L.A Guns @ JBs, Dudley, UK 24/2/04

Back in his native UK with yet another new motley band in tow and a new album in the works Phil Lewis is greeted with a rapturous welcome in the cock-rock loving Midlands. In return the famously temperamental rocker seems in good humor tonight and treats the sizable turnout to a lengthy and lively set.
Opening with ‘Over The Edge’ from ‘Hollywood Vampires’ the band set the tone for the evening, clad in black leathers and iron crosses for this tour and looking mean and moody they showcase largely the darker side of their repertoire tonight. Early tracks like ‘Electric Gypsy’ and ballad ‘Crystal Eyes’ feature heavily alongside newer ‘Waking the Dead’ material, while punkier tracks like ‘Some Lie 4 Love’ and ‘One More Reason’ punctuate the shadowy mood of the set.
A new addition since last April’s ‘Waking The Dead’ tour is a smattering of cover version, taken from a forthcoming covers album, these include ‘A Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Search And Destroy’. Even after the torment of a 10 minute long drum solo from original skin-basher returned to the fold, Steve Riley it seems fans can’t get enough of the Guns, or at least Phil assumes either with great egotism, or typically perceptive humor, this is so. “So”, he says at the end of the planned set “this is a the bit where we go off stage and you chant ‘L.A Guns!’. Well I can’t be bothered with that, I’ll stay here, you chant and we might do a few more numbers”. “Ballad of Jayne” someone shouts. “Oh of course”, Phil replies “We don’t get paid unless we do that one”, and accordingly launches into the classic track.
Apparently only improving with age L.A Guns are as compelling an act as ever, returning for no less than 5 encores at the sold-out London show the following night, and even then halted only at the promoters discretion. One of the few old cock-rock groups still to have any relevance today. /Alison.

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