>> BackGuns N' Roses Marquee, London (two nights) 

July 23rd, 1987
Guns N' Roses Marquee, London (two nights)
Kerrang! No. 151 July 23-August 5 1987
LOOK, I read those reviews too Y'know, the ones written after Guns n' Roses' first-of-three shows at The Marquee Club, wherein the authors claimed they were 'disappointed' at a band who failed to live up to 'expectations'.

The general negativity in the media towards this five-piece following their debut British gig smacked of 'backlash' to me, but since I was absent from the date, I can't comment on the boyz' performance that night. But, hey, I was there on the succeeding two nights and if the second concert was sensational, then the final one was beyond even such a superlative.

You want me to describe the feeling and atmosphere on that final night? Try these adjectives for brain size: raw, savage, furious, emotional, dangerous, rebellious, vibrant, hungry, intoxicating . . . a mixture that I thought was supposed to define rock 'n' 'roll.

The Stones, Aerosmith, Rose Tattoo, Sex Pistols, Motörhead, AC/DC, yeah some have tried to encapsulate W. Axl Rose and his jetpack jousters as no more than clones of any or all of the above. In reality, though, Guns n' Roses might have influences drawn from such denizens yet they are very much individual in their stance, instantly recognisable and, at this point in time, without a peer.

There was an edge of the uncontrollable on this Sunday night that always threatened to take everybody over the sanity edge, a bourbon-fuelled spirit of the rollercoaster, which at any moment would career off the rails. But then, this is perhaps the ultimate fascination with all great bands, the passion and intensity is so overwhelming it comes close to engulfing us all, only being held at bay by that indescribable combination of charisma and musicianship, of which G n' R have plenty.

Izzy and Slash tore their flesh to golden shreds on the strings of their guitars as if ripping out a cat's innards and then streetorchestrating the screaming effect. Bassist Duff possessed a sunken, glowering glow, whilst drummer Steven Adler kicked against the skins as if attempting anchored surgery without anaesthesia.

And holding the instrumental plunder together is Axl, a born frontman who 'just' happens to have a positively schizoid vocal range. And those songs! It wasn't enough that we got staggeringly spectacular covers of Dylan's 'Knocking On Heaven's Door', Aerosmith's 'Mama Kin' and AC/DC's 'Whole Lotta Rosie', they also had to spice up proceedings with a selection of numbers from both the 'Live ?l*@ Like A Suicide' EP and their unbelievably depth-charged, totalitarian debut album 'Appetite For Destruction' , with the mescaline magnetism of 'Paradise City' proving to be the night's highlight, sucking everybody into the virile vortex of its already classic personality.

See'em in September/October when they return with Aerosmith.

Thanks Brendan for the scans.


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