Band Spotlight – The Quails

The Quails first joined forces over a pint three years ago in a Devon pub. All had been in previous bands, but shared a desire to be more focused in their approach to music. At first just a hobby, things gradually became more serious as the band realized that they were building up an army of supporters. They earned their stripes gigging in pubs in the South West, and their loyal army of fans were rewarded at the end of last Summer when the band were chosen to open for Muse on the first night of their Resistance Tour and were featured as part of a BBC3 documentary about the gig. They also supported The Kooks at The Eden Project and Motorhead on the main stage at The Bulldog Bash. As yet unsigned, these gigs were all as a result of them being spotted in smaller venues.

The Quails are fronted by prolific and talented songwriter Dan Steer who has a distinctive and powerful voice and is a charismatic performer. Rhythm and energy is supplied by Sam Banks on Bass and Chris Prentice on drums. The music is on the rocky side of indie, and although there are countless nods to the musical greats, The Quails have very much developed a distinctive sound. Dan’s voice is instantly recognizable, and Max Armstrong’s guitar riffs have to be heard to be believed. Max was recently cited by his old guitar tutor at Exeter Academy of Sound and Music as being the most accomplished student ever to pass through the Academy. Dan’s keyboard playing combines with good old rock guitar to create a perfect fusion of old and new. Topped off with sublime harmonies, it’s no wonder this band are attracting so much attention!

Jon Atkins reviews The Quails:

There has been a huge amount of hype surrounding the release of the new album ‘Master of Imperfection’ from The Quails and I am more than happy to say, it was most definitely justified.

I witnessed a performance at the Riviera Centre on Saturday 8th May that would rival any of the most popular bands of today.  Epic light displays, atmospheric smoke machines,  and stage presence that had the audience playing puppets to Dan Steer’s (lead vocals/guitar) every command.  The anticipation and excitement was genuinely very intense building up to the entrance of The Quails, which was met instantly by screaming, shouting and overly energetic jumping around.

From the first song the crowd were giving everything to the performance, bouncing in time to every song, climbing on each others shoulders in desperate attempts to gain recognition from the band members, and generally yelling their appreciation throughout, whether it be legitimate words or just plain excitable gibberish.

Dan encouraged cheers from various sections of the crowd as the night went on and was met with enthusiastic responses on all counts, any hint of a clapping motion from Dan or other members of the band, Max (lead guitar), Sam (bass) , Chris (drums) was unquestionably mimicked immediately by the fans.

My absolute highlight of the evening was the encore song ’Shining Star’ which involved a baby grand piano being rolled on stage for Dan to step up to.  Beginning the song with simply just him and the piano, he taught the chorus (three simple lines) to the crowd who more than willingly sang along, before the song slowly built until it saw him flinging a guitar over his shoulder and joining the rest of the band as the song really picked up.  This song epitomised how versatile The Quails really are, vocally, Dan pulls you in with beautifully softly sung lyrics before bursting out with a shrill rock ’n’ roll scream to shake you to your bones, and the music they produce compliments this perfectly.

The fact of the matter is, The Quails are an incredibly talented band, and are worthy of any and all the praise they have had, and are sure to get in the future.  It truly is an honour to have such a prime example of great music coming from our local area.

To find out more about the band, and to get your copy of their new album ‘Master of Imperfection’ log on to www.thequails.co.uk


About the Author

Creator and editor of talktorbay. Regular blogger on news and events in Torbay. For business promotions, sponsorship and advertising contact nick@talktorbay.com

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