Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – Bilnd Allez & Gun

Blind Allez (previously Alley) formed in the early 1980s by guitarist Jools Gizzi, singer Peter Scallan and bass player Cami Morlotti, they started rehearsing and writing while still looking for additional members to complete their line up, eventually Chris Bowes was brought in on guitar with Alan Thornton on drums.

The band started to play gigs for a while with this line up but for family commitment reasons Chris left and Ian Murray came in on guitar to complete the line up.


They played gigs all over central Scotland in places such as “The Venue” (Glasgow) “The Heathery bar” (Wishaw) “The Preservation Halls” (Edinburgh) and in May 1985 they secured a spot at the Kelvingrove Rock Festival playing along side the cream of the local rock scene such as Zero Zero, Abel Ganz, Glasgow and Lyon Rampant.

Sadly this was the last time Blind Allez were to play together for 21 years as both Peter Scallan and Ian Murray moved on to other projects.
Ian went on to form the band “Five Past Midnight” and Peter joined “Chasar” before going on to work on a couple of projects with heavy rock monsters “Samson”

This was of course not the end of the band, they went on to recruit Mark Rankin and David Aitken, they changed their name to “Phobia” and continued to play live and write new material.


Eventually a management contract was secured in 1986 and they signed to A&M Records in 1987 under their new name “GUN”………The rest is history.

But now the boys are back, back to basics and planning to start gigging on a regular basis so watch this space!

Jools Gizzi …Worked with “Texas”, co founder and main songwriter of  “El Presidente” (along with his brother Dante).

Peter Scallan …Worked with “Chasar” and “Samson” moved to work in Saudi
For a few years but is now back in Glasgow and back on
Vocals again.

Ian Murray …Never stopped playing, has worked with various local acts, still
Plays with his own rock covers band “Five Past Midnight”.

Cami Morlotti …Has also stayed active in the local music scene and has
Played with a number of outfits such as “Glass Houses”
And “Usual Suspects” he happily sessions with bands on a
Regular basis and has worked with such bands as “The
Fakes”.

Alan Thornton After leaving “GUN” went on to session with “Slide”, Cliff
Moore and “Dr Chocolate” amongst others he also
Contributed to
El Presidente’s debut album appearing
On nine of the tracks
.

Info from:-

www.glasband80.co.uk

 

 

“In My Heart” – Blind Allez

……………………..and now here are GUN

Visit their website HERE

As we know from the above originally called Blind Allez then for a short time, ‘Phobia’, GUN were formed in 1987 by Giuliano Gizzi (guitar) and Cami Morlotti (bass), with Mark Rankin (vocals), Alan Thornton (drums) and David Aitken (guitar).

Signed in 1989 by A&M Records the band line-up changed after Alan, Cami and David parted company with them and new recruits Dante Gizzi, Scott Shields and Baby Stafford joined. In the studio, Jim McDermott (Kevin McDermott Orchestra, Simple Minds and The Silencers), provided drums on the albums ‘Taking on the World’ and ‘Gallus’).

Debut album Taking on the World was also released this year. Mark Rankin’s cousin Sharleen Spiteri, of fellow Scottish band Texas and ex drummer Alan Thornton contributed backing vocals to several songs on the album.

The single “Better Days” from the album made the top 40 in the UK. Gun toured the US and supported The Rolling Stones on their European Urban Jungle Tour of 1990. Tours with Bon Jovi and Def leppard followed shortly after.

“Better Days” – Gun

Alex Dickson replaced Baby Stafford before the release of their second album Gallus, of which the single “Steal Your Fire” was a minor hit. Spiteri and Thornton again contributed backing vocals to the album.

“Steal Your Fire” – Gun

Both Alex and Scott left before the release of Swagger, Giuliano taking over all guitar duties. Mark Kerr (brother of Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr) replaced Scott Shields on drums. Swagger was easily their most successful album, propelled by the success of their version of Word Up!, the single of which was a top 10 UK hit, charted well in many other territories and won an MTV award for best cover version.

The band took a break and returned three years later with yet another new drummer, Stuart Kerr (formerly of Texas), a keyboard player, Irvin Duguid, a new name (G.U.N. – the reason given at the time, was to distance the bands name from the Dunblane shooting incident and to show some sensitivety to those involved, as Mark Rankin explained in an interview for the website dotmusic.com) and a new album 0141 632 6326 produced by INXS keyboard player Andrew Farriss, which was characterised by a much lighter, poppier sound than the more rock-driven sound of their earlier works. However, the album managed to simultaneously alienate existing fans of the band and fail to gain a new audience, and sold poorly in comparison to Swagger.

The band split in 1997 and aside from a few one-off reunion gigs in 1998 (Paradise garage, Lisbon, Portugal) and 1999 (Scotland rocks for Kosovo charity event), had not been active as a unit before reforming, with Toby Jepson as guest vocalist, for a Rockradio charity gig in January 2008. Two new Gun CDs were released (The Collection and The River Sessions – a double live CD) during their hiatus, and all the previous individual members went on to other projects within the music industry. An official fan site  was set up, in agreement with the band, with previous and current members of the band participating in live web chats and contributing to the forums from time to time.

In January 2008 Joolz and Dante Gizzi played a set of GUN songs, with Toby Jepson of Little Angels guesting on vocals and Alan Thornton on drums at the ‘Garage’ in Glasgow, Scotland. The gig was organised by 96.3 Rock Radio in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity.

In April 2008, GUN announced on Rockradio that they were to reform and confirmed that Jepson will join the band on a permanent basis, replacing Mark Rankin as vocalist, who gave his blessing to the reformation and new lineup. Thornton also returned to his original position as drummer until being replaced by Gordon McNeil in October 2008. They played several festival dates before launching their own headline tour. New material has also been recorded, with a release to coincide with the 20th anniversary of their first album, Taking on the world.

In May 2008 GUN played the Rockradio Manchester launch festival. This was followed by an appearance at Rockers, Midland Street, Glasgow, Scotland on the 11th of July 2008 as a warm up for their appearance on the main stage at the 2008 T in the Park music festival, the following day, Saturday 12 July. The band have also been back into the studio to record some new material and will embark on a headlining tour.

After playing a couple of warmup gigs in 2008 at Vivas, Scarbourgh and Tackeroo, Cannock, GUN played two ‘one night only’ concerts at Shepherds Bush empire, London and The Academy, Glasgow in December. The set list for both performances consisted of their debut album ‘Taking on the world’ in its entirety plus a couple of songs from their other albums. At the Glasgow gig, original members Jools and Dante Gizzi were reunited on stage with early GUN drummer, Scott Shields. Scott replacing Gordon McNeil for one song, Better days. Scott also played drums, along with Gordon, at the aftershow warm down at Rockers, Glasgow.

2009 would have seen GUN play the Castle rock festival in Caldicot, Wales and the Indie guitar festival, Oxfordshire but both events were cancelled due to the ongoing economic downturn. They are currently on tour and have previously played venues in Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in May. The Inverness gig saw the debut of new song ‘Let your hair down’ which the band then went on to play at both subsequent venues in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. York and Wolverhampton dates were completed in June. The band then played the Derrame Rock Festival in Asturias, Northern Spain on Saturday 11 July 2009. This was their first gig in Spain for more than ten years and was well received by the Asturian audience. In September, they also played the Two Days a Week Festival, Wiesen, Austria followed in October by a return to Spain with 5 dates in Valencia, Madrid, Gijon, Bilbao and Barcelona, respectively and three consecutive dates at Club pacific rock  in Paris, France on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of the month. November sees the band play Lisbon, Portugal. The band then plays the Hard Rock Hell festival  Prestatyn, North Wales on Friday the 4th of December 2009. The Prestatyn Festival being preceded in November by an extensive UK tour.

To buy the music of Gun click HERE

To buy the book click HERE

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January 29, 2010 - Posted by | Old Music, Video | , ,

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