L.A. Guns – The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield, 30.09.11

Sutton-in-Ashfield? No, I haven’t heard of it either, but don’t let that fool you. Sutton is home to The Diamond, which may look like an old social club from the outside, but once you get inside you can clearly see that the owners and locals are avid rock fans – the walls are covered in plenty of rock posters, ranging from Elvis Presley to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (and a bit of Robbie Williams in there too for a bit of a twist). Early on, the place is quite empty and quiet, but people begin to pile in away from the tropic temperatures outside. The end of September’s a great time for a heat wave, right?

The night’s support band (and for the rest of the UK tour I believe) is Damn Dice, a relatively new band from around London. They’re in a similar vein to the bands of today’s Swedish “glam scene” (speaking of which, they played a cover of “It’s a Miracle” by Crashdiet) and throughout their set they give out a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but in the wrong places. They seem to spend a lot of time off stage and off to who-knows-where to play a little piece here and there. Unfortunately, they weren’t in time with each other or in tune at some points. Strangely enough, Damn dice played three covers: Crashdiet’s “It’s a Miracle”, Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” and Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” (which seemed to please quite a few of the older people in the audience).

L.A. Guns took to the stage after a somewhat odd intro song, “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones, which provided a great singalong for a somewhat drunken audience. Even though it was incredibly hot in there, L.A. Guns hardly stopped, offering a good variety of songs from nearly all of their albums (every album that features Phil Lewis on lead vocals minus 2001’s Man in the Moon) – from old favourites such as “Sex Action” and “Rip n Tear” to a selection from 2005’s Tales from the Strip, “It Don’t Mean Nothing” and “Gypsy Soul”, to kick of their set. Scotty Griffin and Stacey Blades both powered through the old Kelly Nickels “Nothin’ Better to Do”, proving to be far more than “bookends” (as Phil Lewis called them).

This is the second time that I have seen this L.A. Guns live, and one of the biggest differences that I noticed was the lack of “harsh words” against the other L.A. Guns (the Tracii Guns version) this time. Perhaps there is nothing more to say on the matter? Phil was definitely feeling rather talkative and told of a tale that took place during his time with the band Girl in the early 80s. It involved graffiti, angry Grimsby bikers and a hasty getaway with the band dressed as women as a disguise – a bit mad to be true, perhaps? Who knows!

The show was already running over time-wise, but the band still came back for an encore. Both band and audience barely paid attention to the stifling heat at this point – “No Mercy” is too good a song to not sing along to!

Overall, the band put on a fantastic and memorable show – this tour is definitely not one to be missed, so catch them whilst you still can:

October 2011
5th – York – The Duchess
6th – Cardiff – Bogiez
7th – Grantham, Lincolnshire – The Playhouse
8th –  Pontypool – Hog & Hosper
9th – London – The Underworld