Gary Allen - (lead vox/rhythm guitar/drums)
Joe Guillan - (back vox/lead guitar)
Mark Coppin - (back + lead vox/drums/rhythm guitar)
Pete Hardy - (back vox/bass)
Countless are the legends related to this quartet from the North East of England - let's short cut it: this band is one of the hottest rockabilly outfits on the rockin' circuit, and, beside Newcastle Brown Ale, one of the most important export articles from Newcastle! They started life as a trio called "The Atomix" in 1982, and set about rehearsing some of their favourite rockabilly, Rock 'n' Roll and blues numbers from their various record collections. These would range from the obvious - Elvis, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent - to the not so obvious - Johnny Burnette, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison etc. right to the positively unknown!
At this time they were about the only outfit to play this kind of music in their native North East England, so they attracted quite a bit of attention, and local gigs weren't hard to find. Soon the first of many drummers to come was found, and the now four piece were playing nationally as well as locally those days - and almost every weekend. After 18 months as The Atomix, the bands felt this name sounded too "punky", so the Sure Shots were born! In 1985 they had their first gig at the Ashington Central Club in Newcastle, sporting a new drummer: Colin Mee, now singer of the Skip Rats.
Within two years, press exposure lead to the boys first TV slot for the BBC, going out at prime time. Coincidentally a french promoter saw the show and booked the band for a festival in Bordeaux, so the doors to Europe were opened and they have not closed yet, as the band still tour constantly, much to the delight of an ever growing army of followers. In 1986 Joe Guillan replaced Ian Rhodes (now with the Skip Rats) on the lead guitar. It was now the band recorded that recorded their first EP in France, together with a French band called The Jokers. This EP included Fire Engine Baby and the song Don't make me wait too long, self-penned by Gary. This EP was highly successful in France, even made position three in the Paris Indie Charts!
In 1987 the long-awaited album Four to the Bar was recorded for and released by the english Nose/ID label. Songs from this LP, like Broken Heart, Chinatown, Am I Blue and I'm Uneasy soon became Sure Shots classics. four to the Bar was a huge success, with releases in USA and even in Japan! Lots of TV and radio work came along, and, of course: gigs, gigs, gigs! In 1991 Colin Mee left the band, and concentrated on his career as a singer/songwriter with the Skip Rats. He was replaced by Mark Coppin (former Johnny & The Roccos), who is not only a drummer, but also a talented songwriter, and he's responsible for, among others, the song Clown's Pocket, taken from the album with the same title released in 1993. Mark's also a singer, and so he and Gaz once in a while trade places.
Gary Allen has an unmistakeable voice - just to fit this mix of hillbilly, rockabilly, Rock 'n' Roll, country, jazz and blues, just like the most versatile guitarist - when Carl Perkins gave applause from his dressing room, it was obvious that Joe Guillan was on stage!
The Sure Shots have been booked to back or support some Rock 'n' Rolls greats like Sonny Burges, Jimmy Wages, Hayden Thompson, Charlie Feathers, Johnny Carroll, Jackie Lee Cochran, Sleepy La Beef, Tony Conn, Terry Dene, Johnny Powers, Freddie Fingers Lee, and the one and only Carl Perkins.
They felt very honored when they were voted Rockin' Band of the Year in 1994 by the readers of the German Stompin' News Magazine. Their hunger for performing to an audience culminated in November '97 with the biggest tour yet, gruelling 32 dates, 10 countries in 34 days, including some TV work and a spell in a recording studio in Sweden. A good promotion tour for their latest CD/LP, S'wanky, released on German Rundell label.
TV and radio appearances: BBC Look North, BBC DEF 2, Capitol Radio London, Friday Night Live Ch 4, Radio 24, Blue Moonshine Radio station, BBC Radio North, Country Music Television. Add to all this a liberal helping of good liqueur, charme and good humour and you have the Shure Shots, who deserve to be exactly where they are - at the top!
Discography:Fire Engine Baby/Don't Make Me Wait Too Long (EP)
All friends In The Bath (LP/Comp.)
The James Deans Of The Dole Queue (LP/Comp.)
Four To The Bar (LP)
Jumpin' At The Hot Club (LP/Comp./Video/
Clowns Pocket (LP)
he Northwood Story Vol 2 (LP/CD)
Rockabilly Heaven (to be released soon) (10"/CD Comp./live)
Blue Moonshine Concerts -
Concert promotion - band management: Munchensteinerstrasse 1
Ph: ++41 61 313 53 32
Fax:++41 61 313 53 32