The greatest Guildford Flamenco Glam Punk Gig Ever… Gypsy Pistoleros, Live at Suburbs , The Holroyd Arms – May 9 2024

With more energy coursing through it than the National Grid on Christmas Day, latest album, DUENDE A GO GO LOCO!, is an absolute belter.

Words & Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media

We first covered Gypsy Pistoleros back in 2011 when the Gypsy Pistolero himself , Lee Mark Jones, decided to hang onto the band name and step out after the previous incarnation of the Flamenco Glam Punk maestros had sadly bitten the dust. 

That drive and determination to succeed has continued over the years and in a recent interview with Mark Lacey we got to see what the now fully formed ‘Pistoleros’ were doing once more.

With more energy coursing through it than the National Grid on Christmas Day, latest album, DUENDE A GO GO LOCO!, is an absolute belter and in my last article link before we get to the live show, check out my review of said belter…. one of my faves from the end of 2023. 

As such, to see the band live was a must for me. The name, the band have existed in one form or another for some 19 years, debut ‘In Real Life’ coming out in 2005, countless reviews, live gigs and more have taken place in the intervening 19 years yet a grass roots venue in Guildford part way through the band’s spring tour was my first opportunity to catch them in concert. It’s something I intend to rectify significantly in the near future but for now let’s look at what a modern Pistoleros gig looks like. 

Ransom

First up, Ransom… Ransom…. who the f&*k are Ransom then? There’s one bloke at the barrier who knows… and my god did he know. Every note, every beat, every guitar lick, every single lyric sung, he was there singing it back to them with gusto. Ransom need to take him on tour permanently, he’s the Bez to their Happy Mondays, the Paul Rutherford to Ransom’s Frankie Goes to Hollywood. A credit to the fella, there’s a photo of him giving it all in the gallery below. Look out for him in the near future. 

Now Ransom describe themselves as follows:

“Bringing the stadium rock experience to a local venue near you’ was always the strap line for this hardworking 4 piece Classic Rock band, and armed with a wealth of new and exciting covers and original material. With a killer, tight live set (honed from doing the hard yards week in week out around the London and home counties pub and club circuit) this band is now hungry and ready to ‘Raise some hell’ at any level”

It sums them up perfectly. There set harks back to a time when stadium rock ruled the airwaves, anthemic material climbed the charts with ease and drew the adoring female fans which in turn brought the guys to the gigs as well. Simple and enjoyable times. 

Ransom trade on that approach and whilst some of their material could be considered ‘iffy’ in terms of lyrical content, the material is performed tongue-in-cheek and, more importantly, performed in style. The four-piece know their instruments like the backs of their hands. Singer Matt Fielder, who is also the band’s lyricist, can work a crowd of one [as proven in the pics] as well as a room full of people, many of whom were experiencing the band for the very first time, me included.  Whilst the rhythm section was nigh on perfect, special mention goes to Dave Barlow on lead guitar who came across as the perfect replacement for Zakk Wylde should Ozzy decide to record one more album. I could watch him play all night – absolutely flawless work. 

If that grabs your attention, check out their music below. I recommend ‘Enter The Dragon’: 

  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Ransom, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford

Gypsy Pistoleros

And so to our headliners. I was absolutely buzzing for this. With a decent back catalogue for me to catch up on and a current release with another forthcoming whenever the band can find the right label \ distributor, the Gypsy Pistoleros are riding quite the crest of a wave at the moment. DUENDE A GO GO LOCO! cracked the national album charts, which as you might imagine is rare for your average flamenco glam punk band so kudos to them and long may it continue. 

With the title track of the current album kick-starting proceedings, the dynamic four-piece, with their white painted faces and makeup straight from the Joker’s playbook, GPs let rip to an initially bemused crowd at Suburbs, a group of punters half of whom had decided to come out on a Thursday night to see live music and half of whom clearly were there for the headliners and were decked out in all manner of colourful GPs logo-ed attire. 

Early on “our biggest hit”, a cover of ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ gets an airing and whilst it’s a great cover… I had a feeling more and better was to come later in the show. 

‘I Got It All’, ‘Revolution’, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and more drew the uncertain forward and before long, a party was had with Lee giving it his absolute everything to the audience. Those that were into it were bouncing, those that had come out of curiosity left, most likely, as fans and that’s what matters the most. 

One new track, performed for the first time live, suggests that the follow up to DUENDE will be a cracker. Hurry up please because as Oliver once said “I Want More”. With Lee explaining to me what it’s like to be a girl (and in my head I’m now singing ..”Yeah Yeah Yeah”… great hooks) the set time flew by. The trick of course is to save the best for last and with ‘Like Tears In The Rain’ and ‘The Ballad of Tommy Shelby’ won me over , all over again. Sporting a flat cap during ‘Tommy..’ Lee truly brought his a-game to the table. 

Kudos as well to Kez Gunslinger White on bass, the man on the Spanish biscuit tins, Crag Gunslinger Shape and Shane Pistolero Sparkz whose guitar work equaled that of Dave Barlow. A constant flow of energy on stage with Kez and Shane switching sides and acting as the perfect foil to Lee’s boundless energy with Crag hammering away in the background.

It was a riotous affair, energised, flamenco tinged punk rock with more than a little stomp along glamtastic tunes which gives the band their unique and fascinating sound. 

They closed with, as expected, one last cover. Dexy’s ‘Come On Eileen’. It definitely helps get their hits on YouTube and Spotify and was a fun way to end the night. For me, they don’t need the covers, their original material far outweighs Mr Rowland’s classic tune or Ricky’s legendary Latino dance floor anthem. More Pistoleros originals please! 

Tour dates for the rest of 2024 are below. Catch the band as soon as you can: 

  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford
  • 2024 05 09, Gypsy Pistoleros, Suburbs, The Holroyd Arms, Guildford

TOUR DATES

GYPSY PISTOLEROS Live Shows 2024 Ticket links http://www.gypsypistoleros.com/gigs.html

Friday 17th May The Patriot , Crumlin

Sat 18th May The Thunderbolt, Bristol

Friday 31st May The Palladium Club, Bideford

Sat 1st June St Austell Band Club

Friday 12th July The Musician, Leicester

Saturday 10th August The Electric Banana, Weston Super Mare (With SYTERIA)

Sunday 11th August Farmer Phils Festival

Thursday 15th August Nightrain , Bradford (With SYTERIA)

Friday 18th October The Victoria Swindon

Sunday 27th October The Cart & Horses London

GYPSY PISTOLEROS have also finished recording the follow up to last years U.K Charting album ‘Duende a Go Go Loco!‘. The brand new album is titled ‘Church of the Pistoleros‘ and was recorded at The Old Cider Press Studios, Pershore (U.K) once again with collaborator, co-writer & rising legend of a producer Dave Draper (The Wildhearts, Ginger, Terrorvision, Ryan Hamilton, The Professionals, etc)

‘Church of the of the Pistoleros’, will present a new look and concept , plus major new stage show. Think GHOST but punkier & Rockier! It will prove that they are preposterous, epic, overblown and totally glorious! The music ranges from anthemic Rock, to Latin swagger, to Phil Spector 50’s ballads, to pure Glam Punk Rock, to near EMO & Goth with absolute slabs of the purest Heaviest Rock to near Rock Opera proportions.

It is pompous, overblown, totally out there. Standing alone in musical ancestry and sum sound, GYPSY PISTOLEROS are one of those most rare acts who can honestly claim the tag ‘unique’.

 

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