Gun – Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre – 3rd December 2022 Live Review

Gun – Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre – 3rd December 2022 Live Review

8th December 2022 0 By George Simpson

There was certainly something quite special about tonight as Scottish rockers Gun unplugged the guitars and treated us to a very entertaining night of songs and stories. In the middle of a full-blown electric tour, they played this one-off acoustic show, and it was certainly a pleasure to be present tonight. 

if you don’t know, Barnoldswick is a lovely little town in Lancashire, and the Music and Arts Centre is a fantastic, intimate venue that I will definitely be returning to in the near future. Holding approx 70 people, with the majority of those seated, you really do feel ‘as one with the band’ as they say. Indeed, as vocalist Dante Gizzi put it, “This is like playing for my family in the hoose (He’s Scottish if you don’t know)” 

Due to illness, they perform tonight as a four-piece without a drummer, but sometimes less is more. The setlist tonight is taken almost entirely from their first three albums. Whilst, as a long-term follower of the band it would’ve been nice to hear some deeper cuts or more recent material, it was still great to hear these songs in stripped-back form. The recent album, The Calton Songs, showcased this approach, and tonight certainly follows suit. 

That said, the show starts with the only album track only song of the night, Seems Like I’m Losing You, from 1994’s Swagger. What’s immediately obvious is that these guys are as good vocally as they are musical. There is no hiding place in this sort of setting, but they really don’t need one. They follow that with a couple of my favorites by them, Money, and Don’t Say It’s Over. The former sounds a lot more bluesy in this incarnation. Whilst the latter gets everyone singing along with its infectious chorus. 

In addition to them sticking to their tried and tested set, we also get Higher Ground tonight. It’s a song that isn’t featured in the set for the rest of the tour. Much like on the new album, it comes alive in this stripped-back format. Its uplifting, gospel feel comes to the fore so much more than on the version of 1992’s Gallus album. After that, the pace picked up with the most recent track of the night, Backstreet Brothers. As with most of the songs tonight, it finds everyone singing along, as it tells a nostalgic tale of the Brothers Gizzi growing up.


From there on in, we get hit after hit to the end of the night. With songs as strong as Better Days, Steal Your Fire and Shame On You, you’re always going to be onto a guaranteed winner as both a band and audience. Each one gets a great reception and is heartily sung along to. However, much like on The Calton Songs album, the track that really comes alive in this setting is Inside Out. It’s undoubtedly the sign of a great song when it can be stripped back, and still, sound this good. 

Having been around for more than thirty years now, they are clearly a band with a tale or two to tell. Throughout the night, there was a lot of back-and-forth banter with the audience, such was the relaxed atmosphere. They also treated us to funny anecdotes about some of the songs too. The funniest of which involved a very drunk Gun at the 1994 MTV Awards. This was the night when Word Up  beat Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet to cover version of the year. To cut a long story short, there followed a very amusing tale of urinating on the Brandenburg Gate, a drunkenly lost award trophy, and being violently sick in a toilet whilst John Deacon of Queen bangs impatiently on the cubicle door. 

Who knows, the mixture of tunes and chat may open a new door for them. They have the songs, bonhomie, and stories to potentially pull off further nights like these with ease. It really was a great night, with the band clearly enjoying themselves too. Here’s hoping they do this again soon! 


1- Seems Like I’m Losing You

2 – Money (Everybody Loves Her)

3 – Don’t Say It’s Over 

4 – Higher Ground

5 – Backstreet Brothers 

6 – Taking On The World

7 – Better Days

8 – Inside Out

9 – Steal Your Fire

10 – Word Up

11 – Shame On You

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