London Islington Academy
Reconsituted Sunset Strip mainstays hit The Smoke.
“This song is dedicated to a very special lady,” L.A. Guns wailer Phil Lewis says with a smirk. “I don’t know who she is yet. This is I Want To Be
Your Man. [Pause] Oh, hang on, we’re going to play a different song. Fuck it.”
That’s L.A. Guns in a nutshell: forever snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But then ragged charm is part of L.A. Guns’ appeal. This latest iteration of the band features Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns back together for the first time in years, and what they lack in polish they make up for in matey bonhomie and general let’s-have-a-good-time vibes.
The black-clad Lewis, back on home turf here in London, has had a drink or seven, but on Sex Action and the eternally brilliant goth-glam death anthem
One More Reason he’s in finer voice than he was when they first came out 30 years ago. Even better, newer tunes Speed and The Devil Made Me Do It hold their own against the songs that made this band Hollywood A-listers in the first place. Well, C-listers, anyway.
In the debit column: no one comes to an L.A. Guns show to watch them play a blues jam with support act Jared James Nicholls; and no one – especially Tracii Guns – should play a guitar with a violin bow in 2018. But they look like they’re enjoying themselves. As Phil Lewis would say: fuck it.