Gun / Searing Class And Giant-Killing Power At 100 Club

Always one of the most consistently great bands of the last three decades, Gun have again hit a rich streak, and their latest work has been some of the finest of their career. With the new album Hombres ready to be released in April, the Scots quintet hit the road for a few dates to promote it, and it was the subterranean environs of Central London’s legendry 100 Club that the masses had gathered.

Gun

100 Club, London – 29 February 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: John McMurtrie

The 100 Club was wall to wall with heaving bodies. This was a night for Gun to preach to the converted, their hard-won reputation as one of the finest rock bands in the country born from a string of acclaimed albums, anthemic songs and a commitment to entertain every last person who had bought a ticket to see them.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

There’s an honesty here, shorn of any preening or pretence, that speaks of the grit of their roots. What you get is what you see, and the confidence they have does not come from any sense of grandstanding bravado or ego, just the simple knowledge that they write damn good songs.

Here was Gun+, the addition of three backing singers adding an extra depth and thrill to the vocals that enabled the new material to really come to life.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

Usually, such extravagance would be something of an anathema for such a tight, rock ‘n’ roll outfit, but here it made perfect sense, and this expansion of their sound, whether temporary or permanent, gave everything an added layer of soul.

Where Gun are at their best, though, is cranking out the riffs and bringing stadium-sized anthems with a joyful and muscular abandon, the band always cranking up the volume to fever fitch. It’s certainly a glorious sight and one that has seen them in good stead throughout. Opener Lucky Guy, a pneumatic rocker from the new album and the throbbing Here’s Where I Am, continues the flow.

With the bulk of the set coming from Hombres, other cherry-picked classics made an appearance, too. Don’t Say It’s Over and Better Days are thrilling and show the band’s knack for writing perfect, hook-filled numbers since day one.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

With its great Gospel backing vocals, You Are What I Need has the same swagger as The Faces and The Stones, the later band this writer saw Gun open for in 1990 when they blew the headliners off the stage.

Boys Don’t Cry sees the stage flooded in red light, the atmosphere of the song soaked in the toughness and threat of life in their home city of Glasgow.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

Front and centre, Dante Gizzi has grown into his role of lead vocalist over the fourteen years since stepping up to the role. His command and ability to make even the oldest material his own is something well-earned.

As ever, by his side, brother Jools cranks out the riffs and solos like a man on a mission, his partnership with Ruaraidh Macfarlane a formidable six string attack, whilst bringing the locomotive drive Paul McManus’s drums and bass player Andy Carr add a real groove to the muscle.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

Gun has always seemed like a family, and this line-up is arguably their strongest yet, the strength of the new material and the sheer adrenaline rush of the live show, a thing of grin-inducing wonder.

A magnificent Steal Your Fire still absolutely bristles with attitude and rocket-fuelled power, the effect ramping up perfectly to the big finish of Shame that saw every last drop of energy spent by band and audience.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie

Coaxed back for an unplanned encore, the much-loved Inside Outside tore out the speakers in a suitably tumultuous end of the evening that proved once and for all that Gun have it all.

With Hombres opening the next chapter to their story, now is the time to celebrate, their class and giant-killing power displayed once more in all its glory.

It’s always a better day with Gun.

Gun - 100 Club, London - 29 February 2024
Gun – 100 Club, London – 29 February 2024. Photo: John McMurtrie
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