Pick Your Rock and Metal

Saturday, March 11, 2017

LIVE REVIEW: L.A. Guns and Stone Trigger conjuring up California sleaze in Belfast's Limelight

IT has almost become a fantasy land with its own mythos, the days on the Sunset Strip when rock bands lived a life of excess, where heady hedonism was plied along with ample supplies of drugs and booze spawning great music. But can those days ever be re-captured?

The theory that they can is what drives bands such as L.A. Guns on to the road again - not for the nihilism that lived never looking what tomorrow can bring only living for today in an addled present, but instead trying to keep the music alive: and not just, we hope, for the pay check.

Charged with kicking out the early evening jams were Stone Trigger, all movement, all action in an effort to win over a crowd divided between those down the front joining in with Tommy Rockit's antics and those at the back casting a more cynical glance.

However, one cannot doubt their verve and energy. The Dublin five-piece used every inch of the stage as they pumped up many with their take on the likes of WASP and Crue. Standout track 'Children of the Night' clearly bodes well for the future.

With new album 'G.H.O.S.T. on the way and this tour with Guns Stone Trigger could propel themselves that bit further. They certainly earned themselves some friends on this return to Belfast.

Billed as a 'Reunion' Phil Lewis and Tracii Gun have quite a history, some would say a turbulent one. However, whatever passed in the past and this was about focussing on the songs.

Whatever the rationale behind this tour the crowd could not care less. There was a celebratory mood permeating the Limelight on an unseasonably mild March (10th) night.

Being the first date of the UK tour L.A.Guns could have been forgiven if there were a few rough edges, but not were in evidence as Lewis and Tracii simply got down to their business.

Of course tracks like 'Sex Action' and the 'Bitch Is Back' were what the audience wanted to hear, but there was also an onstage dynamism that was maintained for most of the set.

Whether they can really produce the soaring heyday is a moot point, as some might compare this to earlier Belfast shows. That's not the point at all. The real issue is whether there is still a demand for the music of L.A. Guns.

The answer is a resounding yes from the majority of those in attendance. Ownership, reunion doesn't matter. Rewinding back to the glory days doesn't matter. All that matters is that people want to see L.A. Guns and are willing to pay to see.

And, they deliver what people want. Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all.

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Liam Kielt

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