GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS BIOGRAPHY
James Atkinson: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Douglas McLaughlan: Bass, Vocals
Bill Steer: Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stuart Dobbins: Drums, Percussion
Gentleman's Pistols formed in 2003 as a three piece with initial influences being the classic glam bands, Slade and especially The Sweet and heavy 70's bands such as Deep Purple and Captain Beyond. In 2006, the band released their first 7", Just A Fraction b/w Heavy Petting on the Leeds based Art Goes Pop imprint. Soon after, Rise Above records released another 7" for the band with the tracks, The Lady b/w Creamy Lid which was followed a year later with self-titled debut album. The album was well received by the music press with Classic Rock giving it 8/10 and Metal Hammer scoring it 9/10, saying "Put simply, there should be more bands like Gentleman's Pistols around."
At Her Majesty's Pleasure was produced by singer/guitarist James Atkinson and represents a labor of love, not to mention copious late nights, equipment malfunctions and frayed nerves. Despite developing a broadened musical palette including the use of strings and supplementary percussion, the recording nonetheless aimed to capture the band as they are in the raw, with little in the way of editing used. Indeed, what you hear on the record is how it was played, warts and all, with much of what is on the record captured within a couple of takes.
"It wasn't easy," admits Atkinson. "The studio was so cold that the guitars kept falling out of tune between takes and most of the album was recorded while the band were wearing gloves and coats!"
"The writing process for At Her Majesty's Pleasure began as soon as we had finished recording the first album," explains James. By the time original drummer Adam Clarke decided to leave the band, we had demos of at least five tracks from the album and when guitarist Chris Rogers left (recently replaced by Bill Steer, ex-Napalm Death, Carcass etc), all of the songs were finished musically and only a few lyrics needed writing to complete the album."
The album was recorded at James' own Mutiny studios in Bradford, where the band practices. They had completed demos of the LP by the end of 2009 and were looking forward to getting the real thing laid down in the New Year. Come February however, they were all ready to go into the studio. Unfortunately, it seemed to be the coldest it had been in a long time. "Due to the studio being in an old mill building, warmth wasn't a luxury we were entitled to," laughs James. Undeterred by this, the band soldiered on. Despite quite a few issues with keeping the guitars in tune due to the temperature changes between rooms, most of the basic tracks were laid down relatively easily and by the end of Feb, they decided to take a little break before tackling the vocals and overdubs.
"Fast forward a couple of months and there we were again," continues James. "But now the temperature seemed tropical compared to the cold winter recording session we had in February. Here we tracked the lead guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals and percussion. Adding overdubs like this was something we wouldn't have thought of doing on the first LP as everything except the vocals were tracked live, but we had tried it on the new demos and we liked the scope it gave us for trying out new things and especially how the percussion sounded on certain tracks. A week later I was sat there with the tracked, finished product and all I had to do was mix it."
"This took a little longer than first imagined," admits James. "I was fully expecting a Brian Wilson style meltdown at one point but luckily managed to get it finished and remain happy with the outcome." The end result is collection of storming and strutting rock that should have little problem in putting Gentleman's Pistols at the forefront of UK rock n roll.