Thirsty, if you didn’t know already, is the latest musical vehicle of former Quireboy Guy Bailey. Albatross is the band’s second album, and very nice it is in a very British way.

That’s British in a sixties rhythm and blues kinda way. If you’re looking for a bit of raunch n’roll a la Spike and the boys, then I’d direct you to the Quireboys last album, Twisted Love. Because what you get with Thirsty is very definitely not a second-hand Faces situation. Built around the highly literate lyrics of Bailey’s Russian songwriting parner Irina D, Albatross is a root about in the grubbier recesses of classic literature, taking inspiration from the likes of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Victoria Woolf along the way.

It’s dishevelled, It’s unmistakably of the line of Oscar Wilde in its determination to sit in the gutter and look at the stars, and it’s utterly beguiling. Bailey takes the mic for the bulk of the songs, his talk singing style very much in the vein of his good mate Tyla of the Dogs d’Amour and obvious key reference point Keith Richards; He may be signally lacking in vocal technique (or, if we’re being brutally frank, talent), but that’s absolutely irrelevant in the context of this band. You don’t need Rob Halford to banshee wail his way through tales of seediness and the down at heel any more than you’d expect Spike to belt out The Sentinel, and thus Bailey’s worn croak is utterly spellbinding on jaunty tales of the unexpected like Orlando or the eel pie-eyed Black Hole.

Va Banque is an absolute delight, as is spiky closer Patriotic Little Trash, but the whole album, corralled masterfully by Rolling Stones cohort Chris Kimsey is a delight for the ears. The only downside to the whole thing is that, at just over half an hour in length you’ll find yourself wishing it was a little longer, but with Bailey already apparently getting material together for a third album it looks like you won’t have to wait too long for another taste of finely crafted British blues rock. Outstanding stuff.



Albatross will be released by Thirsty Music on November 7th