Rock band Gun will perform one of their biggest hits alongside paralysed Aberdeen singer Jon Davie at their Granite City date next month, after being impressed by his cover.
Mr Davie posted a clip of him singing the band’s version of Word Up! – itself a cover of Cameo’s 80s hit – to his Soundcloud page last year, using a backing track from his friend Kevin Green.
While looking for inspiration for a new Gun acoustic album, lead singer Dante Gizzi stumbled across a previous article about Mr Davie’s return to the music scene, which included a link to the song.
Through the band’s management, he extended an offer to the former GutterGodz frontman: to come on stage at the Lemon Tree and lend his considerable vocal talents to the song in front of a crowd.
Mr Gizzi said: “I thought, that’s a really good version he’s done there – it’s brilliant.
“When I read the whole story about it, I just felt so sorry for the guy. It genuinely broke my heart.
“So when we were coming round to do this tour, I thought it would be great to get him back up on stage and see if he’s up for performing Word Up.”
Gun for an opportunity
When approached with the offer, Mr Davie was thrilled to accept.
He said: “It’s an amazing offer, the fact that they even listened to the song that Kev and I did is cool and the fact that they enjoyed that’s good.
“But to be offered to come up and sing it with them, it’s pretty cool for someone who’s barely done anything in four years! It’s an honour to be asked, I’m chuffed.”
In a strange twist, this will not be the first time Mr Davie has shared a bill with Gun at the Lemon Tree: his previous band GutterGodz opened one of their gigs in 2012 after another group pulled out at the last minute.
However, this upcoming show will be only the second time he has appeared on stage since he suffered a massive injury in 2017 – the cause of which is still unknown.
Last September, his friends Scott Reid and Charlie Munro put on the Aberdeen Band Weekender, a fundraising gig for the Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre in Kincorth where Mr Davie stays.
He describes an hour-long set where he sang in an acoustic set in front of a large turnout there as “the highlight of the last four years”.
He said: “For me, it was such an incredible achievement, whereas maybe two or three years beforehand I didn’t think that would ever happen again. I thought that was me done.
“It was one thing, the kind of elation that I got from the initial Word Up thing, but getting back on stage was great.
“I was really nervous beforehand, but once I got physically back on stage the nerves just went away. I was back at home, basically.”
Aberdeen ‘an amazing crowd’
Mr Gizzi, who has just returned from a concert at the London Palladium where he performed Queen songs in front of a live orchestra, suggested he could play the bass at the show – as he did in the original version, released long before he became the lead singer.
Besides playing alongside Mr Davie, he said he is looking forward to the Aberdeen crowd: “I always remember it being an amazing crowd in Aberdeen, always a brilliant crowd even in the early days.
“It’s like a Glasgow audience, they’re just so into it.”
Tickets for the show on December 12, where Gun will be supported by Aberdeen band Vansleep, are available on the Lemon Tree website.