As some of you will remember, earlier in the year I had the pleasure of interviewing Spike from the Quireboys when they played at The Railway Venue in Bolton on their up close and very personal acoustic tour (reviewed here https://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2014/02/18/the-quireboys-upfront-and-personal-the-railway-bolton-1st-february-2014/ ). Whilst being still very much enthused about the Quireboys and the plans for that long lasting band of wandering minstrel, reprobates, he did talk with passion about a “solo” project that he was working on. Call it a labour of love. A life’s ambition. Or the chance to keep a precious legacy alive. “100% Pure Frankie Miller” is Spike’s sparkling celebration of long-time pal and inspiration Miller- and it is a very special album indeed.
Many years in the making – and finally brought to fruition by a famous band of rock n roll brothers –
“100% Frankie Miller” is the ultimate tribute to a Scottish legend featuring ‘lost’ treasures and previously hidden gems.
Bringing together the Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, famed Free rhythm section Andy Fraser and Simon Kirke, Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter and the brilliant Bonnie Tyler, this heartfelt collection of classic songs has been lovingly compiled by The Quireboys’ lead singer Spike – a family friend of the Millers and self-styled custodian of an historic back catalogue.
Two decades after suffering the brain haemorrhage that cut short a colourful career, Miller has emerged as one of rock’s great survivors and his music lives on – and this stuning collection proves exactly why. Sure, Miller’s name is one that I’ve been aware of for years and although aware of the illness that cut short his career and the battle that followed, for some reason I had never checked out the songs! I suspect that I may not be alone, but what Spike does here is shine the biggest spotlight possible on the quality of the songs (and it is fairly obvious just how much Frankie Miller has influenced Spike and the style of music he has produced over the years).
“Frankie doesn’t want sympathy,” said Spike. “He just wants his music to be heard. These songs have
never been heard before and they’ve been recorded with Frankie’s blessing. They are songs that would have been lost if it wasn’t for the desire of a group of his closest friends and biggest fans to do them justice. Frankie Miller was – and still is – a massive influence on so many musicians, myself included. He has a special talent as a songwriter and that talent deserves to be celebrated.”
Miller enjoyed chart success in the late 70s with “Be Good To Yourself”, “Darlin” and and “When I’m Away From You” and counts fellow countryman Rod Stewart amongst his biggest fans. In 1999 the BBC filmed the documentary Stubborn Kinda Fella – charting Miller’s long road to recovery
in the wake of his brain haemorrhage – and now “100% Frankie Miller” brings a remarkable story bang up to date.
Every song exudes that snokey, whiskey soaked voice that makes Spike what he is. I could go through each track individually but, to be honest, they’re all stunning. At times bluesy, the next with country tinged styling, rock n roll of the trad style. The thing is this is an album you MUST get. Don’t know Frankie Miller? Then you don’t know rock and roll … end of!
Now, when Spike talks about the desire of biggest friends and fans to get involved he certainly wasn’t joking! “100% Frankie Miller” features Ronnie Wood, Andy Fraser, Bonnie Tyler, Simon Kirke, Ian Hunter, Luke Morley, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, Paul Guerin, Tyla, Chris Corney, Mark Stanway, Mick Roobotham, Matt Goom, Pat Mcmanus, Lorraine Crosby, Stuart Emerson, Cherry Lee Mewis, Simon Hanson and Jimi The Piper.
1 -THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
2 – COCAINE
3 – I’M LOSING YOU
4 – INTENSIVE CARE
5 – FORTUNE
6 – AMSTERDAM WOMAN
7 – OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
8 – CHEAP HOTEL
9 – COLD, COLD NIGHTS
10 – DID YOU EVER WANNA GO HOME
11 – KEEPIN’ IT ALL FOR YOU
12 – BOTTLE OF WHISKY
100% Pure Frankie Miller will be released on 8th September 2014 through Cargo Records.