Gun, The Wild Lies & Renegade & Retrospect @ Academy 3

Gun, The Wild Lies & Renegade & Retrospect @ Academy 3

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Early arrivals to Manchester's Academy 3 are treated to tonight a fine display from young power trio Renegade & Retrospect. Culling influences from late 60’s hard rock and infusing their sound with a modern twist the hometown band perform a set of hip swaying, head bobbing majesty that belies their youth. Already a tight unit, they inject an early enthusiasm into the evening’s proceedings. A blazing cover of Hendrix classic Fire goes down particularly well and a bruising jam through the Zeps’ Moby Dick is tagged on the end of their own composition, Continuity. When you work hard all week, everyone needs a little R’n’R.

 

Next to tread the boards are London rockers The Wild Lies. The bastard sons of early Def Leppard and Appetite era Guns and Roses they hit the ground running as if born to do this. Vocalist Matthew James is a bona fide rock star. He throws all the right shapes and engages the crowd head on while the band essentially get their heads down and rock ‘n’ roll everyone into oblivion. Lead guitarist Zak Muller is a whirling dervish and Luke Wilson smashes seven shades out of the drum kit. They have the riffs and they have the presence to become future stadium botherers. Definitely ones to watch.

 

Having been moved from Academy 2 to the more cosy surroundings upstairs, there is still a party atmosphere infiltrating the crowd as Gun take the stage to a hero’s welcome. The Glaswegians, whose 1989 debut Taking on the World was featured in Classic Rock’s list of top 150 debut albums, have a new album out called Frantic and tonight they open with Let it Shine from that release. It’s a feel-good, pop rock number that sounds a little weak after the ringing in the ears left by the previous bands but it gets the ball rolling nicely.

Don’t Say It’s Over, from 94’s hit spewing Swagger LP follows and signals the first of many sing-a-longs of the night. Better Days from their debut kicks in next and the night now belongs to Gun. Bassist turned vocalist Dante is visibly moved by the audience and the whole gig has a celebratory feel. In fact the whole band work hard tonight to deliver their rock and roll anthems to the people and the sweat dripping from guitarist, and Dante’s brother, Jools Gizzi’s peaked cap cannot lie.

New songs like Hold Your Head Up, not to be confused with the Argent hit of the same name, stand admirably shoulder to shoulder with the classics and hit single Inside Out cleverly gives way to a sing-song of The Police hit So Lonely. The famous cover of Cameo’s 80’s classic Word Up is a must have in the set and the audience reaction doesn't disappoint. The whole evening is a timely reminder of just how many catchy tunes are in Gun’s arsenal and it’s a faultless and endearing performance from a gang of genuine, skilled musicians who look happy to be there entertaining us.

For some, Gun may be a guilty pleasure but for tonight’s performance they certainly weren't firing blanks.

Words: Paul Cooke | Photos: Frederick Apps

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ Holmfirth Picture Dome

Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ Holmfirth Picture Dome

Gallery: Thunder @ Leeds Arena

Gallery: Thunder @ Leeds Arena