The music is dark and moody - not Goth but with a definite nod in that direction sonically if not visually. Grunge is another influence - a little Alice In Chains vibe in the vocals at times maybe. Glam is another subtle influence in the background - more literally in the case of the drummer Belle Star who contrary to the norm is the most Glam member of the band! However, being contrary is a big part of what Lilygun are about - even down to the band name - something apparently beautiful, which might kill you! Which brings us to the band's main focus of attention...
A 'Golden Girl' in her shiny metallic jumper at her last gig - tonight she is a 'Silver Lady'. The enigmatic Anna-Christina is the sole original member of the band and wrote all the songs on the band's self titled album released last year. With a background in both classical music and dance she is not your typical rock performer. Lilygun aren't your typical rock band either - there is light and shade giving the music a certain dynamic - but in a more considered and subtle way than the clumsy and cliched quiet/loud bludgeon of many grunge and metal bands.
A lot of work has obviously gone into crafting these songs. There aren't many people around before Lilygun open their show, but this band's set soon drags plenty of people round from the front bar. The band react to this with a high performance - more relaxed and at ease than their recent Bull & Gate show. Hopefully they can maintain this forward momentum... Although some people are here just to see Lilygun, plenty of others seem to have their curiosity aroused and seem to be getting into what the band are doing - a few more people are won over by the band's performance tonight judging by the applause between songs and the reaction at the end of the set. Let's hope Lilygun are back here soon. [Author: Dark Lord of Barnet - 17/5/13]
THE BULL & GATE
Tonight's headliners have a bit of history with this well known Kentish Town venue and played here in their earliest days. Although personally I have not seen the band at the Bull & Gate before, it was here that I first met the band's enigmatic leader Anna-Christina at another band's gig several years ago. Tonight see's a new version of Lilygun make their debut. This is the band's first gig with new guitarist Randy Gabbo and only the second with bass player Ashley Dreher.
Most of the songs from the band's self titled debut album from last year get an airing, although the single 'Moonlight' is conspicuous by it's absence. These London based Goth/grunge/glamsters seem to make an impression wherever they play, and I'm sure they have gained some new fans tonight as well as bringing out a respectable showing from their usual fanbase this Wednesday night. There is plenty of light and shade in the songs - varying from heavy grunge influenced rock, to Goth, and ethereal and atmospheric melodies - the 'Glam' influence tonight being restricted to Anna-Christina's golden jumper! There is no shortage of energy onstage and Lilygun look like they intend making their last ever show at the Bull & Gate one to remember! Even though Anna-Christina and drummer Belle Star (a well known figure on the Glam scene in his own right as well as drumming with many bands) are the only members who have been in the band previous to last September it doesn't show. It looks like Lilygun's next show will be at the Renaissance Alternative Music Festival at the Boston Arms Music Room in Tufnell Park next month - I'm looking forward to it already. [Author: Dark Lord of Barnet - 10/4/13]
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT PROUD CAMDEN
The 'Pretty Little Lady?' (her deliberate question mark) is playing a Garbage cover - this is 'Fix Me Now' and is usually the last but one song in her set - it looks like we've missed almost the entire set in spite of being at (or outside) the venue when she was due to take to the stage. It's a quite different sounding but good version of the song - I think the vocals are better than the Garbage original and Anna-Christina's voice really soars in a way she doesn't allow it to when she is fronting Lilygun. The set finishes with new (for these acoustic gigs) song 'Resolution' which goes down well judging by all the applause. It's certainly interesting to see another side to the intriguing Anna-Christina and I really like the way she uses a higher part of her voice that people people who have only seen her perform with her rock band Lilygun will be unfamiliar with. Talking of Lilygun - they will be returning to the live scene next month and will be one of the last bands ever to play at the famous Bull & Gate before it closes as a music venue. [Author: Dom Hemming - 17/3/13]
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT THE HORN - ST ALBANS
Although she is appearing here tonight in solo acoustic mode Anna-Christina isn't your typical laid back singer/songwriter. There may be no elecric guitars or drums present, but don't expect the usual nice inoffensive hippy hippy style songs about flowers and lovely summer days in the country. No - this lady has axes to grind! The method of delivery may be different from the power of her rock band, but lyrically these songs pull punches! From the opening title track 'Pretty Little Lady?' (the question mark is quite deliberate but you have to hear to song to understand) it's very obvious Anna-Christina has things to get out of her system and issues to deal with!
The lyrics of the first couple of songs in particular aren't for the faint hearted and obviously come from bitter personal experiences. This method of expression seems to be her therapy. Although Anna-Christina needs to vent, this series of acoustic shows in and around London (more to follow) seems to be working well for her as in spite of the less than cheerful nature of the songs she actually seems very happy and to be really enjoying herself. The 'therapy' is working! This is probably her best solo show yet as although the venue is small and intimate it is actually quite busy. What makes this show more of a triumph is that away from her London home and the support of friends and family this crowd of people who have no idea who she is really enjoy her set. The 'Pretty Little Lady' herself obviously really enjoys playing for this very appreciative audience too - the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. I have a feeling she will be back. [Author: Dom Hemming - 10/3/13]
PRETTY LITTLE LADY? ANNA-CHRISTINA SOLO ACOUSTIC SET AT AVALON
So why am I in this unlikely venue? I'm here to witness the first 'Official' solo acoustic set by Anna-Christina from Lilygun. This time she is doing things differently and in Lilygun's downtime she is stepping away from her full-on rock mode and taking her first steps in singer/songwriter territory. Songwriting is nothing new to this lady as she wrote all the songs on last year's long awaited Lilygun debut album. However, she is now stepping out of her comfort zone and into uncharted waters. Anna-Christina doesn't believe in taking the easy route - most people in this situation would just play stripped down acoustic versions of their band's existing well tried songs. No - that would be too easy! Instead we get four never before heard songs and a cover.
This series of solo acoustic gigs are going under the rather puzzling name of 'Pretty Little Lady?' Yes, the question mark is intentional - but why you may ask as there is surely no question? Well this little lady is puzzling so... The first song is actually called 'Pretty Little Lady?', and once the lyrics hit home you begin to understand. This is actually hard hitting stuff lyrically and there is quite a bit of venom in there - directed at a person or persons unknown. The uncompromising nature of the material continues with the second song 'Dirty Rotten Liars'.
Anna-Christina might look quite demure and unoffensive, but certain people have obviously left her seriously pissed-off! Some of her songs with Lilygun have dealt with some of the 'Scum' (her word) she has encountered in the past, but now she is really letting rip and venting her anger in a much more direct fashion! Although anyone attending tonight wanting to hear Lilygun songs is going to be disappointed, there is one song that most people will recognise - a cover of the Garbage song 'Fix Me Now' - again showing a different side to this intriguing lady - It's not all anger and attitude after all. Listening to the debut Garbage album that this song comes from you see where Anna-Christina draws some of her inspiration from. but of course that band's Shirley Manson is another lady you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of!
The turnout tonight is rather good - especially for an expensive upmarket venue on a Tuesday night. Anna-Christina's set is very well received by those present. The lady herself seems to rather enjoy the chance to vent her anger as well - she looks quite relaxed and at home in this new environment. There are a few more of these acoustic shows lined up and I'm sure future performances will be even better. However, Lilygun fans fear not - I hear are returning to the live scene in a matter of weeks... As with the choice of her band name Lilygun, Anna-Christina is a mass of contradictions. This softer acoustic approach still drips with venom. And yet in spite of the aggressive nature of the lyrics in tonight's songs, she adopts a much softer vocal style than she does when fronting her rock band Lilygun. Is this the real Anna-Christina finally starting to rear her head? I think the vocal style she displays tonight sounds more natural - she is really allowing her voice to soar and approach it's real potential. She sings well with Lilygun, but I get the feeling she has been holding back for some reason and now her voice is starting to fly. I think the real Anna-Christina is only just starting to show herself - the chrysalis has started to open and the butterfly is getting ready to emerge... [Author: Dom Hemming - 26/2/13]
UPSTAIRS AT THE GARAGE
The band are dynamic, well-rehearsed and on top of their game. The set is basically the songs from the album and when the band play this well, they’re a force of nature. The line-up is a bit of a surprise tonight (if any Lilygun line-up is ever a surprise) because Aaron John has taken over lead guitar duties while David Ryder Prangley plays bass and Belle Star (of course) is drumming. The personnel change certainly doesn’t have any negative effect on the band; if anything, they’re a tighter more focussed unit because all of them have already been involved at some stage in the band’s history.
It’s difficult to pick out any highlights because the band was on fire but my personal favourite was “Scum”, the song which disses all the haters, with an even more personal edge tonight (especially when Anna-Christina made a point of asking Aaron to introduce it). They have a great set of songs with a wonderful sense of dynamics, they’re playing really well as a unit and Anna-Christina is an incredibly charismatic leader. They’ve done the album now and they’re ready to take on the world. All it needs is one little spark and the whole thing will lift off. One synch opportunity, one radio play in the right place or one well-placed support slot is all they need to launch them; they’re ready. [Author: Allan McKay, Music Riot - 5/10/12]
RENAISSANCE ALTERNATIVE FESTIVAL
This lot seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment, but they do have a forthcoming album to promote so it's good that they are out there. I only saw this band in Kingston last night, but I'm not getting tired of seeing them as they are doing something different and their songs are interesting and dynamic. Tonight's performance by Lilygun is at least as good as last night's, but I find it noticably more enjoyable because there is a more suitable atmosphere here. Lilygun never fail to impress with their dramatic and moody songs - always well performed by musicians who have a real feel for this sort of dark and stirring material. Led by the mysterious and enigmatic Anna-Christina the band cast a spell over the audience as the intricate songs weave their way into their souls. Once again Lilygun's set seems over all too soon, but I think they made more of an impression than most the other bands on the bill - it will be interesting to watch their progress after their debut album comes out next month... [Author: Dom Hemming - 19/8/12]
THE PEEL - SURREY
Lilygun turned in an excellent set of alt/Goth/Glam tunes and their music came across very well over a decent sound system. The intriguing Anna-Christina has assembled a band of good players around her to put her music across - with powerful and dynamic drumming from Belle and some very fluid bass playing from Rachel Stamp's D.R.P. (helping the band out on their current run of gigs and contributing some bass to the forthcoming album) Lilygun's music draws you in.
Anna-Christina performs with heartfelt passion and appears totally lost in the music - one of those musicians who gives the impression she totally lives for that all too brief time on stage. Sometimes you see a band who play their music with total conviction and belief in what they are doing - Lilygun is one of those bands, and it's good to see things are finally starting to happen for them with some good press and a bit of airplay. All too soon Lilygun's set is over - always leave 'em wanting more they say. The probem is that many of the band's songs are quite long, and consequently one or two of their best songs have to be left out of half hour support slots. [Author: Dom Hemming - 18/8/12]
THE BARFLY - JUBILEE LATE NIGHT SHOW
Lilygun's mixture of Goth, Glam, and Grunge (with some added metal) seems to go down well with Camden's clubbing hipsters - I think a buzz is starting to build around this band. [Author: Dark Lord of Barnet - 3/8/12]
THE HORN - ST ALBANS
I'm at The Horn to see Lilygun. The bass player may look familiar to some of you - especially if you are fans of Rachel Stamp. Yes, it's David Ryder-Prangley - a friend of Lilygun who sometimes stands in on bass at shows. It's been a bit of a revolving door as far as bassists go with this band, but the rest of the lineup now seems much more settled and all the better for it. Although this band have some Goth influences and tend to often play on Goth bills you can't pigeonhole them with anything as narrow as that - either in image or sound. The Cure are an influence, along with Smashing Pumpkins , but there is also metal, grunge, and hard rock thrown into the mix. Lilygun shows are loud, dramatic, and expressive - Anna-Christina's drama and classical music background all coming into play to create a memorable performance that draws you in to Lilygun's dark world.
If I was a music journalist I'd probably spout cliches and invent some new ones: 'Lilygun are spearheading the new 3G rock movement - Glam, Grunge, and Goth'. © If you go and see this band, you will remember them - which is more than can be said for most other bands on the circuit. Drummer Belle rivals the band's singer in the glamour stakes, while guitarist James is more like the anti-glam and gives the sound more of a hard rock edge, alternating with some very interesting technical playing and an ethereal edge. Things have really been looking up for Lilygun in the last few months, with some very good reviews for the last two singles, some radio play - including the Xfm Rock Show. Not only that, but the band have a new deal with Cargo Records who will be releasing the debute Lilygun album at the end of August. Go and see this band now while you can still catch them for around a fiver on the door. [Author: Dom Hemming - 18/7/12]
UPSTAIRS AT THE GARAGE
Headliners Lilygun are the main reason I'm here tonight, and they don't disappoint. The current lineup of the band is probably the heaviest and hardest rocking one yet, although that's only part of what this band is about. Having seen this band a few times now it gets hard to write about them without repeating myself - how many times can I write about the 'charismatic Anna Christina' and how she 'stalks the stage with cat-like grace' etc? That all still holds true, and this show is better than their last one (which was also good) in the cramped confines of the Intrepid Fox. That gig was fun, but tonight the band have a bit more space to spread their (bat)wings and fly.
When this band rock out it can get pretty intense. This band is quite a mixture of styles and influences, both musically and stylistically - from the glam to the anti-glam - also with a male drummer in Belle who rivals the band's female singer on the glamour front! There is plenty of light and shade in the band's set - matching the name Lilygun which captures the contrasts - something pretty and also something which might kill you if you aren't careful!
As well as the music being good, this is also an intriguing band to watch - newish guitarist James Ford has brought a much heavier and harder sound to the band, but also a very technical approach which demands your attention without seeming to have the usual ego such players tend to bring with them. Also, he uses very few effects pedals and relies instead on his varied technique - a player who might not look like a rock star but is genuinely interesting and lets the music do the talking. Ballet and classical music trained Anna Christina has good stage presence and manages to draw you into her world - well at least as far as she is willing to at this point in the band's career. Lilygun don't play as many gigs as they'd probably like to, so when they hit the stage Anna Christina in particular is determined to rock out as much as possible - the band are taking no prisoners tonight. [Author: Dark Lord of Barnet - 3/3/12]
02 ACADEMY ISLINGTON - GOTHAM XII FESTIVAL
Lilygun are an interesting contrast with the previous band. Both feature female vocalists with classical ballet training - but there the similarities end. Well apart from both having a bit of a Goth influence obviously! The intriguing Anna Christina has a totally different approach to how she want's her band to be perceived. Although her classical background is less obvious, it must help in the way she moves with fluid grace onstage. With Lilygun the focus is far more on the music than the visual presentation, although there is a certain theatrical quality in Anna Christina's stage presence.
This band's lineup has seen a change since their recent Purple Turtle show, with another bass player spinning through the revolving door. Aaron John from Boy Of The Afterthought is standing in for this gig. Lilygun have been sounding heavier and more metalic recently since guitarist James Ford joined the ranks. This is greatly accentuated at this show as the guitar is VERY LOUD! I don't have a problem with that Lilygun got a noticably better sound mix than the previous act, and the clarity helped the 'light and shade' textures of the music shine through. This is certainly the biggest and best (and loudest!) Lilygun show I have seen. I really enjoyed the much heavier sound of the band - it will be interesting to see if this will be reflected in the band's forthcoming album. [Author: Dom Hemming - 3/12/11]
MONTO WATER RATS THEATRE
I'm here to see the new and improved Lilygun - not that there was anything wrong with the old Lilygun. Since I last saw the band the guitarist and bass player have changed. The essential formula of the band is unchanged, but this is definitely a leaner harder rocking machine now. One thing that hasn't changed is singer Anna-Christina who stalks the stage with cat-like grace - but beware - she has claws! The music is dark and brooding, without falling into the usual Goth stereotypes. Influences seem to range from Glam to grunge and back again, but Lilygun are impossible to pigeonhole - sombre yet striking. The new lineup of the band is heavier and more dynamic, it will be interesting to see where this takes them on the forthcoming album. [Author: Dark Lord of Barnet - 9/7/11]
Lilygun are an intriguing band led by the enigmatic Anna-Christina. Lilygun shows don't seem to happen very often, so there seem to be quite a few people here to see this one. They are rewarded with a dark and atmospheric performance. This alt/rock band's influences vary from Goth to grunge, with a little Glam thrown into the mix. The songs in the set veer between dark and brooding and uplifting, while Anna-Christina's feline stage presence is captivating. She draws you into her dark world, but she also shows you the light at the end of the tunnel. After the show is finished you are left wanting more and wondering how long you will have to wait until the next show. [Author: Dom Hemming - 26/9/10]
Lilygun have a unique style mainly marked by front lady and talented vocalist Anna Christina. I like the unusual sound of their bass guitar. [Author: Jerrek Last.fm - 30/9/10]
The group are fronted by Anna-Christina on guitar and vocals. The group delivered an entertaining support slot, producing dark rock with a bit of slap bass thrown in for good measure, with the main duo charismatic and interesting performers. [The Music Fix - 19/2/10]
COLCHESTER ARTS CENTRE
We didn't get to see all of Lilygun's set, but the 4 songs we did get to hear sum up why this band deserve a bigger audience. Their style swings on a compass somewhere between ephemeral, folk/rock, intense, fusion, all with a darkwave twist and topped off by Anna-Christina's lorelei vocals that draw you in and keep you there. No drums tonight, just the addition of Adam B on guitar, but none the less powerful for it. Intriguing and definitely worth checking out further. [Lilygun Unplugged set - Last.fm 15/2/10]
Lilygun may not appeal to readers of this website but for the open minded of you Lilygun are a name to remember. This London based band played a unique set consisting of songs that lay somewhere in between Sonic Youth and the tender moments of Bjork. Led by guitarist/vocalist Anna-Christina, the band played grooves that took you on a rollercoaster ride of musical emotions. [Getreadytorock.com: 27/11/09]
02 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
Next up were Lilygun. Although not strictly goth, Lilyguns dark alternative music presented the crowd with one of the most interesting sets of the day. Influences from the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Skunk Anansie can be heard throughout the set, with dark versus giving way to unobtrusive choruses, backed up by understated gothly bass lines. Frontwoman/guitarist Anna-Christina is the main focal point, with her vocals helping create an atmospheric sheen around the music - music for a understated generation. [Author: DJ 69 - Gotham Festival 10/5/09]
02 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
Lilygun were almost out of place on the bill today with their All About Eve style hippy goth rock. The singer had a great voice and the band sported another comedy bass player. What was really impressive though was the fact that the guitarist and drummer quit the band 3 weeks ago and the two people playing today had stepped in to fill the breach and you would never have known that they were new to the band. It was nice to see a band really enjoying themselves. [Author: Keith Butland Gotham Festival 10/5/09]
THE COBDEN CLUB
Menacing heavy chords twist into sweet flowering melodies and each song has its own flavour. Diamonds stands out but I like the way their set has something for everyone to appreciate. Lilygun is unpredictable, powerful and has a genine darkness that other bands can only try in vain to achieve. [Rock On The Web 2009]
Lilygun set the standard for the rest of the evening - no fucking around, these were serious musicians doing what they do best. With their rhythm section missing, the band had called in some favours, but the last minute replacements didn't cut them down. Anna-Christina is a captivating presence, very much the core of a band she writes as well as plays for. Playing the face, she is polite, self-effacing; bordering on shy between songs. "Moonlight" and closer "Diamonds" stood out - beautiful, melodic, with just enough fireworks to get my Canarian tapas bar jumping. This is the London I love. [Author: Nocturnal, Ryan Cole 24/7/08]
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BULL & GATE
The vocalist, her hair extensions aswirl, has an easygoing charm and a voice as powerful as it is meticulously controlled, she can peel a mean lick off a hollow-body electric too. [Oct 2007]
BULL & GATE
A genre defying act, Lilygun offer an indie take on grunge-metal - Lilygun's female singer is strident about songs and messages, tunes punctuated regularly by accusing cries. Like the singer, the rhythm section dwells on the dark side, with full hooky bass-buzzing and stomping drums that crack, pump and rumble. But the sunshine is not far away, as rasping thrash guitar gives way to frills and jangles, delicately mournful picking, a shimmering waterfall of strings. The songs seem intensely personal and they're delivered with passion to suit. "Give me my poison", "There were times when all I wanted was some honesty", and "The many other masks you leave behind". Not to mention the sweat-drenched t-shirts you leave behind.
The Lilygun set is an impressively varied romp through distinctive and individual songs. There are heavily strummed ballads, angry punk belters, and juddering PJ Harvey blues-stomps that pull-up refreshingly short. The last song is a tight popsicle, complete with phaser fx and squealing climax. This is an array of sounds you could use to create a new Skunk Anansie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cure side-project The Glove, or a psychedelic reinvention of Hole. Lilygun's music rains like a shower of petals and bullets. Just like the snow in Summer. [Author: RF - 2007]
I'm used to being surprised at Lilygun gigs. Either the lineup has changed since the last show, or the set has, or the style and emphasis of the songs and delivery, or the singer has recently survived a horrific ordeal, but what caught me out at the Bull & Gate on the 7th December was the fact that I didn't hear them start, and continued nattering to friends in the bar for most of the first song. Wondering if the Bull & Gate had installed sound-proof doors since the last time I went, I lead my party hurridly in, only to find Lilygun sitting around the front of the stage strumming their way quietly through the final bars of their opening number. There was no drummer. At first I assumed the drummer would be joining them after the acoustic intro, but it didn't happen. There was no drummer coming from anywhere on this night, and having brought some people along with the promise of 'you must see this band, you'll love it', I was a very concerned that I had dragged them out to see only three-quarters of the band doing their best to improvise.
Luckily, Lilygun did a very good job of hastily adapting the arrangements of whichever songs they could, adapting admirably under very difficult circumstances, to deliver impressive-sounding renditions of both familiar and unfamiliar songs.I should say that I'm not at all keen on 'unplugged' stuff. I like rock music for a reason - three reasons actually, and those reasons are guitar, bass and drums. On the whole, a genre of music designed to be delivered through those instruments is not suited to being deprived of the explosive rhythmic devices on which it rests. Despite this, the quality of songwriting and instrumentation was generally sufficient to entertain this hard-hearted old critic, with Anna-Christina's excellent voice leading the line admirably.I look forward to seeing the full product again in the future - once a new drummer has been recruited. By a funny coincidence, I once played in a band where the drummer failed to turn up to a gig at the Bull & Gate. If I correctly recall the story I heard, the Lilygun drummer decided to go for a meal somewhere instead of honouring his obligations to the paying customers. All I can say is - if that's true then I hope he got food poisoning. [Ashley Dreher, Diner 2007]
Lilyguns sound has changed. I don’t mean radically in a different direction or with new banjo solos but they just sound tighter and musically as if they’ve stepped up a gear. It was brighter and more together then previous gigs I’ve been to in the past. Granted there’s been a year or so in there and that’s not to say they didn’t sound very good in the past. I must admit I tend to put a lot of credit to bands that incorporate the drums and bass into their songs instead of just using them to provide the backing. At this gig both were exceptional. The guitar playing was immense and the singer is a bright star. I really enjoyed listening and the rest of the crowd did too, it had a great vibe. My only complaint was they didn’t play ‘Mind & Soul’ but that’s pretty minor considering! [JM Bravado International]
The first thing that struck me about Lilygun's gig was how professional and together they sound and look. They open up with a bang and it left you wondering what kind of vibe these guys were going to bring. The singers voice was soothing yet powerful at the same time and the guitarist was playing loose and funky yet could equally rock when needed! The drummer was in the back but still centre stage and raised slightly so she was very much involved with the audience and you could see and hear her powerful playing. The bass player was spot on and kept everyone entertained with great playing and the fact that you could tell he was really into the music that was happening that night. The gig left me wanting to hear more and to introduce more people to Lilygun's own brand of rock action. The last thing I remember was a buzz about hearing something new and watching a band that enjoys playing it. [Jeremy Moss, Sanctuary Records]
THE HOPE & ANCHOR
Lilygun open the night - and once again it is a pleasure to have them play. Now two boys and two girls, the line up has changed once more, and the band seems more focused than ever. They are producing some really great little songs - proper rock stuff delivered with real passion and energy, with crunchy guitar riffs and a real strength to the songs. These girls (and guys) are definitely a live act worth catching. [John Swaine, Neon Promotions]