GunHill – One Over The Eight [1995]

GunHill - One Over The Eight 1995 1999 front cover

Founded by English singer John Lawton (Lucifer’s Friend, Uriah Heep, Zar) in January of 1994, GUNHILL was a project initially put together to tour Europe playing covers including classic songs from Whitesnake and Paul Rogers to Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, but progressively they also introduced some of their own original material to the live set. Including into the original line-up keyboardist Mike Raxworthy, great guitarist Riki Robyns, drummer Lloyd Coates, and bassist Neil Kavanagh (who also contributed with strong backing / lead vocals), after extensive rehearsals the group performed their first Gig in April ’94. Playing just three times a month as originally planned, things accelerated very quickly to between 12 and 14 gigs, due to GunHill increasing popularity. Then they decided to record some of the covers they performed regularly as ‘demonstration’ for tour promoters – and for the fans. 

Only manufactured on cassette and entitled “One Over The Eight”, the tracks were recorded, produced, and mixed by Kavanagh in his own home studio and sold through the Uriah Heep Appreciation Society fanclub, and at the band’s gigs. In 1997 GunHill issued their first (and only) official CD ‘Nightheat’, featuring new songs from the band and other covers as well.  But fans – at gigs and over the net – still requested the original “One Over The Eight” tape to be reissued on CD. The tracks were remastered by Lawton’s long time friend Dave White, and the album put on sale in 1999 on CDr via Heepster Records, the fansclub ‘label’. 

Anyone who’s a fan of classic rock / bluesy hard rock will enjoy this album, particularly if you like early David Coverdale / Whitesnake and Paul Rodgers / Bad Company material. John Lawton is top form here, and the guitar work of Riki Robyns is raw & rockin’. Amongst the highlights we have “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues”, that if you ask me, I think is superior to the original Whitesnake version. The Lennon / MacCartney classic “Eleanor Rigby” it’s done with a killer raw edge, and Rainbow’s “Stone Cold” rocks. There’s some really good originals as well written by GunHill, being the Uriah Heep-ish “Angel” my favorite. For the CDr reissue, the band recorded “River Of Dreams”, a song composed by Dave White in appreciation for his work behind the remastering desk.

Unfortunately, there was not master tapes of “One Over The Eight”, as these tracks were recorded in two and a half days purely as promotionand because fans were asking if GunHill had some recorded stuff to sell at the initial gigs.  So, “One Over The Eight CDr” it’s transferred from a regular cassette, and the sound isn’t the eighth wonder.

Band Members
John Lawton – Lead vocals
Mike Raxworthy – Keyboards, vocals
Riki Robyns – Guitars, keyboards
Neil Kavanagh – Bass, vocals
Lloyd Coates – Drums

Tracks
01. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues
02. Eleanor Rigby
03. Ain’t No Sunshine
04. Can’t Get Enough
05. Better By You, Better Than Me
06. Stone Cold
07. Every Little Bit Hurts
08. Angel
09. Harlem Shuffle
10. Soldier Of Love

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