them to some Quireboys songs too.
Late 2002 Spike went into the studio with his solo band and recorded some new solo tracks, a short tour followed to air the new material with much positive response. Further recordings were made in 2004, and the new solo album was completed. The release of this album, but when it does - be prepared, it has the potential to be a massive hit.
The future for Spike is a busy one, with a new Quireboys album, the new Damage Control album, the recent Quireboys DVD release, tourdates and live appearances throughout 2007.
Update: Sunday, 01. April 2007
created in September 2002 © by Sonny