Sound of Guns

Sound of Guns

 Liverpool, England, GBR

"British Rock n Roll from the heart" is how BBC Radio 1 described it. "Majestic, anthemic indie rock" was what The Guardian said. It is basically big sing a long choruses performed by 5 highly entertaining lads from Liverpool. Musically the fit into the Oasis/Kasabian mould.


The Sound Of Guns story starts with three big problems - tests, if you will - and begins in a disused social club on a street you may have heard of: namely Penny Lane, Liverpool.

Glamorous, to begin with, this place is not. There's no water or electricity to speak of, but it is here that singer Andy and drummer Simon, having been donated the space and fresh from the disintegration of their previous band, slave for months over converting it into a rehearsal and recording studio. Soon, they begin working on new songs. They invite along their friend Nathan, who plays guitar. Things go well, quickly, and they put together a song called 'Alcatraz', which will turn out to be a key moment in the formation of their sound: it is big, powerful, unashamedly epic, melodic and beautiful. After this everyone is excited, not least Nathan's Australian friend, Lee, who comes down shortly afterwards for a jam and adds his own guitar parts. Things are clicking, but there is the first of the problems. That being that Lee has a ticket booked on a plane back to Australia.

"I was literally leaving when they asked me to come down," he remembers. "But I was so into it, I sold my ticket and stayed on in Liverpool, put my life in turmoil, all for this band..."

This should be adequate evidence of the conviction that lies at the heart of Sound Of Guns. They are an all-or-nothing kind of band. More evidence of this comes shortly after this turn of events and some suitably intense rehearsals at the foursome's first gig, which takes place, not in Liverpool, but at Oxford Street, London's now-deceased Metro club. In attendance that night is the final piece of the puzzle, Coley, a friend of Lee's who has come down for the gig and watches the band play the show with bass parts programmed on a laptop. At this point he is in another Liverpool band who are more focused on getting wankered every single night rather than rehearsing or writing world-beating songs. On that stage, he sees his future, and the next day he keeps texting and texting his friend, asking whether they have got a bassist.

"Basically," he says, "I knew that if I didn't join their band, I'd be fucked."

'Fucked' is one way of describing what happens to Sound Of Guns next when they encounter Problem Number Two. One night, after a particularly productive writing session, the band lock up and head home, with only Nathan taking his instrument with him. On returning the next day, they find the door busted open and all of their guitars gone. Every single one of them. This is not good news, and not the last bit of not good news either. Shortly afterwards, the studio is completely burned to the ground by local hooligans. Many bands might by now be thinking about taking the hint, but not Sound of Guns. In fact, if you look at the cover of their debut album, 'What Came From Fire', the pile of rubble to the left of the offices you can see is what remained of their studio.

A permanent visual reminder that nothing - nothing - will get in the way of this band getting where it needs to go.

Problem Number Three arrives again in Wakefield in May of 2009. The band are readying themselves for a show when, on returning to their van, they find themselves surrounded by dozens of police, including armed response officers with guns. They are ordered out of the van with their hands up, and informed that there have been reports of a bunch of Scouse lads talking about guns, and the sound of guns. Which is true, of course, but takes some explaining. Fortunately, this will be the last time this mistake is made.

Soon, the world gets it first chance to talk about Sound Of Guns rather than the sound of guns, thanks to a four-song EP called 'The Elementary of Youth' on Distiller and a packed show at their hometown's Barfly. People have hooked in quickly because the sound is undeniable: giant, bold music that feels as though it should be reverberating around stadiums, played with conviction. This may all be being created on Penny Lane but, Echo & The Bunnymen aside; there is little trace of the lineage of their home city. "One of the first things people say about us is that we don't sound like a Liverpool band," says Andy. "But we didn't have any boundaries. I love The Coral, and The La's and bands like that, but in terms of the music we wanted to make, that sound didn't really appeal to us. We were all right into The Walkmen, for example, who make a big noise. The others are all big on Led Zeppelin as well and soul music. The Doors. I think people were expecting this, like, typical Liverpool band, and that's why people got interested so quickly. People seem to connect with the choruses, we can see that."

And the songs continued to flow, taking this aesthetic further and further. Steve Lamacq, on hearing single 'Architects', tells them that they were "a band with ideas above their stations". Sound Of Guns take this as a compliment. "We would play Wembley next week if we could


Elementary of Youth (EP) Oct 2009
Alcatraz (Single) Feb 2010
Architects (Single) May 2010
What Came From Fire (Album) Jun 2010
Elementary of Youth (Single) Oct 2010