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L.A. GUNS, The Underworld, Camden
Sunday 9 Oct 2011
third decade (and who knows how many different incarnations) the Phil
Lewis version of the L.A. Guns hit town on Sunday, headlining The
Underworld in Camden. It's a sad reflection of their weakening pulling
power that the only London date on a minor tour of Europe should be at
this dank and dark hell-hole of a venue.
band to take the stage tonight were the Gypsy Pistoleros, who,
for the uninitiated, are a mix of sleaze rock and Spanish flamenco
delivered in a Brummie accent.
brought a reasonable number of fans from the Midlands, and their
crowd-pleasing opener Bandido got the venue rocking nicely.
fourth song, Pistolero, frontman Lee announced a new record deal, one of
whose clauses insisted that the band not perform live when drunk...
"Shit, I've never heard us play sober!".
poor sound quality was in no small part due to the lack of technical
ability of the venue's sound engineer (a recurring problem throughout
the night) rather than lack of drink on the band's part.
seen them at The Bulldog Bash in 2010, I can safely say that the venue
on Sunday did them a great disservice.
Set List: Bandido, As Close As You'll Ever Be, Hotel De La Muerte,
Pistolero, Livin' Down With The Gypsies, Livin' La Vida Loca, Para
Siempre and Ay Que Dolor
Next up were
Seattle based glam rockers Prophets of Addiction. If old
fashioned 1980s down 'n' dirty sleaze glam is what you want, the
Prophets will deliver, with aplomb.
In some ways
they reminded me of the early years of Hanoi Rocks, while singer Lesli
Sanders (formerly with Pretty Boy Floyd) can at times sound like Axl
of the songs in their set can be found on their debut album "Babylon
Boulevard" a punk metal version of Maggie May was thrown in for good
their mix of metal power ballads (Self Portrait, Where Are You Now) punk
(Rejection) and sleaze glam (Babylon Boulevard, Alter of Altercation,
Kick It In, etc) entertained the gathering crowd.
Set List: Babylon Boulevard, Rejection, Alter of Altercation, Self
Portrait, Kick It In, Trigger, Still Alive, Maggie May, Where Are You
Now, Hang Me Up
warm up act of the evening were Damn Dice, formed at the
beginning of this year, but whose line up was only completed some four
cultural melting pot that it is, this London based band consists of
French brothers Wallis (guitar) and Fransoa (drums) who are joined by
Italian Marco (bass) and our very own Bobby Valentine (vocals) to create
a high-energy sleazy hard rock sound.
already supported tribute band Guns 2 Roses, it was perhaps fitting that
they should support the L.A. Guns on the European part of the tour.
certainly had their supporters in the crowd, I personally felt they were
trying just too hard to be another Guns 'n Roses. Maybe, given time,
they will find their own sound, but most of their current songs lacked
depth and originality.
with their own creations, we were also treated to a few covers,
including Bon Jovi's You Give Love A Bad Name, helped with a couple of
dancers on stage to give us all a flavour of what it must have been like
to have been at the Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Strip in the heyday of
bands such as Motley Crue, L.A. Guns and Whitesnake.
band will be worth catching again once they've been together a little
longer, and at a time when they're not coming to the end of what has
been, for them, an exhausting few weeks.
Set List: All Night Long, One More, Taking Over, It's a Miracle, Tears
in The Night, You Give Love A Bad Name, In Your Eyes, Spin Me Round and
Roll The Dice
like the evil child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and hiding
various ladies' knickers inside his long leather coat, Phil Lewis
marches on stage and takes control.
So, just who
are the real L.A. Guns? We've all seen Spinal Tap, but had the
film makers based the story on the L.A. Guns it would have been thrown
out as being too unbelievable... band member leaves, changes name and
re-joins, leaves again to form bigger band while others return, split
up, form two different bands with the same name, launch albums and tour
Well, so it
is with The L.A. Guns. Also touring Europe earlier this year were Tracii
Gun's version of the L.A. Guns, who received mixed reviews including a
very poor one from The Scotsman when they played The Classic Grand.
Lewis version on view tonight, however, was a different kettle of fish.
Looking like the evil child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and
hiding various ladies' knickers inside his long leather coat, Phil Lewis
marches on stage and takes control.
with It Don't Mean Nothing and Gypsy Soul from "Tales from the Strip",
the set really took off with Sex Action and the delightfully raw Never
With a line
up consisting of Stacey Blades (Guitar), Scott Griffin (Bass) and Steve
Riley (Drums) this version of the Guns (the best in my opinion) ripped
through song after delightful song from the first three albums, "L.A.
Guns", "Cocked & Loaded" and "Hollywood Vampires" before finishing off
with Electric Gypsy, Ballad of Jayne and Rip and Tear.
Set List: It Don't Mean Nothin, Gypsy Soul, Sex Action, Never Enough,
Over The Edge, I Wanna be Your Man, Vampire, My Koo Ka Choo, Sleazy Come
Easy Go, Showdown, Hellraisers Ball, Electric Gypsy, Ballad of Jayne and
Rip and Tear
As for The Underworld itself, it continues, indeed flies the flag for
that Camden tradition of "I don't give a fuck"... disgusting toilets
that are maybe cleaned once a year, surly staff, over-priced drinks,
poor sound quality and a lighting rig that merely needs adjusting so
that it lights the stage and not the walls or the floor just in front of
photos by Bob Singleton
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