Live review: Phil Lewis

Underpromoted and overplayed at an underwhelmed venue.

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Had Phil Lewis sought a reminder that L.A. Guns were always more of a Stateside phenomenon than in the land of his birth then tonight he surely gets it.

For the third show of an appallingly publicised UK tour, a dismal turnout greets the Californian-based Londoner, and worse still Lewis is backed by a pick-up group led by a ghastly shred guitarist who consistently overplays.

A 75-minute display leans heavily on the best-known L.A. Guns albums, and there’s no doubt that tracks such as Never Enough, Over The Edge, Kiss My Love Goodbye and The Ballad Of Jayne deserve more salubrious circumstances than this. The same applies to She’s No Angel, a favourite by the Heavy Metal Kids who he briefly fronted in 2011.

Introducing My Number, the second of two Girl songs (Hollywood Tease having begun proceedings), Lewis laughingly informs us that in their review of said song, the Irish Times described his voice as “a cross between Cliff Richard and Johnny Rotten” – the reference to Sir Cliff proving apt as he still has a fine set of pipes and continues to look the part, swaggering cockiness unmistakable. Next time he tours, however, Lewis really should consider better ways of informing his fans than a belated posting on Facebook. Even sending the details by carrier pigeon would represent improvement.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.