Live Review: Gypsy Pistoleros/Ransom

Gypsy Pistoleros, Ransom

The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes, 14/10/2022

 Hailing from Surrey, tonight’s openers Ransom haven’t travelled North to take prisoners and they hit the ground running with opening shot ‘Vindication’. At this time of the evening the crowd’s pretty sparse, but Ransom play like it’s a full arena, and their brand of good time rock n’ roll is the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night. Exuberant they might be, but songs such as ‘Colour Blind’ and ‘Locked Down London’ are in perfect sync with our turbulent times. However, if that sounds a tad serious then a surprise cover of AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff’ makes a welcome appearance, alongside self-explanatory set closer ‘Back To The Boozer’. Ransom hold the crowd captive for 40 minutes, and their dressed-down look and parred back sound has the benefit of putting their songs centre stage, and with songs this good, that’s exactly where they should be.

Over the past decade-and-a-half the Gypsy Pistoleros have carved out a unique niche for themselves, both sonically and visually. Their Tex-Mex brand of rock n’ roll is like nothing you’ve ever heard before, but if Guns N’ Roses were raised in the Deep South and weaned on a diet of ZZ Top and Paco de Lucia, I imagine they’d have sounded a lot like the Pistoleros. ‘The Crazy Loco Loquito’ kicks things off in a lively manner, and the band rarely look back as they deliver a high-octane, fan-favourite set that touches all points along their long and varied career. The swashbuckling vibe of ‘What’s It Like To Be A Girl (In The House Of 1000 Dolls)’ recalls The Cramps at their most vivacious as vocalist Gypsy Lee hangs off the microphone like the exhumed corpse of Jim Morrison, then lets loose and performs some impossibly high karate kicks.

We like bands who invest a little time in their image (especially when it’s not used to cover inadequacies) as it adds an interesting dimension to a group, and Gypsy Pistoleros certainly look the part. Attired all in black, and with faces corpse painted, they look as if they’ve just stepped out of the 1979 film The Warriors, and just like an unruly street gang they attack in unison, and with typical ferocity. Latest single ‘The Ballad Of Tommy Shelby (The Good, The Mad & The Beautiful)’ has become an overnight sensation with over 185,000 (and counting) hits on YouTube, and, on the strength of this performance, should bring the band to a whole new audience. Ricky Martin’s ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ is a song that the Pistoleros have made their own, and it makes for a raucous closer that ensures no one leaves disappointed.

Review and photos by Peter Dennis