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LIVE REPORT: Slash At House Of Commons
Valerie Siebert , June 5th, 2014 17:03

Val Siebert makes it through security and into the a Becks/Tory-filled pavilion to watch The Hatted One put in an acoustic performance of new LP tracks and a Guns classic. Photographs courtesy of Angus Thomas

What do you get when you mix a Guns N' Roses guitarist, a boatload of free booze and a load of Tory politicians? A damn strange evening, that's what.

Top-hatted, mop-haired, last-of-the-guitar-Gods Slash, formerly of rock monsters Guns N' Roses, decided to launch his latest album in the most unique of fashions on Monday evening: with a gig in the House of Commons. He was invited by MP Mike Weatherley, who represents Hove as well as serving as intellectual property adviser to the Prime Minister, as part of the Rock the House competition founded by Weatherley in 2011.

The industry was out in full support with managers, musicians, label reps and of course journalists joining the exclusive 200-strong crowd in the Thames-side tent. Here, after being ushered into the building by bemused Met police officers and subjected to a lengthy security process, they proceeded to mingle, namedrop loudly and suck back complimentary Becks.

Slash and singer Myles Kennedy were soon on hand to provide an acoustic taster of some of their tunes, including the pair's first collaboration 'Starlight' and tracks from the new album, but they also treated the pack to a Guns classic and a version of Velvet Revolver's 'Fall To Pieces'.

The performance was then followed by an exclusive listen to World On Fire, the next Slash album, which features Kennedy and his band The Conspirators, which won't be seeing release for another three months. Leak prevention was in full effect as all in attendance were made to relinquish all phones and recording devices upon entry. I can say for certain, though, that there are no surprises. It's standard Slash riffing, soloing fare with some interesting melodic vocal lines thrown in by Kennedy and one 'Paradise City' soundalike track – everything the giddy guitarheads and Guns aficionados may need.

The guests of honour were taken on a special private tour of the Houses of Parliament after the performance, leaving their invitees to enjoy the venue and album before exiting en masse once the bar started charging.

The presence of Tory MPs milling about, schmoozing the media during the event was certainly a mite off-putting. However, the surreal experience of watching the sun go down over the Thames, drink in hand, from the Houses of Parliament Terrace Pavilion while Slash plucks out the instantly recognisable riff from 'Sweet Child O'Mine' is not one any person in attendance will soon forget.

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