1st July 2024 0 By Jon Deaux

Monday, 1st July 2024 – marks the 30th anniversary of iconic single “Word Up!” by Scottish rock stalwarts GUN. Originally released way back in 1994, this rocked-up remake of Cameo‘s 1986 Top 5 smash hit not only became GUN’s biggest hit but also won them their first-ever MTV Europe Music Award (EMA) in Berlin.


In what can only be described as a fascinating musical conundrum, GUN – a band comprised of Italiano-Glaswegians – achieved monumental success with their version of “Word Up!” This song was originally made famous by Cameo, an American funk group known for their flamboyant frontman.


Listen to GUN‘s “Word Up!” on Spotify here.


GUN‘s rendition of “Word Up!” was far from a novelty. By the time they recorded it for their aptly named 1994 album Swagger, GUN had already released two albums, Taking On The World (1989) and Gallus (1992), and had achieved eight self-penned Top 75 singles. The idea of infusing rock guitars into “Word Up!” started as a bit of fun in their rehearsal room.


As much as we loved bands like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, and UFO, we also appreciated some dance music,” says guitarist Giuliano ‘Jools’ Gizzi. “Because it was such a big hit for Cameo, it had been all over the radio. In a dance club, it just sounded unbelievable.”


What began as an experiment quickly turned into a powerful rock anthem. The band, at that time completed by bassist Dante Gizzi and drummer Mark Kerr (brother of Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr), reworked the track with heavier guitar chords giving it a completely new feel. “It started as a good laugh, but we made the song our own. And as the album’s single, it really did the business for us,” Jools recalls.


The song’s dancefloor patois, dissing ‘sucker DJs who think [they’re] fly,’ resonated deeply with GUN. “We were into some rap music – as we all were,” says Jools. “We were fans of Prince and Parliament, too, so the fact that the words were a little bit unusual didn’t even register with us. The fans would shout them right back at us everywhere we went, so they had no problem with it either!”

Still as true now as back then, a night out with GUN is like no other, The Spectator praising it as “terrific fun.” The group have also just announced that special guests on their 10-date UK headline tour in December will be hotly tipped rockers KIRA MAC and COLLATERAL.


Fans should note that the dates for the shows in Southampton and Galashiels have had to be adjusted, all tickets remain valid. For tickets and more info head to


The current lineup, featuring original members Dante Gizzi (Vocals) and Giuliano “Jools” Gizzi (Guitar), along with Paul McManus (Drums), Andy Carr (Bass), and Ruaraidh “Roo” Macfarlane (Guitar), promises an unforgettable live experience that blends iconic tracks with fresh hits from their latest chart-busting album, Hombres. The record soared straight to #10 in the UK Official Chart on release, the group’s highest position & first Top 10 since the aforementioned 1994 LP, Swagger.


Jools expresses his excitement about the tour, enthusing, “We are beyond excited to take ‘Hombres’ on the road and share it live with our fans. This album has been a labor of love, and the response so far has been incredible. We promise to bring a show full of energy, new music, and the classic hits everyone loves. See you in December!”


Join GUN at:

Sun 24th Nov – GALASHIELS Mac Arts

Sun 1st Dec – SOUTHAMPTON The Brook 

Wed 4th Dec – LONDON Scala 

Thu 5th Dec – WOLVERHAMPTON KK’s Steel Mill

Fri 6th Dec – MANCHESTER Academy 2

Sat 7th Dec – BRISTOL SWX

Tue 10th Dec – LEEDS Brudenell 

Wed 11th Dec – NEWCASTLE Wylam Brewery

Thu 12th Dec – ABERDEEN Lemon Tree

Sat 14th Dec – GLASGOW Barrowlands

Hombres track list

Standard edition

1. All Fired Up

2. Boys Don’t Cry

3. Take Me Back Home

4. Fake Life

5. Falling

6. You Are What I Need

7. Never Enough

8. Don’t Hide Your Fears Tonight

9. Lucky Guy

10. A Shift In Time

Deluxe edition

11. Coming Back To You

12. Wrong To Be Right

13. Pride

Find GUN Online

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