Saturday, 4 May, 2024 in Music

Into Live Music Review: Gun at PJ Molloys

Concert: Gun
Venue: Dunfermline, PJ Molloys
Date: 27 April 2024
Music obsessives and scholars of physics are unlikely bedfellows. Let me explain. ‘String theory’ binds the love of chords and harmony with how the fundamental constituents of the universe interact. Theoretically, particles vibrate with harmonies played on strings, chemistry is the melodies, the universe is the symphony of strings creating the cosmic music and multi-dimensional hyperspace music provides. 
What has this to do with a gig in Dunfermline by Scottish rockers Gun I hear you mutter? Everything. Live music, performed with passion and talent transports the listener into the ‘Mind of God’. 
Too pretentious and abstract? Not for an audience utterly devoted to their favourite band. Gun have created a deep symbiotic relationship with their fan base which is clearly evident as the first chord chimed throughout ‘Scotland’s Best Small Venue’ (this writer is well aware of his bias), and the crowd collectively mouth, ‘Man, Gun are back!’. And aren’t they just. 
Their new album, Hombres, currently no.1 in the Scottish hit parade and nestling comfortably in the UK top 10, is a statement of intent. 
Since signing for A&M Records in 1988, their youthful gallus vinegar may have faded over the years, however, on this evidence it’s only slightly diluted. With Hombres they’ve delivered a record that effortlessly sits amongst the best of their distinguished career. 
Taking to the small, claustrophobic stage the band were greeted like home-coming heroes. Dunfermline usually reserves such accolades for local groups such as Nazareth, Big Country and The Skids, but tonight Gun WERE ‘one of our own’. 
As the glam stomp of the opening tune reverberated around the venue, even the barmaids (temporarily) stopped serving and began jumping, hands in the air, along with the crowd. 
The sincerity and warmth was obvious from a band who clearly live to perform, something that is mirrored in their devotional fans. With Dante’s smile and enthusiasm igniting the room, it’s a blast off. 
The set showcased their new material, with a healthy selection of older tunes from their imperious back catalogue. Their trademark and acclaimed energetic modern/retro rock was littered with harmonies and hooks, and multiple bonus marks are given for the pounding glam rock glitter sprinkled liberally over tonight’s set. 
There were shades of the previously mentioned Nazareth and Thin Lizzy, as bluesy riffs merged seamlessly with rock/pop sensibilities, boogie and grooving bass lines and thunderous drum beats interspersed with razor sharp guitar solos. With Dante’s vocals reminiscent of Bolan and McCafferty, the frontman conducted the sing-a-long choruses with real swagger. 
But it’s not all ‘pedal to the metal’. As the pace slowed on Falling, a rock tune suited to a stadium which felt perfectly at home in this intimate room. Usually fans quietly groan when bands play their ‘new stuff’ as they wait impatiently for ‘the hits’. Not here. The latest songs were greeted with gleefully raised arms. And the crowd clearly wasted no time learning the lyrics, singing along with gusto, fists aloft, lungs emptied in synchronicity as this energy-fueled short set drew to a close. 
Gun willingly returned to a resounding chorus of ‘more!’ with the crowd sharing ‘inside, outside’ vocals. 
Mention has to be made of the between-song ‘banter’, quite possibly the most genuine and hilarious I’ve heard in many a year, with the crowd adding their wit to proceedings (‘anal’ as one wit remarked as Dante explained the genesis of a song, you had to be there). 
A near forty year career, highs and lows, but how many bands retain a deep connection with their core fans? Not many, and certainly not as passionately as those Gun have cultivated.
As gigs go, this was shorter than usual, but Gun proved less is more. Other bands could learn a great deal watching a fan focused intimate performance delivered with love, and lovingly reciprocated. Nine albums in, and they have released one of their best records in Hombres, with each chorus louder and more passionate than the last. 
Delivering a track list that will trigger their most ardent fans while inviting new listeners to join their ranks. Gun are rejuvenated. Shame On You if you don’t catch their power-packed performances.
For more on Gun and their new album Hombres, head to their website here



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