★ GUNFIRE DANCE
From page 17 of Classic Rock Magazine September 2006
Gunfire Dance were the British Guns N’ Roses, only with a Bo Diddley beat. Formed in Birmingham at the dawn of the 1990s, the band (Ant, vocals; Ozzy, drums; Jeff Ward, guitar; Ray Birch, bass) dressed in the finest thrift-store glamour and played hard, sleazy rock’n’roll peppered with 70s glitter flourishes and propulsive R&B swagger. They recorded a single with Brian James of The Damned and released a legendary four-song EP, but never managed to land a solid recording deal, despite critical acclaim, high-profile tours, and a successful run of shows in New York City. By the middle of the 90s, the band tired of the struggle and split up, leaving just a handful of seminal songs and a die-hard cult in their wake
Weren’t some of ’em in Dogs D’Amour for a while?
Jeff Ward split after the lengthy New York City run, leaving them with a creative vacuum that the Dogs’ venerable drunk-rock charmer Tyla was more than happy to fill. The Gunners gamely gave it a go, but were ultimately too rough-an’-tumble for the increasingly maudlin Tyla. Plus what was Ant gonna do, play tambourine?
So the Gunners got back together?
Sort of. The band minus Ward formed garage rock outfit Stepping Razors that recorded one song, Stereotypes , for the Drunk On Rock, Vol.2 compilation in 2000, but the band dissolved soon after. Exit Gunfire Dance. Mostly.
Where have all the wild boys gone?
Ozzy joined Lords Of The New Church in 2001, but quit soon after. Jeff was now settled in the US, where he formed the space-glammy Electrajet. Ant was busy battling personal demons. And Britain had not spewed up anything close to a new Guns N’ Roses – so the band got back together.
A happy ending, then?
Not quite. Although Gunfire Dance did get together for some wildly successful reunion shows and had Stateside interest in a comprehensive Gunfire Dance collection, lead singer Ant finally lost his struggle against depression, and committed suicide on July 2 this year. He will be missed.