L.A. GUNS (Live)

At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., September 2, 2018

L.A. GUNS (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., September 2, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis may never have crossed paths if things had turned out differently. Guns, famously the “Guns” of Guns N’ Roses for a short while before Slash entered the fray and Lewis, lead singer in Girl, a band also including future Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, looked destined for big things. Well, things didn’t quite work out according to plan but as one door closes another opens as they say. Guns and Lewis teamed up in L.A. Guns, a band Guns had put on hold after meeting up with Axl Rose.

With a couple of Gold albums and a Platinum seller in their classic Cocked and Loaded album, together with a handful of hit singles things didn’t turn out too badly for Guns and Lewis although their paths did diverge again for nigh on 15 years when bizarrely two versions of L.A. Guns were on the road simultaneously only for bridges to be built as the pair merged bands in 2016 recording the critically acclaimed The Missing Peace in the process.

Incredibly this was the first time in over 30 years that L.A Guns with both Guns and Lewis have appeared in Newcastle and as one of the foremost purveyors of Sleaze Metal speared headed by the likes of Mötley Crüe and Ratt, it was a rare opportunity not to miss.

With new album The Missing Peace garnering rave reviews across the board it was no surprise that the heads down bruiser The Devil Made Me Do It opened the show before dipping right back to their 1988 debut for Electric Gypsy and No Mercy.

The dirty, sleazed up riff of Sex Action was pure Sunset Strip while The Flood’s The Fault Of The Rain from their latest album oozed with a Bluesy class with an impassioned performance by Lewis that somehow brought local heroes The Animals to mind.

For some reason Guns has never really featured in top guitarists lists but on this performance he damned well should be. His style, technique, riffage and soloing were exemplary and showed real quality on the vintage Blues of Red House and again on Jelly Jam where he traded solos withy support act Jared James Nichols.

Obviously Cocked and Loaded featured heavily with the Aerosmith groove of Malaria, Never Enough and the glammed up, I Wanna Be Your Man strutting like a pouting peacock before the lighter waving, The Ballad Of Jayne and gang vocal fuelled Rip and Tear brought the evening to a suitably sleazy end.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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