LILYGUN are a rock band formed around singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna Christina, hailing from London.
LILYGUN adheres to no rules. A guitar based rock band, LILYGUN was formed by the enigmatic singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna-Christina. Her unusual combination of classical roots with dark aggression has resulted in an uncompromising and unpredictable Rock that has an edge to it and has been described as "a shower of bullets and petals".
This is a band free from rules, fashion trends and the common trappings of most rock bands. Not willing to submit to the norm, LILYGUN has the ability to create a strange and captivating atmosphere when playing live. When the question arises of whom or what they are alike, it's always met with the same reply "I dunno"!
The name LILYGUN was just two words thrown together at first but as the band progressed, it took on a meaning all on it's own. It's a perfect representation of the many contradictions the band has. Something beautiful inverted into darkness. Aggressive and heavy in parts of the songs they play to soft and fragile. All projected with a sense of glamour and a certain freshness and vibe of their own.
After the success of the bands first two singles, notably the second single 'MOONLIGHT', receiving rave reviews, making XFM's Playlist on the Ian Camfield Rock Show and a nomination for a Pure Rawk for 'Best single of the year', LILYGUN'S self titled debut album was released on A Line Records/Cargo Records.
The critically acclaimed album received outstanding reviews from a cross section of reviewer's and DJ's, from Rock to Pop, Metal to Goth and Alternative magazines and websites. LILYGUN had a full page article featured in the Observer newspaper. The album was aired regularly on radio and podcasts both in the UK and abroad long after its release. LILYGUN made 'Band of the Month' and 'Album of the Year' on several websites and landed special features.
Over the years, LILYGUN managed to build up a solid and loyal following and their shows pulled a healthy London crowd. This meant that they were able to perform at all the popular London venues including some of the larger ones such as 02 Islington Academy and The Scala. LILYGUN'S history is one of great turbulence and the road to success was a difficult one, however Anna-Christina's persistence has resulted in deserved success. READ BAND HISTORY FURTHER ON IN THE PROFILE.
ANNA-CHRISTINA - SINGER/SONGWRITER/GUITARIST/PIANIST.
Anna-Christina's music career began when she won a scholarship to attend a performing arts boarding school. She grew up in a highly competitive, hard working, isolated and at times nasty enviroment but these claustrophobic confines led her to a special talent that was brewing inside her head - MUSIC.
At the age of 12, she began playing the piano. "I was always locked away in a tiny music cell at my school by myself playing the piano and writing songs like a sad git! I was an outcast but it never bothered me because I always had somewhere to go, that tiny music cell is where everything began for me". She turned her full attention to music and gave up her theatre life for Rock'n'Roll.
Her unconventional upbringing was the perfect preparation for what was about to come. Creating LILYGUN was not an easy affair and there were many changes that needed to be made for her vision to come to light. Through all the difficult struggles and highly questionable people she met on the way, she was always in the middle of madness, her ambition overcoming all obstacles.
When LILYGUN was finally ready to be exposed to the world, fate took a dark twist. Anna-Christina almost lost her life after suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. An event that would change her forever but didn't stop her from pursuing that one thing that kept her spirit alive in the hard months of illness - Music. Her life stood on a knives blade for a few deadly months but it was not to be the end. Her operation and recovery was a miracle, though there were many gruelling years ahead. It was confirmed that LILYGUN would see the light of day.
"I had to overcome Post Traumatic Stress and Depression. I suffered nightmares and a total fear of leaving my house alone. Weather changes caused extreme pain to my scar and I battled constantly with very painful headaches.I spent the next few years on strong painkillers and though my brain was functioning normally, it was though I was doing EVERYTHING for the first time in my life. It was devastating. People told me I wouldn't be able to continue my career as a musician but I was determined to prove them wrong and I did". After her recovery, she was back, better than ever and stealing more hearts.
Not only did Anna-Christina bring LILYGUN back to life in the years to follow, she also joined THE EDEN HOUSE as a lead vocalist throughout 2010 on their European tour. She sang to a crowd of 1500 when they performed at CASTLE PARTY - the biggest Goth and Darkwave festival in Eastern Europe, Poland. She performed to 2000 people at WAREGEM GOTHIC FESTIVAL held in Belgium and DV8 FESTIVAL in York, which is one of the UK's top Alternative festivals. There was also a string of successful shows in London.
The charismatic singer is involved in several other projects. She recorded vocals on BOY OF THE AFTERTHOUGHT's debut album and performed and recorded bass in David Ryder Prangley's band THE WITCHES. She also plays bass in SISTER WITCH. Anna-Christina has been described as "Multi-Talented" and is also an entrepreneur and runs her own company. She is a published children's audio book author and a TV, film and media composer.
BELLE STAR, DRUMS/ PERCUSSION.
Belle is a familiar figure on the London rock and alternative scene. He has worked as a drummer/percussionist for a large number of bands and artistes and he has done a considerable amount of production and mixing-related work for a number of bands and projects. Additionally he is noted for his work as a top DJ for a number of rock and alternative clubs.
In addition to LILYGUN,Belle is currently playing drums for PARTLY FAITHFUL, NOSFERATU, THE CUREHEADS and GLAM ROCK YOUTH CLUB. His past credits include KILLING MIRANDA, RACHEL STAMP and LAHANNYA. He is noted for his tight and hard-hitting style of drumming and for the fact that he always 'plays for the song' rather than swamping the music with too many excess beats
Known for his individual appearance and the love of glamour, Belle also enjoys alcohol in copious quantities, women of various types, foriegn travel and a wide variety of music and aspects of both alternative and mainstream culture. He is a known as an advocate of vegetarianism and his support for women's rights and gender equality. Furthermore he is a supporter of many charities, including those such as Amnesty and others who speak out for oppressed minorities.
AARON JOHN, GUEST BASS/GUITAR PLAYER.
Aaron John has on occasion played lead guitar and bass in LILYGUN at live performances and on recordings over the past few years and is one of two bass players featured on LILYGUN'S debut album. He became a key ingredient in the development of LILYGUN'S sound of today.
DAVID RYDER PRANGLEY, GUEST BASS PLAYER.
David Ryder Prangley is a musician best know for his work with the glam punk rock band RACHEL STAMP. He works with many bands and artistes as a producer and produced LILYGUN'S first single 'DIAMONDS'. He was LILYGUN'S special guest bass player during 2012, joining the band on stage for a string of album promotional gigs as well as recording their debut album.
BOB LOVEDAY, SESSION VIOLINIST.
Bob Loveday, British rock violinist - recording session and performing artist, has worked with a myriad of artists, including VAN MORRISON, PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA, BOB GELDOF,
JEFF BECK, KIRSTY MACOLL and RACHID TAHA, amongst others. He recorded violin on 'MY WAYS' and 'MOONLIGHT' with LILYGUN.
PIRANHA, EX BASS PLAYER.
This talented bass player joined Anna-Christina at the beginning stages of LILYGUN and helped build the band up from nothing. He was a key member in LILYGUN for many years and pklayed on many recordings including their first single 'DIAMONDS' and the EP 'PEACE OF MIND' released in 2010, which he also co-produced and recorded with Anna-Christina.
LILYGUN'S history is one of extreme measures! The band was formed by enigmatic singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna-Christina, who is the driving force behind the group.
With a turbulent history of her own. Anna-Christina has a remarkable story to tell.
LILYGUN has been a band plagued with countless line-up changes which meant that endless auditioning often kept them out of the limelight. Anna-Christina's health issues throughout the band's earlier years also hugely held back progress. Blood, sweat and cursing led LILYGUN to find their heavy, dark routes and they eventually catapulted themselves into the edgy Alternative Rock Medium.
In the early stages of LILYGUN, the band became known as Anna-Christina and Piranha, Lilygun's extraordinary original bass player. They began playing with lead guitarist Aaron John. He became a key ingredient in the development of Lilygun's sound of today.
It's no secret that Lilygun have had many guitarists, every type and style of player but in all the years no one had actually changed the course of Lilygun or its sound to such an extent as this remarkable musician. Aaron John's unparalleled talent to invent, changed Lilygun forever.
LILYGUN have seen it all. They rolled up to one of their gigs without a drummer (he decided to go for dinner instead of fulfilling his duties) which is possibly one of the most stressful and awful things that can happen to a band on the night of the gig. However they dazzled with an unplugged set instead! They effortlessly glided through stripped down renditions of their songs and ended with the ever ethereal 'MOONLIGHT'. They were greeted with rapturous applause from the audience demanding more, Lilygun obliged.
One thing is for sure, when you turn up to see a Lilygun gig you never know what you're about to see but can trust in the fact that you'll always get a nice surprise! Ironically due to the success of this gig. It turned out to be the beginning of a series of successful unplugged gigs that followed.
Eventually LILYGUN began to creep into the media's attention and were receiving good demo reviews on music websites, published in several magazines and were played on XFM, TOTALROCK and many other radio shows.
The band cooked up a magnanimous creation and recorded 'DIAMONDS' with producer David Ryder Prangley (Singer of Rachel Stamp). This recording was Lilygun's first ever single, self released in March 2008 and went on to receive brilliant reviews and even made the Most Popular Hits of 2009.
A string of gigs followed through the year including THE WOMEN IN MUSIC FESTIVAL in Birmingham, THE SURFACE UNSIGNED FESTIVAL, Carling Academy Bar where they were first joined by drummer Belle Star (Killing Miranda) and THE BORDERLINE supporting DIE SO FLUID.
LILYGUN also played with guest drummer Robin Guy (Faith No More, Bruce Dickinson) for a few shows including GOTHAM FESTIVAL at 02 Academy, Islington. They recorded their debut EP 'PEACE OF MIND' at the famous Britannia Row Studios (The direct descendent of the original Pink Floyd's studio) where Anna-Christina and Piranha took full control of the recording,
both taking part in engineering, recording and mixing. The first single 'CONVERSATIONS', self released August 2009, earned fantastic write ups, was published in Devolution Magazine and received air play on Radio Nightbreed and Radio Rheinwelle in Germany. and on the John Peel show.
The highlights of 2010 saw Lilygun support ANNA-MARIE-HURST at the Scala, THE EDEN HOUSE in Colchester and Bristol and a headlining show at Camden Underworld where they were joined on stage by David Ryder Prangley on bass. The band's first EP 'PEACE OF MIND' was self released that summer. Lilygun also had a full page article published in the Observer newspaper in November.
During 2011 Lilygun began to record their debut album. Live performances grew to new heights with successful shows at the 02 Academy Islington, The Garage, Electrowerkz and other venues in and around London.
2012 was LILYGUN'S year! After all the hardship and anticipation, they released their first two album singles 'SCUM' and 'MOONLIGHT' on Zeff Music. Both were well received by critics, most notably the second single 'MOONLIGHT' receiving rave reviews, making XFM's playlist on the Ian Camfield Rock Show and a nomination for a Pure Rawk for 'Best single of the Year' LILYGUN'S self-titled debut album was released in September on A Line Records/Cargo Records.
It received outstanding reviews from a cross section of reviewers and DJ's, from Rock to Pop, Metal to Goth and Alternative magazines and websites. It featured regularly on radio and podcasts both in the UK and abroad long after its release.
The band was interviewed live on radio for Raiders broadcast and Anna-Christina and Belle Star (now a regular member) did their first Skype interview on America's XPat Radio. Other interviews for Riot Music followed. LILYGUN made 'Band of the Month' on Roomthirteen.com as well as 'Album of the Year' on Nanobot Rock Reviews and specially recommended on Riot Music.
Following the album release, they received an endorsement deal and were booked for two big festivals in London. The RENAISSANCE ALTERNATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL and GOTHAM FESTIVAL at the 02 Academy, Islington.
Amini album tour followed of successful gigs in and around London. THE INTREPID FOX, two headlining dates Upstairs at the GARAGE, the Jubilee Late Night Show at the BARFLY, THE FLAG in Watford, THE HORN in Hertfordshire and THE TWIST in Colchester to name a few, wrapped up the years hard work.
2013 saw LILYGUN team up with bass player and long time friend Ashley Dreher, for the return to THE RENAISSANCE ALTERNATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL in May as well as a string of shows throughout the beginning of the year. The band was lucky enough to be one of the last bands ever to perform at the legendary London Venue THE BULL AND GATE before its closure in April.
Whilst LILYGUN began to focus on writing their second album, Anna-Christina began a spin-off project she called "PRETTY LITTLE LADY"?. Solo accoustic music with an edge and "not for the faint-hearted", Anna-Christina performed a series of intimate gigs in and around London throughout 2013/2014. Having never performed solo in the past, her shows generated interest and good reviews.
She released a collection of songs as part of her first acoustic EP called 'PRETTY LITTLE LADY'..One song from the EP was released every Sunday throughout the month of May 2015.
Songs from 'PRETTY LITTLE LADY' were featured on radio shows throughout the year and were popular.
Anna-Christina performed her solo set at several headlining shows in London including THE AVALON, THE DUBLIN CASTLE, ALLEYCATS, PROUD in Camden and MONDO WATER RATS. other stand out gigs were THE FLAG in Watford, THE HORN in St Albans and THE RENAISSANCE ALTERNATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL in London.
On Halloween night Anna-Christina released her first official music video for the song 'LITTLE BOY BLUE. The video was directed by Jordan KK and filmed at Unit 2 Studios.
By 2016, the recording of LILYGUN'S second album was in full swing. "The Big Eight" (songs) as Anna-Christina calls them, were chosen out of a selection of twenty demo songs.
Most of the musicians playing on the new album also performed on Lilygun's debut.
In true LILYGUN fashion, the making of their second album didn't go without a little drama! After recording sessions ended, Anna-Christina began to mix the album with producer/engineer Adie Hardy and Belle. Much to their horror, the first few mixes were lost when the studio hard drive decided to die!
However the wait was over and finally Lilygun released the much anticipated first Single from their second album on October 2016! Inside was the last song written by Anna-Christina before suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. She decided it was fitting to release the song on the same date as the incident using her head Xray as the cover!
LILYGUN'S second self released album 'STRENGTH AND GRACE' finally saw the light of day and was released on the 17th July, and sold out within 6 days, such was the demand.
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