|Double Barrel Shotgun, Shotgun
Raucous Records, RAUCD 041
The Grim Reaper is wielding his deadly scythe with ever increasing regularity of late and many, too many, rock 'n' roll originators have now gone to the great cotton field in the sky. However we are fortunate in that there are quite a few acts whose passionate love of the beat carries the spirit of r'n'r on from where the legends rested their task. Foremost amongst the second wave of rockers is the UK band Shotgun, an outfit first formed in the south east area of London, England back in 1972 and whose recordings and performances are simply pure rock 'n' roll, blasted out with twin barrel full bore explosiveness.
The line-up for Shotgun consists of:
Ray Neale on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, who has also been a part of amongst others The Mojos, Dynamite and The Savages.
Wild Bob Burgos on sledgehammer drums and vocals who too has been in numerous bands such as Matchbox (for eight years), The Wild Angels, The Savages, plus acting as the skins man for Freddie Fingers Lee for no less than sixteen years.
Rob Murly on bass and vocals and who was a vital part of The Cruisers, The Vikings and The Savages and many more.
Dave Briggs on lead/rhythm guitar and vocals and who can claim Red Beans And Rice plus Flying Saucers as part of his illustrious background.
If the foregoing mentions were not enough, their collective pedigree is awesome as they have all been members of the legendary British outfit C.S.A. Furthermore to list the artists with whom the members of the band have either individually or collectively worked with would take literally more space than we have available but some, selected at random, are Mac Curtis, Ronnie Dawson, Screamin' Lord Sutch, Don Lang, Jack Scott, Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Carroll, Chuck Berry, Ray Campi, Sonny Burgess, Johnny Legend and Wee Willie Harris. All are in demand as regular session men and the chances are that you will have some of their recorded output in your collection without possibly realising it.
This is the fourteenth album issued by Shotgun and consists eighteen tracks cut between 1975 and 1997. One look at the composers credits reveals that twelve of the tunes are original numbers composed by various personnel of the band whilst five of the remaining six are scintillating revivals of tunes from the halcyon days of rock 'n' roll and the last is a very tongue in cheek up-date of an early sixties pop song.
The talent in the band is such that all the members take their turn at lead vocals. Just listen as Ray wraps his tubes around the new ditty "Fancy Free" which comes complete with the band pulsating along behind him - and oh, that biting lead guitar and solid drumming. But there again, the solid rockin' treatment is evident on every track on this release. Tennessee Ernie Ford would have been proud of the guys workout on "Shotgun Boogie" and Chuck Berry will even be forced to sing the praises of Shotguns treatment of his "I'm Talking About You" and "No Particular Place To Go". Sonny Fisher has indeed lauded the praises of the band on several occasions and shall no doubt be doing so again when he bears their live treatment of his "Pink & Black" - which features Dave Briggs on vocals.
This release in many ways is an overview of the band's career as it contains selections from their first recording date back in July 1975 which are now only seeing the light of day. These include first rate interpretations of the Johnny Kidd classic "Shakin' All Over" and the perennial favourite, Bobby Troupe's "Route 66". Troupe incidentally had something to make every redblooded male envious - he was married to Julie London.
In Britain in 1983 there was a parliamentary general election and the Official Monster Ravin' Loony Party, lead by Screamin' Lord David Sutch, fielded eleven candidates. One of these was Dick Vero who had got together with Shotgun and laid down one of the Party's theme songs with "Loonabilly Rock 'n' Roll" - which captures the maniacal incorrectiveness of the political party. (Where are you Sutch? - this country needs you). Vero also lends his wandering on and off key vocals to a revival of Mike ("Come Outside") Same's sixties pop waxing of "Just For Kicks" - this is kin music all the way.
Two years later. Shotgun laid down four tracks included on this compilation. These range from the instrumental "Buccaneer" with Duane Eddy overtones to the Louis Prima inspired vocals of Rob Murly on "Take A Chance On Romance". Rob's singing is also heard to good effect on the country inspired rocker "Clickety Clack" whilst with "King Kong", Murly pays an original humorous rockin' homage to the great ape of Scull Island who fell for Fay Wray and, later, Jessica Lange.
Some cuts on this album were laid down in 1991, such as the rockin' instrumental "High Tuned". To round out the first CD of this set - we have some of Shotgun's very latest sides from November 1997 such as the powerhouse "Can't Stop Rockin'" and "Give It All You Got" with wild vocals from Bob Burgos, an ode to a Father Christmas we all wish we had in "Rockabilly Santa" and the sparkling "Apple Of My Eye" with Rob Murly chanting the lyrics.
However this is a double CD set and you, the rock 'n' roll music fans, are in for a real treat. 1992 saw Shotgun touring Finland and on the 2nd of May they appeared before a sell-out enthusiastic crowd at the Harbour Lights Rock 'n' Roll club in the town of Jyvaskyla. Fortunately for the rest of us who were not able to be there, the show was recorded and Raucous Records are proud to present now - for the first time anywhere - eighteen songs from that night which show our boys rockin' their socks off.
Put these platters on the deck, grab your partner and sling her over your shoulder (making sure first that she has clean knickers on) and hit the dance floor a jumpin' and jivin' - it's party time for sure. These are albums for pure rock 'n' roll fun.
Source: Liner notes of Double Barrel Shotgun
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