Words & Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media
When EMI issued ‘Whales and Dolphins’, a greatest-hits collection in 2001, Terrorvision had decided to call it a day. With a farewell tour in the bag, the band’s ‘final’ concert took place at Penningtons nightclub in their hometown of Bradford, on 4 October 2001. That even resulted in a live album, ‘Take the Money & Run – The Final Concert’.
Potentially inspired by KISS and Scorpions, the use of the word ‘final’ was mildly inaccurate and by 2005, the band reformed to play two tours, with their second ‘last ever show’ at Rock In The Castle in Scarborough, Yorkshire, on 17 September 2005, as Special Guests of The Wildhearts.
Since then…. special occasion shows, anniversary events and ‘just for the love of the music’ type shows have seen the band returning in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011 which also saw the release of ‘Super Delux’
It’s no surprise then that on November 4th we stood inside a sold out (and then some) Electric Ballroom in Camden Town to watch the band play the last of 3 dates celebrating ‘TV30’, 30 years of history of Terrorvision.
The show opens with Terrorvision’s very own trumpet wielding Nick Hughes and his own band The Middlenight Men, rated by TV’s front man Tony Wright as;
“I think [Nick’s band] The Middlenight Men should be massive. They’ve got a huge sound, Nick I think is a visionary and I think with that sound, that energy, they’ve got the chance to be bigger than Meatloaf.”
The Middlenight Men
With the band’s debut album ‘Issue 1′ critically and commercially successful, fans of the band that sound like the bastard child of Meatloaf and The Wildhearts are eager to hear new material from the upcoming ‘Issue 2′. With this being the only date of the three that the band were supporting Terrorvision and a notable lack of gigs recently, this was a real one-off opportunity to see and hear the band in their home town in front of a receptive and enthusiastic crowd.
The fan favourites from ‘Issue 1′ were all present, including ‘Rat Star’ and the clap-tastic ‘BA Baby’ but it was the opportunity to see and hear the band perform new material that really made the evening special. It felt like a fan club only event with new material being tried live for what seemed like the first time with front man Nick Hughes almost apologising for playing ‘the new stuff’.
The end result was nothing short of a teaser trailer for ‘Issue 2′. A couple of wobbles when Nick remembered certain tracks supposed t be sung in a different key but the energy, passion and pure enjoyment on stage more than obliterated any minor glitches.
The Dave Draper produced sophomore album will be released (I believe) in the new year. I for one can’t wait.
30 years and more ‘final’ shows than you can shake a stick at and Terrorvision are back once more and judging by the fired up crowd, not before time as well.
Opening with ‘Discotheque Wreck’, the line;
And I’m a moving, I’m a grooving,
And I’m a smooching, and he’s a discotheque wreck,
..seems wholly appropriate. Front man Tony Wright, dressed in a salmon pink lounge suit, looking like a member of Murph and the Magic Tones from The Blues Brothers, he carried more energy than a roof full of EDF solar panels and seemed set on discharging the electricity before the end of the show. Moving, grooving, jumping, bounding, rushing… not so much smooching, he and the rest of the band were definitely up for it and the surging crowd responded in kind.
Before we knew it, the opening bars of ‘Tequila’ kicked in and the place suddenly dissolves into a seething mass of bodies and voices singing along in unison. It’s like watching one of those moments where your national team have just scored the winning goal at the World Cup, the crowd goes wild, beer flies everywhere, everyone is soaked yet there’s a room full of a thousand smiling faces. Welcome to a Terrorvision gig!
If that wasn’t enough, ‘Alice What’s The Matter’ immediately followed. The pause in the song between Alice what’s the matter, Alice what’s the matter “Alice what’s the matter, Alice what’s the matter” and “Something about her she reminds me of you” seemed to allow everyone to instantly recharge their batteries before the full-crowd mosh pit reconvened and started thrashing around once more.
Now I’ve seen Terrorvision multiple times over the years but I’ll be honest I’m a little bit Alan Partridge about their music. If asked about my favourite Terrorvision album, I’ll immediately state it’s ‘The Best of Terrorvision’. I should be more diligent, I should know the deep cuts but the reality is I love the singles and all of my favourites got played, including ‘Celebrity Hit List’, ‘Pretend Best Friend’, ‘My House’, ‘Middleman’, ‘Oblivion‘ and ‘Perseverance’. These tracks were spread dutifully among some other cracking tunes and made me kick myself several times as the words “What’s this? It’s superb!!” shot out of my mouth at full volume. Some future research and revisiting the studio albums (that I do actually own on CD) is required for future shows.
As the band finished their set and Carly Simon’s very apt’Nobody Does It Better’ rang out over the P.A. our minds head to 2024 and a new album. If the next release, the first since 2011’s ‘Super Delux’ carries the same energy and intensity that the Camden show did, then we are in for treat. “Back of the net!” as Alan might say!
New Policy One
Stop the Bus
Alice What’s the Matter
Some People Say
Fists of Fury
Celebrity Hit List
If I Was You
Don’t Shoot My Dog
Pretend Best Friend
D’Ya Wanna Go Faster
This Drinking Will Kill Me
(Outro – Tape) Nobody Does It Better (Carly Simon song)