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Originally called Blind Allez then for a short time, 'Phobia', GUN were formed in 1987 by Giuliano Gizzi (guitar), Cami Morlotti (bass), Mark Rankin (vocals), Al Thornton (drums) and David Aitken (guitar). Signed in 1989 by A&M Records, they worked on new material until the departure of Al, Cami and David. The band then recruited Giuliano's brother Dante (bass), Scott Shields (drums) and Baby Stafford (guitar) and worked towards recording their first album, Taking On The World. Mark Rankin's cousin Sharleen Spiteri, of fellow Scottish band Texas, along with former member Al Thornton, contributed backing vocals to several songs on the album. The single "Better Days" from the album made the top 40 in the UK. Gun toured the US and supported The Rolling Stones on their European Urban Jungle Tour of 1990.
Alex Dickson replaced Baby Stafford before the release of their second album, Gallus, from which the single "Steal Your Fire" was a minor hit. Spiteri and Thornton again contributed backing vocals to the album.
Both Alex and Scott left before the release of Swagger, Giuliano taking over all guitar duties, and Mark Kerr (brother of Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr) replacing Scott. Swagger was easily their most successful album, propelled by the success of their version of Word Up!, the single of which was a top 10 UK hit and charted well in many other territories as well.
The band took a break and returned three years later with yet another new drummer, Stuart Kerr (formerly of Texas), a keyboard player, Irvin Duguid, a new name (G.U.N.), and a new album 0141 632 6326 produced by INXS keyboard player Andrew Farriss, which was characterised by a much lighter, poppier sound than the more rock-driven sound of their earlier works. However, the album managed to simultaneously alienate existing fans of the band and fail to gain a new audience, and sold poorly in comparison to Swagger.
The band split in 1997 and aside from a few one-off reunion gigs in 1998 and 1999, had not been active as a unit before reforming, with Toby Jepson as guest vocalist, for a Rockradio charity gig in January 2008. Two new Gun CDs were released (The Collection and The River Sessions - a double live CD) during their hiatus, and all the previous individual members went on to other projects within the music industry. A fan site was set up with previous and current members of the band participating in live web chats and contributing to the forums from time to time.
The Story So Far.... January 2008 saw original GUN members, Giuliano and Dante Gizzi collaborating with former Little Angels singer, Toby Jepson, to perform as GUN for the first time in ten years. This one-off live show in aid of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, was organised by Glasgow's 96.3 Rock Radio, and was held at the infamous Garage venue, the scene of GUN's first ever headlining show back in 1989. The response to this momentous occasion was so intense that a decision was quickly made to re-invent GUN for the new millennium, and to make a permanent return to the music business with a new outlook and new material. The band announced their reformation, with Jepson on board permanently as the new singer (replacing Mark Rankin, who had given his blessing to the reformation, and new line-up), live on the Tom Russell Radio Show early April, and immediately announced that they had been confirmed for a main-stage appearance at the Legendary T-In-The-Park Festival that year, alongside Rage Against The Machine amongst others. The end of 2008 saw GUN play two high profile shows in London and Glasgow, sponsored by Classic Rock Magazine. Entitled "One Night Only", GUN celebrated the release of their debut album, "Taking On The World" by performing the album in its entirety for the first time ever.
2009 was dedicated to re-establishing GUN in the live arena, and so the band played a combination of club shows and festivals across the UK and Europe. A total of 35 shows took the band back across the UK and to previous European hot-spots such as Spain and Portugal, as well as new territories, such as France and Austria, finishing 2009 with a 19 date UK Tour, and a main stage appearance at Hard Rock Hell III in Prestatyn, North Wales.
Realising that the future success of GUN lay in the creation of brand new, contemporary music, the band entered Chapel studios in Lincoln to record a brand new mini-album, entitled "PopKiller". Produced by GUN, recorded by Euan Davis (Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys), mixed by Stephen Harris, (U2, Santana, Kaiser Chiefs) and Mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, PopKiller contains five outstanding, hook-laden songs that showcase GUN at their best. Stretching the boundaries of traditional rock, but remaining true to their foundations, PopKiller is the natural successor to 1995's Swagger. The lead song from PopKiller, entitled "Let Your Hair Down", was released exclusively to Rock Radio across the UK, with the track available for download only via www.rockradio.co.uk, and quickly achieved A-level playlist. Already a firm live favourite, this was enthusiastically received by the ever increasing fan-base, leading to demands from other stations for the song, as word of GUN's new lease of life quickly reached the ears of the media.
2010 will see GUN tour "PopKiller" extensively across the UK and Europe, playing to existing fans, and making new ones along the way. With Club, and Festival, shows already confirmed, and www.gunofficial.co.uk continuing to champion all recording and touring aspects of this exciting new phase in the band's career, it only remains to be seen what the future holds. One thing is for sure, GUN are back to stay!