Review of Sound of Guns and support Parma Violets, at The Ironworks, Inverness on the 8th of March, 2012, by Thomas Bisset. Photos by Chris Milne.


It’s a move that’s surprised literally nobody – Sound of Guns’ return to the Ironworks was almost guaranteed after their crowd-pleasing performance a little under six months ago (Sound of Guns win Hearts and Minds). Tonight they’re very-nearly exactly the same as last time – and although some might argue the point, it’s not necessarily a good thing.


Kicking off with “Angels of Mercy”, the Parmaviolets provided a solid foundation for the evening (you can see a recent interview :Parma Violets speaks to invernessGiGs) . A brief word with one of the band member’s revealed a few nerves about the upcoming performance; fears which were completely unfounded as they eased their way through a fairly short set. Their sound is hard to place – quite funky in places, coupled with some anthemic riffs and Paul MacIver’s unique voice – but needless to say it served it’s purpose in warming up the crowd for the next act on the bill…

… An act who unfortunately hadn’t been able to come. Carly Connor had lost out, on what would have been another interesting support slot for her, due to having missed a train. The last time she was here was for the View, and was sandwiched between them and another quite hard-rocking band; while an awesome singer, her big Amy Winehouse-esque blues/soul voice would have likely been very out of place here, like it was back then. In the nicest possible way, she wasn’t missed.


As a result, Sound of Guns had a little extra time to fill, but they sure as anything didn’t mess about opening up with “Sometimes”, also the first track on their new album. A much smaller crowd than the last time they were up, but that didn’t seem to stop them from giving it their all. Lead-singer Andrew Metcalfe likened the performance to being on VH1’s Storytellers, attempting to pad out the evening somewhat with a little banter between songs, despite the almost impenetrable Scouse accent making things more than a little difficult.


It’s something he really didn’t have to do for very long – the crowd were more than capable of repeating the numerous chants that make up most of their repertoire long after that song had finished. To their credit, Sound of Guns certainly know how to write a catchy hook to go along with their huge choruses.

It seems they don’t know much about Health and Safety in the Workplace though, with Metcalfe more often stood on the barriers than the stage area itself, later on also standing precariously eight foot from the ground on a stack of speakers, much to the amusement of everybody that wasn’t on the Ironworks’ payroll!


It appears Metcalfe et al are abiding to the old saying – “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. Most of the time it works, and judging from the response they got tonight it seems as if their fans would agree. But with a near-identical set-list and little in the way of new material, perhaps Sound of Guns should have postponed the inevitable return a little longer.


Elementary of Youth
Flash of Light
106 (Still the Words)
Bullets in the Bloodstream [Acoustic]
The Leaning