There is, it’s fair to say, a world of difference between Salford Lads’ Club and the gaudy fleshpots of Sunset Boulevard, and we’re prepared to bet that those differences were even more pronounced in the mid-1980s. So truthfully, it’s never occurred to us to wonder ‘What would Guns N’ Roses have sounded like had they formed in Manchester?’ or, conversely, ‘What would The Smiths have sounded like if they were the house band at the Whisky A Go Go?’
Fortunately, as luck would have it, Mancunian YouTuber Nathan Shepherd, who makes music as Good Future, has done the heavy lifting for us here, with a rather deft reimagining of GN’R’s exhilarating Appetite For Destruction opener Welcome To The Jungle, filtered through a Morrissey/Marr prism. Admittedly it lacks the combustible energy and forbidding sense of impending violence that characterises Axl Rose’s broadcast from the seedier side of West Hollywood, but it will trigger warm waves of nostalgia for anyone who frequented an indie club between 1983 and 1989, lets say.
Back in the real world, last week, Guns N’ Roses released their first single in forever in the form of Absurd, or ABSUЯD, if we really must use that pointless styling. It does not, we should stress, sound like it could have fitted neatly onto The Queen Is Dead, but it’s punkier and more urgent than you might anticipate from a 2021 reworking of a leftover cut from Chinese Democracy, and fills us with a sense of hope that a new album from Axl, Slash, Duff and The Others might actually be rather exciting.
Or more exciting than the last Morrissey album at least.