Neil Quinlan

Neil Quinlan’s (Q) 1998 classic album, ‘Well,’ She Said is is one of those albums that everyone who has heard it raves about it. It falls into the ‘I can’t believe it didn’t go gangbusters’ category. 

The album features original songs by Q and is still garnering praise almost 20 years after its release. The album is a mix of rock and folk styles, including two traditional Irish songs (Raglan Road and She Moved Through The Fair). 

The production is world class, the songwriting superb and out the front, Q holds it together with his captivating vocals and engaging delivery. 

Now living outside of Lismore on the far north coast of New South Wales,  Q continues to play solo gigs around the Northern Rivers region, including regular appearances at the Nimbin Hotel, the New Tattersalls Hotel, the Lennox Hotel and the Hotel Illawong at Evans Head. He is  working on his second book, an historical novel set during the Old West of America in the 19th Century. 

Q was born in Sydney, Australia, at a very early age and has been in the grip of music since childhood. He recorded his first ‘album’ at the age of seven, a seven-minute opus on reel-to-reel tape, which included him singing one verse each of Let It Be by the Beatles and Daydream Believer by the Monkees as well as a couple of really bad jokes. Both bands are still waiting for their royalties. 

At the age of twelve, Q began to play drums and two years later picked up his Mum’s nylon string classical guitar and began teaching himself from an old tuition book she owned. Forty years later, he’s still strumming, although his fingertips are starting to get really sore. 

Q was the drummer in several high school bands, all of which have gone on to international obscurity. In his early twenties, he began playing solo gigs on acoustic guitar and also becoming the drummer for Sydney rock band Red Rain, who once supported British musician Steve Taylor as part of his international tour. 

Moving to Melbourne in 1990, Q soon found solo gigs at various pubs and restaurants across the city and particularly around his chosen home of the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. He was a founding member of the much-loved folk band The Gunda Guys and later joined The Rock Wallabies. Both bands had an immense local following playing their own brand of Irish, Scottish and Australian folk songs, reels and jigs. The Gunda Guys’ album, Having The Craic, was released in 1999 and soon sold out. 

Along with guitarist Phil Smith and bassist ‘Cousin Ronnie’ Elischer, Q was also the drummer for three-piece outfit The Conrays, a self-described rockin’ R&B band who played across Victoria, including several appearances at the annual motorcycle Grand Prix on Phillip Island, at which their greatest achievement was getting out alive and relatively sober. 

Q also spent some time as guitarist and backing vocalist for well-known Melbourne singer/songwriter Maria Forde, touring Sydney with her and her band in 1997. He also toured Tasmania and Singapore as guitarist and singer for The Brazen Heads. In more recent times, Q played electric and acoustic guitars and sang for Melbourne Beatles tribute band Come Together, regularly selling out shows at local venues. He also played guitar for the Phill Deeh Band.