I caught up with musician Gary Lawson, from The Big Easy resident band Concrete Jungle, to learn a bit more about him and what he has been up to recently.
Hi Gary, do you have a stage name?
Well, I normally go by the name Gazza from Concrete Jungle or just simply Gazza.
Alright then, Gazza it is then. Where are you from originally & how long have you lived in Lanzarote?
I am originally from Bingley, West Yorkshire and I have lived in Lanzarote for over twenty years now.
Wow, that’s a long time. You must love the place then! What brought you here in the first place?
Funnily enough it was a broken heart paired with the chance to play at the venue formerly known as the Rock Café in Centro Atlántico, in Puerto del Carmen, were the first steps to living in the beautiful island of Lanzarote.
What do you like about Lanzarote?
I instantly knew I was going to stay the very moment I set foot on the island. I felt in love with the place and the life it has ultimately provided for my family.
Tell us some of your favourites places.
I am incredibly fortunate to live in my favourite place on the whole island, Playa Quemada. And I will be in serious trouble if I mention anywhere else other than ‘Café de la Plaza’ ( owned and run by Rachel Hicks, my fiancée 😉 ) as my favourite eatery!
Hahaha! Well, I have eaten there myself and I can vouch for how scrumptious the cakes are, so nobody would blame you!
Getting back to the music, what do you play and where do you normally gig?
Over the years I have played solo, in bands and duos, playing guitar, drums and singing in various bars, hotels and venues from Playa Blanca to Costa Teguise.
Until Lockdown I played in a band called Concrete Jungle with Ernie Barrera and Marc Johnson (better known as Marc Piano) as the resident band from Monday to Friday at The Big Easy, a bar in the Avenida de las Playas in Puerto del Carmen.
Marc also played for the EMERLAN Charity Concert in May 2020. (You can check Gazza’s playlist here: https://lanzarotemusicians.com/gazza-playlist/. We’re both looking forward to doing more gigs for Musicians Unite in the very near future.
Oh, that sounds interesting, we look forward to hearing more!
Who is your idol and/or your inspiration?
My musical influences are too many to mention. They range from soft pop to heavy rock. People are my inspiration, those who do good acts in society. Playing for the Lanzarote Musicians Unite initiative was an absolute honour.
And talking of projects, are you involved in any special projects during Lockdown, other than the charity concert?
Concrete Jungle joined forces with Vintage Vibes Band https://www.facebook.com/vintagevibesband/ in Ireland and the collaboration has resulted in two videos: “One Love” https://www.facebook.com/askconcretejungle/videos/831604097345942/ and “Celebration” https://www.facebook.com/askconcretejungle/videos/245873226712585/. Also they were part of the “We are Lanzarote” collaboration https://www.facebook.com/goodolddayslanzarote/videos/249770856089219/. a Lanzarote cover of “We are the world”.
Great, I’ll make sure to listen to those. Finally, what do you like do to when you are not gigging?
Away from music there’s nothing I like better than listening to current affairs on the radio, relaxing at a restaurant with my fiancée of 13 years and our two daughters, Daniella and Sofia. I also enjoy reading a good book.
Well, a man of many talents and interests, I see. Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to listen to you and Concrete Jungle play live very soon!
Our readers can keep up to date with Gazza’s latest news on :
If you want to contribute to the band until they can gig live again, you can do so on their Online Tip Jar on https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ConcreteJungle and they have a live online gig every Sunday at 19h on their Facebook page.
Also, there is a CD called “Concrete Jungle live at The Big Easy” which does exactly what it says on the… title: it’s a live album of 15 songs what was released in November 2019 and it’s available for €9.50 on Amazon, iTunes or Google on https://www.facebook.com/pg/askconcretejungle/shop.