Friday, 31 October 2008

Gunfire Dance

In some ways I don't think Gunfire Dance did themselves any favours. I first saw them in the Shrapnel pages of Kerrang!, with tousled black hair and polka dot shirts; shortly after a live review in the same magazine referred to one of their early songs, 'Give Me Back My Heart' as 'sounding like Tyla had sold them it for a packet of fags'.

In truth Gunfire Dance didn't wholly belong on that scene. They were coming from the Iggy/Lords angle (and yes, soooooo many Shrapnel ads used to say that but most of these bands, to steal Paul Blitz's quote about bands claiming to be 'punk', tended to just be bad metal), with a touch of the US 60's psychedelic scene thrown in for good measure.

Gunfire Dance had talent in abundance. Every member of the band could genuinely play (or in Ant's case, sing). They didn't need a pointy pink guitar to get themselves noticed, but things just didn't go their way. They had a publishing deal with Island in the early 90s. Brian James and Rat Scabies took production duties on a cracking 5-track demo in 1992. Jeff Dahl then released a single from that demo on his Ultra label. But a full deal never materialised, they lost their guitarist and continued for a while as Steppin' Razors but eventually knocked it on the head.

Archway Of Thorns is a collection of their studio recordings and its release was in the pipeline when, after a couple of storming reunion shows in 2005, Ant took his own life.

If I could have been in any band in the 90s it would have been Gunfire Dance. That said, they would have laughed me out of the room (I'm not the most talented of guitarists ....).

NB: multiple copies on eBay at the moment for just £3.99: click - Archway Of Thorns.


Mark E Moon said...

Inspired by your comments I tracked down a copy of "Archway of Thorns" through eBay for the bargain price of £5 rather than the ridiculous £58 some people are trying to sell it for on Amazon, I love it, considering it's a collection of studio recordings and demo's it sits together really well as an album, real mish mash of 60's garage rock and glam metal, reminds me a lot of the fantastic Radio Birdman, also early Damned and of course The Stooges, it's criminal this lot didn't reach a wider audience and tragic that frontman Ant is no longer amongst us. I wish I'd known about Gunfire Dance in the late 80's/early 90s but I was reading Melody Maker/Sounds/NME instead of Kerrang/Raw.

The band the Hives WISH they were

steevi 8 said...

I saw this band at least once hanging around London in the late 80s.Definately one of the best of the bunch along with Soho Roses etc. I do still have a demo somewhere.. Maybe i should rip it and stick it up

DGW said...

Gotta love Gunfire Dance! Their demos are now on the 'Archway Of Thorns' compilation - well worth searching out although it seems to have become a bit of a collectors item (currently £150+ on Amazon; no copies on eBay at the moment but they do turn up there at reasonable prices).

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to 'Coiny', the ORIGIONAL lead singer of Gunfire?!!! XXX