MELODY MAKER (1/3/69) POP SINGLES, Chris Welch

GUN: "Drives You Mad" (CBS). What a riot! After "Race With The Devil" it seemed it was going to be difficult for the explosive trio to find a suitable follow up. But they have reemerged with a distinctive and exciting guitar riff, backed by some yelling brass.

Adrian Curtis wrote the tune and contributes the guitar sound and his brother Paul did the arrangement. Louie Farrell is on drums. A hit.

MELODY MAKER (1/3/69) ‘Race’ is no pinch from ‘Fire’

Suggest that "Race With The Devil" is a bit of a pinch from "Fire" by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and the bullets begin to fly.

The Gun are shooting up the chart (and that’s positively the last time we’ll use the phrase), with an undoubtedly exciting, noisy guitar opus that deserves its success.

But says moustached Paul Curtis, bass guitarist: "I think it’s nothing like Arthur Brown at all, only the bit with the laugh in the middle and we put that in so people would have a go.

"It’s our first record as the group and we’re all highly pleased."

Gun were discovered by club boss Ronnie Scott and recommended to their managers Peter "Chips" Chipperfield and Jimmy Parsons. A CBS contract followed and they have since appeared on Scott Walker’s October tour.

They consist of two brothers, Paul and Adrian Curtis (bass and lead guitars), plus drummer Louis Farrell, all from Ilford, Essex home of so many successful groups.

They evolved from a group called the Knack and formed a year ago. They have suffered several personnel changes and have had a constant struggle for work and survival.

They have worked abroad and once spent five hours stuck between the border posts of France and Switzerland and the frontier guards wouldn’t allow them into either country.

Originally a four piece, but one night their organist failed to show up and they have been a trio ever since. "We were on the point of splitting up," says Paul. "We had no work, no agent, manager or money."

Their music is a hard rock sound and they have their first album due out in the New Year which will be of Adrian’s compositions. |Ronnie Scott came to the Roundhouse to see us." Explained Paul. They are the first group associated with the Scott Club since they began including better class modern pop groups in their programme.

"We try to get a big sound with a three piece and it has proved very successful. We never wanted to be like the Cream or even the Mindbenders. We actually feature ‘I’m So Glad’ in our act.

"We’ve signed with NEMS now and we’re going to the States in January or February. It’s all too quick for me. To be honest we weren’t going to release ‘Race’ as a single. We were going to do something else as the A side and when they said it was going to be ‘Race’ we went mad and said ‘Oh no, that’s the wrong one!’"

Why does the group use the name Gun? "I’ve always thought short names are the most easily remembered. Originally we were looking through a dictionary and found ‘electrode gun’. This was at the time of psychedelia. "We shortened it to Gun and we’re a loud noisy group anyway. When we were a four piece we were a lot quieter. The organist used to fill in a lot so we didn’t have to play so much."

These are early days for the Gun. If they can produce a follow up equally as exciting and with as much impact, they can be established as a major chart force.

(Chris Welch)