GUN – Live – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut – 28th November 2017

Gun live at King Tuts
Gun Live – photo courtesy of Barry Harkness
GUN – Favourite Pleasures – Live

Arriving before the doors to the upstairs venue opened, there wasn’t room in the bar to swing a cat. Just getting to the bar was no mean feat. However, the doors opened and the crowd dispersed quickly with all vying for the perfect vantage points to see the gig.

Gun – King Tuts

Gun are no strangers to playing this club sized venue having played a “secret” gig as NUG in an earlier incarnation and more recently a series of dates playing “Taking on the World”, “Gallus” and “Swagger”.

Nordoff Robbins

Tonight’s gig served both as a fundraiser for the fantastic Nordoff Robbins charity, in conjunction with the Sunday Mails 7 Nights, and also as a warm up to the bands forthcoming weekend gigs in Ayr and Glasgow Barrowland.

The job of warming up the crowd went to Alan Nimmo of King King fame who played a stirring acoustic set prompting the crowd to sing along and help him out. That wouldn’t be the last we’d see of Alan this evening.

The anticipation for Gun was palpable in the venue and when they joined the party, they didn’t disappoint.

The main event

The band looked and sounded as if they were enjoying themselves as much as the crowd throughout the night. Dante had a huge grin most of the evening and there was much banter between him and Jools.

The 15 song set pulled heavily from latest album “Favourite Pleasures” and the new songs sound even better live than they do on the album.

The opening salvo of single “She Knows” and the stomping glam rock of “Here’s Where I Am” set the pace for the night. Following up with crowd pleaser, “Don’t Say its Over”, before going back to the latest long player for the funk rock of title track “Favourite Pleasures”, “Silent Lovers” and a live airing for heart-warming new single “The Boy Who Fooled the World” evoking memories of recording your favourite songs off the radio.

Gun Live
Gun Live – King Tuts – photo courtesy of Barry Harkness
Accomplished band

This latest settled line up of Gun are an accomplished group of musicians. Jools and Tommy Gentry complement each other on guitar, supported by a more than adept rhythm section of Andy Carr on bass and Paul keeping the beat at the back. Dante is an energetic and impressive frontman and has made the job his own over the years.

Triumphant rocker “Black Heart” followed before one of my personal favourites from the album, “Tragic Heroes”.

I said we hadn’t seen the last of Alan and he joined the band onstage for a rousing version of debut single “Better Days”. The band followed this up with some more bona fide Gun classics – “Inside Out” and “Steal Your Fire”.

Malcolm Young tribute
Gun with Peter Scallan
Gun with Peter Scallan play Highway to Hell – photo courtesy of Barry Harkness

The date of the gig coincided with the funeral of AC/DC legend Malcolm Young. As a tribute to him and also AC/DC being one of the reasons Jools first picked up the guitar, Dantes place was taken by Jools ex-Blind Allez band-mate from the early 80s, Peter Scallan (also of Samson fame) for a perfect version of “Highway to Hell”. Nice tribute.

Dante goes walkabout
Dante goes walkabout – photo courtesy of Barry Harkness

A powerful rendition of “Take Me Down” followed and took us into the final songs of the evening. Fan favourite “Shame on You”, complete with a Dante crowd walkabout, and a final fun blast of Beastie Boy’s party anthem “Fight for Your Right (to Party)” and the band were gone all too soon.

The punters heading to Ayr and the Barrowland later that week were in for a major treat!

 

 

Gun – Favourite Pleasures is a welcome return for this Glasgow band

Gun

I’ve followed Gun since the beginning. Enjoying seeing live gigs with the likes of Texas and Slide when they were all starting out. Their first album, Taking on the World, was packed full of riff laden tunes. Shame on You, Money and Better Days all songs which I still play regularly.

The three bands went on to varying degrees of success. Gun scored a number of hits and changed line-ups several times over the years. One period had Little Angels Toby Jepson on vocals. I freely admit that this part of the band’s career passed me by slightly as I was never a fan of Little Angels.

However, the ever-present Gizzi brothers have kept the band going and now their settled line up as resulted in a major return to form with recent album Frantic and new release Favourite Pleasures.

The band now consists of Dante Gizzi who moved from bass to vocals. (After taking on lead vocal duties on the excellent El Presidente album). Giuliano (Jools) Gizzi on electric guitar and alongside him, Tommy Gentry. Andy Carr on bass guitar and Paul McManus on drums.

Gun – Favourite Pleasures

I’m going to be really clichéd, but Favourite Pleasures has already become exactly that for me since first listen. I was only four tracks in when I knew the album would be one I listened to often. I’m sure I will still be listening in years to come.

From the off, I’m hooked with the lush opening riffs and Dante’s distinct vocal on “She Knows”. “Here’s Where I Am” bursts into life with is bombastic glam intro thundering on throughout the song. It also reflects shades of Muse (but without the pompous singer). Then its the turn of title track “Favourite Pleasures” with its funk influenced guitars that make you want to jump up and dance, before the familiar gratifying Gun sound on all-out rock number “Take Me Down”. What a start.

Single “Silent Lovers” has an almost Madness like intro and pounding guitar and drums throughout. “Black Heart” another tune full of pulverising hooks and riffs. “Without You in My Life” has another stomping guitar line before we get “Tragic Heroes” another of the album highlights (in a highlight filled album) with thoughtful lyrics about artists with talent and tunes being shafted by record companies and money men.

Penultimate track “Go to Hell” is another bruising rocker with a straightforward message, before the tempo is brought right down for the poignant piano and vocal of “The Boy Who Fooled the World”. The song has sentiments that I’m sure many can relate to in lines like:

“…..listening out for the next big thing, got my fingers on the play and record…”

and

“There is something about a song that gets in your head, you could hear it just once and its hard to forget”.

This last quote is one that resonates with me for this album as several of the songs do just that.

ADDITIONAL TRACKS

The album ends there unless you have the expanded CD which offers up another famous Gun cover version. I’ve enjoyed these in the past. From their successful take on Cameo’s “Word Up” to their version of The Smiths “Panic” and recently charity single Hot Chocolate’s “Everyone’s a Winner”.

This time we get, quite literally, a party piece in the shape of Beastie Boys “Fight for Your Right (to Party)”. Having seen this live when they played with Backstreet Babies and Black Star Riders earlier in the year it was obvious how much fun was had by the band, it was just as much fun listening.

The additional three tracks (“20 Storeys”, “Come Undone” and “All I Really Need”) are worth shelling out on the expanded edition for with all continuing in the similar “Gun” vein as the other tracks on the album.

This album deserves to be played LOUD and if there is any justice should be a massive hit for the band.

I am more than sure the bands Christmas gig in the Barrowland Ballroom on 2nd December will be a special night for both band and “Gunners” & “Gunnettes” alike.

BUY

Go to Gun’s website to buy exclusive bundles or to find links to other ways of purchasing the album.