The Top Seven Albums of 2015

It’s December, it’s the end of the year, and to quote Bruce Buffer, it’s TIME! Time for the top seven records released this year!

Well, hello.

It’s December, it’s the end of the year, and to quote Bruce Buffer, it’s TIME! Time once again for you to have to suffer my opinion of this year’s music – it’s time for my top seven albums of 2015! And as usual, I’ll answer the “Why only seven?” question with the answer “Why not?”

Continue reading “The Top Seven Albums of 2015”

The Top Seven Albums of 2012

Well, hello. It’s that time again, where I pontificate – good word, huh? – on my favourite records of the year. Hardly anyone reads it, but it makes me feel better. And if one person listens to something and likes it? All good.

I don’t think it’s been a stellar year for music this year, I found myself listening to more and more podcasts and classic, older records than anything else. I wouldn’t say the music scene is stagnant, though. The album does seem to have less importance than it did. Maybe I’m just getting old…

Continue reading “The Top Seven Albums of 2012”

Gun kill Pop!

Gun return with a five track EP, Popkiller – read the review here!

Gun – Popkiller

Gun's 'Popkiller'
Guns don't kill pop... well this one does.

Having just saw them live in Glasgow – review HERE – just had to weigh in with my opinions on the “comeback” mini album Popkiller.

Let Your Hair Down was first aired earlier this year on the mini tour, and I was fortunate enough to hear it during the Edinburgh gig. Loved it at the time, and it’s not overstayed it’s welcome. An ideal pick for a first single release – poppy, quirky, hooky with a chorus more infectious than swine flu, this is a great introduction to the ‘New’ Gun.

Second track Seraphina was also aired at the Glasgow gig, and was a wise choice for me. Huge riffs set this out as perhaps closest to the older Gun material, but that’s by no means a bad thing. The keyboards add an extra layer of depth to the track, and it swirls and climbs into your brain and won’t get out. This was my favourite live track, but on record, it’s a totally different beast – again, by no means a bad thing. Reminiscent slightly of modern rock bands like The Killers?

Popkiller is not only the title track of the EP, but for me is the out and out highlight. I will stick my neck out and say that I don’t think I have heard a song as good as this from anyone all year. The intro is very Roxy Music, but the riff that kicks in after dismisses any such comparisons, and is solid gold. The chorus on this is a thing a beauty, the backing vocals complimenting Toby’s voice. Call me a geek, but I already have the “pop… pop… popkiller” refrain as my text alert on my phone.

Ripping Up The Letters has the uneviable task of following that monster, and does it manfully. The vocal delivery on this is perhaps the closest to Toby’s Little Angels days, but that matters not a jot – this is a finely crafted tale of love gone wrong with a memorable chorus that rattles round your conscience like an old friend turning up on your doorstep out of the blue.

The Only concludes this five track demonstration of what road Gun are travelling on; Gun could be forgiven for easing up and taking a short cut, but this is anything but. A driving guitar hook and strong drumming power this track forward. The vocals and music again dovetail beautifully, and this is another quality piece of songwriting that bodes well for the future of the band. Snappier, poppier, punkier and dare I say it, younger sounding than anything else on the EP, it’s a fitting way to close out the record.

If this five track offering is anything to go by, then the future looks bright for Gun. As a live band, they already cut the mustard – but with these tracks, Gun have shown they have more to offer and more yet to come in an already glittering career.

Gun on target at the ABC

So here we are, the final show of the UK tour, and what by all accounts has been a triumphant return to the UK scene. Gun, back from the dead like a rock n’ roll lazarus…


Live @ The O2 ABC, Glasgow
December 2nd 2009

So here we are, the final show of the UK tour, and what by all accounts has been a triumphant return to the UK scene. Gun, back from the dead like a rock n’ roll lazarus have been boosted by new drummer Gordon McNeill and veteran (sorry!) vocalist Toby Jepson, once of Little Angels, taking over the mic duties, with brothers Gizzi, Jools and Dante, remaining as the heart and soul of the band on guitar and bass respectively

With the crowd buzzing from excellent support slots by Riot Noise, and especially New Device, Gun rumbled on to stage to the strains of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s classic take on Delilah… and proceeded to blow the roof off the ABC. In front of a home town crowd, every note, every chord and every huge chorus was greeted like a long lost cousin.

Material from the new EP such as Seraphina, Let Your Hair Down and title track Popkiller fitted in seamlessly with the classics, showing enough to demonstrate that this wasn’t just a nostalgia tour, that the new Gun has legs and will travel. For all the new songs showed a poppier edge than some of the older material, there was no return to the dreaded 0141 sound – though even that album’s Crazy You was revived, dusted down and given a rockier take.

The crowd ate up the setlist, cleverly constructed to include the newer material alongside classics, and fan favourite album tracks. Memorable moments on the night being a masterful Steal Your Fire, a stomping Inside Out that included a cover of Police classic So Lonely, and bass player Dante taking over as vocalist on Something Worthwhile sent the already exciteable crowd into rapture – a trick Dante would later reprise in the encore to cover Fight For Your Right (To Party) by the Beastie Boys.

As you’d expect, tracks from the classic debut album were highlights of the night – Better Days and Shame On You in particular being as close to rock n’ roll perfection as I’ve heard in a long time. Gun are a band with one eye on the future, but a firm appreciation for their past, treating those songs with all the respect they deserve.

The new line up gets better and better every time they take to the stage, Toby Jepson in particular laying to rest any doubts that he couldn’t step into the considerable shoes of Mark Rankin. Jools’ guitar work and enthusiasm for the show were incredible at times, and Dante’s powerful bass playing dovetailed perfectly with Gordon’s intense drumming.

When the final strains of Word Up echoed out of the speaker system, and a sweat soaked Gun taking in the applause of an enthusiastic crowd, you realised just what a powerhouse Gun were, and on this evidence, can be again.