GUN with Guest Baz M, The Prince Albert 20/04/2023
Not sure how this event came to happen, well done to The Prince Albert. This was a seriously big band, back in the day, and so to have GUN play for an acoustic set was extraordinary – the Albert was rammed for an evening of GUN and with the Gizzi boys. These guys have supported The Stones and Simple Minds, and so I hope you see what I mean. It was a privilege to be in front of these guys.
Gun are a Scottish hard rock band from Glasgow. The band currently consists of brothers Dante Gizzi (lead vocals/bass guitar) and Giuliano “Jools” Gizzi (guitar), along with another original member Davie Aitken (guitar). On drums was Joe Lazurus, he is Iron Maidens Steve Harris nephew!
Starting in 1989 with Taking on the World, Gun have released seven studio albums, three of which have made the UK Top 20, and had eight UK Top 40 hit singles. The most successful of these was a cover of Cameo’s “Word Up!”, which reached the top 10 in 1994.
So, in a nutshell, the band disbanded in 1997, but reformed in 2008 with Little Angels singer Toby Jepson taking over lead vocals. After recording a new EP in 2009, Jepson left the band the following year, and Dante Gizzi moved from bass to become Gun’s new lead singer. With this new line-up, Gun released three more albums in the 2010s: Break the Silence (2012), Frantic (2015) and Favourite Pleasures (2017), which became their first top-20 album since 1994.
Getting a wee bit back to date, on 18 May 2022, the band announced they would be releasing a new album, The Calton Songs, on 14 October 2022. The album will feature acoustic versions of the band’s songs throughout their career. They also released a brand new single, “Backstreet Brothers”, which is featured on that new album and we heard it performed live tonight in Brighton.
This was going to be a cracker of a night, its GUN! An acoustic show? Nah – forget that! Acoustic guitars yes but plugged in and turned to 11 it was loud. Jon, on the Albert sound desk – excellent job again BTW, said “They did somewhat stretch what we might understand by “acoustic” that’s for sure.”
The guys stepped onto the stage and set about letting it all loose for about 90 minutes. Set opener was the last single release from the guys, Backstreet Brothers, and let me confirm it was a wonderful start! The crowd joined in with this one, and actually did not stop joining in until the end of the night. The crowd was a terrific mix of age groups, all with one thing in common – to enjoy GUN!
The tour opened at Dundee Beat Generator on Thursday 6th April 2023 and saw a few Scottish dates and stop over in Brighton before culminating at London’s 100 Club on Friday 5th May 2023. That’s quite a tour. The guys promised to return following the release of their new album later in the year.
The set fired along nicely. Boy! These guys are hot, even acoustic they still managed to rock the joint! Seems Like I am Losing You, Don’t Say Its Over, Never Knew What I Had and Taking On The World were served up to the appreciative sold out Brighton crowd.
Dante and his brother Jools gave us some wonderful anecdotes in their delightful accents. Made me feel a wee bit homesick actually. Most of the stories involved touring, one stop was compared to visiting The Village Of The Damned! We had sordid delicious tales of alcohol, gigs and one involving smelling salts. A word I had not heard in years was used “Blootered”. Not sure if many in the crowd had heard that word before. However, for me it was a delightful thing to hear.
Since taking over vocal duties – Dante really has stepped it up to be the frontman. The banter between the band flowed all night. It was really engaging as it effortlessly flowed between stage and those of us in the crowd. We had some great rock poses, with their acoustic guitars, and playing from Jools and Davie. Some damn fine drums from the back from Mr Lazarus. Dante was on top form with some truly searing, magnificent vocals and some thunderous bass lines. His was the only truly “electric” instrument on display.
Word Up was up! After a couple of smoother/slower numbers this one did the trick! “Everyone put your hands in the air” ordered Dante, we of course obeyed immediately. What a song! A cover of Cameos original hit, and this version has always been a barn stormer!
I have to say that this mixture of tunes and chat is a winner. They have the songs, they all get along, and those stories that only a rock n roll band have will ensure anyone who goes to see them are in for a great night.
Better Days, Inside Out and Steal Your Fire were up. A look at the clock confirmed we must be coming close to the edge of the set. Inside Out gets a shout, a great song and even performed acoustically it rides high.
Shame On You, was another guaranteed winner and used to close this wonderful night of live music. It really was a great night, with the band clearly enjoying themselves too.
GUN can sell out a show decades after those earlier years. This band are truly embedded with respect and love on the Scottish rock scene. GUN sounded totally re-energised and looked great tonight, partly down to the stunning dual guitar work from Jools, sporting a Baz M T-shirt, and Davie, both of them effortlessly peeling off riff after riff. With Dante on that black Fender and Lazurus kicking it out hard from the back, GUN are on top form. A stunning show from these guys.
I hope they keep their promise and come back soon! Well played GUN!
GUN are on the WWW here, so load up and pay them a visit!
Baz M (Baz Moore) was the guest of GUN.
UK based Artist BAZ.M “sings with the passion of a man who has been to hell and back and survived with his spirit intact.”
A rock’n’roll lifer with several UK, European and US tours under his belt, he has been working tirelessly to spread his message of hope in dark times. For many years, he has been on the periphery of mainstream success, performing alongside major acts and winning over a devoted fanbase with his dark and intense style.
Merging his influences of Punk, Electro and Heavy Guitar Rock into a wholly unique sound that only he can make. He is currently preparing the release of his debut solo Album ‘Split.’ A diverse collection of songs featuring open-hearted storytelling, cathartic emotional release, and frantic rock energy. That’s going on my list after hearing this live set tonight!
Baz took to the stage to a welcoming cheer from the crowd. He picked up his guitar and told us he was going to take us on a journey. Over his 30-minute set, he performed a wonderfully emotive set. Some slow, some fast And at times with the aid of his laptop providing a further layer of sounds, including some great rock backing to his songs. It soon becomes apparent that this is no ordinary performance. One gets the feeling Baz has taken on the school of hard knocks rock n’ roll and survived and the result was poured out for us tonight.
Baz comes across as a wise individual, and with his sounds and performance, he has struck the nail firmly and squarely into my brain! Wonderful, thought provoking and at times loud, there is energy aplenty at times but always a varied undercurrent.
I loved the rockier sounds, but for me a set highlight was his latest single, She Calls. The lyrics confront his own turmoil. With lyrics detailing his dreams and emotions of his daughter who passed away young. A song no doubt hard as hell to perform, but he did it with pure energy and emotion. Another couple of great tracks “welcome to my world” with Whipping Boy, and Animal. An almost eerie, X-Files sounding whistle for Evil Twin, another twist with a disco noir sound for this one and then the guitars smash through.
You get an overriding feeling that Baz might explode as he performs the rockier numbers as he glares and stares into the crowd. Then it cools down a bit. A wide reaching and varying set from Baz.
For me and the crowd this was a perfect introduction to BAZ.M’s world. It was indeed a helluva journey.
Keep up with Baz.M on his web page here!
Thanks to GUN, BAZ.M, The Prince Albert and SONIC PR
Words and photos by Ian Bourn
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