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 rooted music mixed with dark alternative impulses 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".
Lilygun 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 like, 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 its 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 band's 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 Award for 'Best Single of the Year', Lilygun's self-titled debut album was released in 2012. The critically acclaimed album received outstanding reviews from a cross section of reviewers and DJs, from Rock to Pop, Metal to Goth and Alternative magazines and websites. Lilygun also 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 a solid and loyal following and their shows pulled a healthy London crowd. This meant that they were able to perform at all of the popular London venues including some of the larger ones such as 02 Islington Academy, The Garage and the Scala. Between 2013 - 2015 Lilygun took a short break while Anna-Christina released her solo acoustic EP 'Pretty Little Lady?' and branched out as a film/TV/media composer and a business owner.
In 2016 Lilygun released the much anticipated first single 'Inside', from their second album. A music video accompanied the release. Lilygun proved to not only be unique in sound but also in vision. Anna-Christina’s raw and powerful performance style was captured in the video. The singer was delighted when a reviewer described her as “a Gothic Kate Bush”.
On 17/7/17 the band released their second album 'Strength & Grace' as a Limited Edition CD. Within six days of its release, the album sold out. A testament to their continued popularity, despite the lack of live shows in recent years.
Lilygun’s history is one of great turbulence and the road to success was a difficult one. Twenty five band members, gigs without drummers turning up, health issues, racism, sexism, heartbreak and an industry trying to change original into ‘run of the mill’. Lilygun simply won’t fit in a box! However Anna-Christina's persistence has resulted in deserved success.
“Lilygun was once hailed as the next big British rock band and although we’ve won the hearts of critics and fans around the world, the music industry wants bands they know how to market. I was told my image isn’t appealing and my attitude is wrong, just because I'm different and unafraid to be so. I now know, that many would beg to differ! From the beginning, I had a vision and I'm very proud of the fact that I didn’t conform to anyone else's expectations or opinions or let the many previous band members of Lilygun ruin my spirit. I've built Lilygun's world on my terms.
Lilygun was once a band of hell for me but now, I’m doing what I love with the best, kindest musicians I’ve ever met, who just so happen to be my dearest friends. I am here for the outcasts, the rejects, the weirdos, the beautiful freaks and the people who feel they don't fit in. I am here to tell you, love being who you are and don't change for anyone because you are amazing just as you are! To other bands out there, be careful when people tell you their opinions because "they" are not always right and those same people will come back years later and tell you, they were wrong! Dare to be different.” ~ Anna-Christina ♥
Read more here History.
Anna-Christina's music career began when she won a scholarship to attend a prestigious Ballet boarding school. She grew up in a highly competitive, hard working, isolated and at times nasty environment 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". After some time as a professional Ballet dancer, she made the bold decision to give 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 the madness, her passion for music 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 knife's 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 as though I was doing EVERYTHING for the first time in my life. It was tough. 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 were 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, performed and recorded bass and vocals in David Ryder Prangley's solo band, The Witches and performed and recorded bass in Sister Witch. Anna-Christina has been described as "multi-talented" and is also an entrepreneur, composer, a multi-award-winning storyteller, and runs her own company.
Find out more here annachristinamusic.com.
Belle was a familiar figure on the London rock and alternative scene. He worked as a drummer/percussionist for a large number of bands and artistes and has done a considerable amount of production and mixing-related work for a number of bands and projects. Additionally he was noted for his work as a top DJ for a number of rock and alternative clubs.
In addition to Lilygun, Belle played drums for Partly Faithful, Nosferatu, The Cureheads and Glam Rock Youth Club. His past credits include Killing Miranda, Rachel Stamp and Lahannya. He was noted for his tight and hard-hitting style of drumming and for the fact that he 'played for the song', rather than swamping the music with too many excess beats.
Known for his individual appearance and love of glamour, Belle enjoyed alcohol in copious quantities, women of various types, foreign travel and a wide variety of music and aspects of both alternative and mainstream culture. He was known as an advocate of vegetarianism and for his support of women's rights and gender equality. Furthermore he was a supporter of many charities, including those such as Amnesty and others who speak out for oppressed minorities.
Guest Bass/Guitar PlayerAaron John has on occasion played both 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. Boy Of The Afterthought
David Ryder Prangley
David Ryder Prangley is a musician best known for his work with the glam punk rock band Rachel Stamp. He works with many bands and artists as a producer and produced Lilygun's debut 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 on both of Lilygun's albums, David also directed the music videos for Inside and What Goes Around.Rachel Stamp
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 played on many recordings including their debut single 'Diamonds' and the EP 'Peace of Mind' released in 2010, which he also co-produced and recorded with Anna-Christina.
Bob Loveday, British rock violinist - recording session and performing artist, has worked with a myriad of artists, including Van Morrison, Penguin Café Orchestra, Bob Geldof, Jeff Beck, Kirsty MacColl and Rachid Taha, amongst others. He recorded violin on 'My Ways' and 'Moonlight' with Lilygun.Bob Loveday