[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From Roadburn’s presentation of Gentleman’s Pistols”]Gentlemans Pistols bring with them the promise of a good old fashioned Yorkshire knees up; a party long into the night, with the drink free-flowing and the riffs a-plenty. The raucous four piece have been packing out sweaty venues around Europe for years now, honing their rock’n’roll swagger into a not-to-be-missed, electrifying live performance.[/pullquote]
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At first glance Gentleman’s Pistols might sound like a pretty odd band for Roadburn (notwithstanding that odd is a pretty positive word with regards to this festival, in the first place). But listening to their albums, it’s easy to hear, that they’ve definitely got both soul and spirit.
You might very well think that their main claim-to-fame is the appearance of mr. Bill Steer (of Carcass fame) – and that would be grossly unfair.You might also simply classify them as part of the ongoing retro-rock-revival, but that would be a tad to easy, and equally unfair.
Sure, there are references pointing back to Cream and Hendrix, but their aim seems to actually be quite a different one than most other newer bands finding inspiration in the 60s and 70s. There’s some Status Quo in there, some Sweet in the mix, even from time to time some Stones. And on top of that (even though James Atkinson denies any direct inspiration from them) you can hear what might be called the nerve, or the essense, that defined what Black Sabbath were doing on their classic 70s album.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”James Atkinson, from an interview with Antihero Magazine”]My early influences were pretty much my parents’ record collection. The Beatles, The Hollies, Motown records and stuff like that. I first wanted to play in a band when I heard Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses though, that record changed everything for me. I’ve always been inspired by lots of different styles of music, but mainly rock and soul. I probably started experimenting with my own stuff when I was about 13 using the two tape recorders trick to overdub yourself. That said, I was probably about 18 before I started writing any music that I was remotely happy with.[/pullquote]
All of that combined with what seems like a genuine wish to put their own mark upon the music, is what makes Gentleman’s Pistols stand out among the crowd.
It’s still the same influences, of course, but an album like Hustler’s Row from 2015 is like a breath of fresh air exploding into the retro-scene.
Part of the reason is the fact, that Gentleman’s Pistols are better at capturing that hummable tune that’s easily remembered and sticks for quite some time after listening. But there are also other factors, like the interplay between bass and guitar – from the 80s onward, the bass in heavy music seems most of the time to have been buried, relegated to the deep, murky wastelands of deep-down-in-the-mix. Not so in the retro-wave – and definitely not so with Gentleman’s Pistols, who really excel in the way everything is arranged and fit together. Also, the guitar co-operation of Atkinson and Steer is really top-notch, and the soloing is definitely not done for musical masturbation, bringing out the best in the music and generally accenting the moods and emotions, showing great musical maturity.
This is the cream of the crop, with regards to digging deep into the pockets of 70s music and producing highly listenable heavy rock’n’roll. And they will be a great interlude between all the doom and gloom that stands high on my “must see” list at Roadburn 2016.
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We’re thrilled to have the retro-infused four piece bring their melodic grooves to Roadburn, on Sunday April 17, 2016. Gentlemen, hustlers – and everybody in between – are more than welcome.
|At Her Majesty's Pleasure||2011 (LP)|
|Hustler's Row||2015 (LP)|
Interview quote from Antihero Magazine