The Calton Songs Tour – 2022’ found its way to the Queens Hall, Nuneaton on a cold Friday night, although once inside the venue the layers could come off as there was a decent crowd in spreading that body warmth around!
“The Calton Songs” is the title of Scottish melodic rockers GUN’s new album released in October, containing semi-acoustic re-workings of their classic songs amongst others, ensuring it was going to be a bit of a nostalgia fest.
First onto the boards tonight though we get the classic rock stylings of Wolverhampton’s GIN ANNIE, the main tour support. The band are about to hit the studio to record their sophomore studio album after 2021’s stop gap “Live, Locked Down And Loaded” album and their superb 2019 debut “100% Proof”, so look out for that! Tonight, though as support its a shorter set than usual but that just means a premium selection of their tunes including new song “Rain” alongside favourites “Devil In Me”, “Dying To Live Again” and “Jealousy” to name but three, with the band going down a storm!
But tonight, is a night for GUN, who originally formed as far back as 1987 and after three well received albums in “Taking On The World” (1989), “Gallus” (1992) and “Swagger” (1994), they changed their name to G.U.N and released the poor “0141 632 6326” album in 1997 which led to them splitting-up the same year. However, by 2008 they were back with a revised line-up including Toby Jepson (Little Angels/Wayward Sons) on vocals. This line-up lasted ‘til 2010 when bassist Dante Gizzi took over vocal duties where he remains, with the band releasing 4 studio albums in that time and again climbing to their previous high in terms of popularity.
Tonight, they enter to a Christmas-flavored intro tape and immediately play their last two singles “Backstreet Boys” and “Coming Home”, the latter originally on their debut album before being re-vamped for their latest. Another single “Seems Like I’m Losing You” sees founder member (and Rick Nielsen/Cheap Trick lookalike) and lead guitarist Giuliano ‘Jools’ Gizzi, firing-up a bit of crowd banter alongside brother Dante. “Here’s Where I Am” is the track that lights the touchpaper though with the crowd/band indulging in a classic call/response chorus singalong.
The “Swagger” album makes its presence felt with a banging 1-2 of the bands’ biggest singles, upbeat ballad “Don’t Say It’s Over” (#19) and their ‘marmite’ version of Cameo’s “Word Up!” (#8).
A bit of an on-stage break sees the band taking on liquid, re-tuning and what-not before “Money To Burn” and a brilliant “Watching The World Go By” arrive via the “Gallus” album. Now if the touchpaper had been lit before, it exploded with the band playing their first three singles, “Money (Everybody Loves Her)”, “Better Days” and “Inside Out”, before closing the show with another hit in 1992’s “Steal Your Fire” (#24) leaving everyone a-panting for more.
The first encore sees the Gizzi brothers alone with a semi-acoustic intro to first album single “Taking On The World” before they’re joined by the rest of the band, Paul McManus (drums), Andy Carr (bass) and stand-in guitarist Dave Aitken, another original member of the band, who take the song to its crescendo.
The last of the first album singles “Shame On You” is another winner as the band end the party with a blast through the Beastie Boys ”(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”, which possibly sums the band up a treat. One of the best nights since the last one and a great intro to Christmas 2022.
DERRICK ‘BISON’ MOORE
Kevin Hargrave Photography.
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