Review & Photography by Manny Manson for MPM
So, Christmas is out of the way for another year. Retail has no doubt boomed as it would seems that that is what Christmas is all about nowadays, the true meaning and the baby Jesus have now been long forgotten.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well and had a great time of the long weekend. Ok enough of that, it’s party time!
You guessed it; I’m heading, once again, to the ‘famous’ Rock City, this is sadly my last visit to this epic venue for the remainder of 2021. Tonight, will hopefully bring that goodwill tonic to the masses that is much needed these days, I’ve heard that Bradford’s Terrorvision are the very boys to do it.
To start the night off we have a slight change in the line-up. The Lottery Winners have had to pull out of the show at short notice due to the dreaded positive Covid result. At the last-minute Ryan Brooks and Alex Smith, from Nottingham’s very own ‘Ferocious Dog’ stepped up to the mark with an acoustic set that the audience really enjoyed.
Acoustic guitar and Cajon percussion a complement, I guess that’s something that you don’t expect at a TV gig. Playing a short set of only 7 songs they entertained better than anyone thought they would. A great sounding voice helped as Ryan and Alex made their way through the opening song ‘Arlene’.
Stood in a trucker cap and tracksuit top, this smooth operator delivered a creamy vocal, his band chum on the Cajon, sat, beating out a rhythmic driving bass beat, beside him, as the song delivered. Ryan and Alex are both smiling as they obviously, are enjoying the moment. ‘Old No 7’ was up next, no guesses to what that’s about, and then ‘City Lights’ followed.
The partnership was relaxed, you could tell they have a musical bond, Alex, ever smiling, even had his can of Budweiser beer at his feet, he smiled to the crowd as he drank from it. ‘Find A Way’, ‘The Other Side’, ‘Dear Departed’ and ‘Own Sweet Way’ finished the set off.
With such accomplished guitar playing and a great beat from the Cajon, the short set flowed easily. A bit of banter from Alex explained the reason he was before us, he talked about the connection with Terrorvision, so he was only too happy to help out at such short notice. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, they didn’t mind the change in line up at all. The pair left the stage to cheers and applause, A job well done I’d say.
A great start to the evening that went down really well with the gathered crowd. Sadly, we’re well down on numbers no doubt due to the dreaded lurgy out haunting the streets and hyped up by the ever-hungry Television media services, but they all seem to be in early doors and really enjoying themselves, which is great for the support artist.
After the usual set clear up, which didn’t take long as the lads walked off with, they’re kit leaving the Rock City crew little to do, we wait for the Headliners. The stage is lit by the large letters T and V on either side of the drum kit. Interestingly they will block out the view of the drummer later on as the stage gets swamped in fog!
And the intro music starts, the band walk on to ‘That’s the Way Aha Aha (I Like It)’ the 1975 hit for KC & the Sunshine band, to huge cheering and applause from the assembled crowd, acknowledging them as they do so. With a curfew of 11pm and a set list that reads like a greatest hits part 1 compilation the band are on it, much to the delight of the crowd, who are bouncing already.
Snare riff and a flat bend on the guitar heralds the start to ‘Discotheque Wreck’ from 1994’s ‘How To Make Friends And Influence People’, the clanking bass line kicking in somewhat reminiscent of an early Jean-Jacques Burnel bass line, driving the song along as Duracell powered Albert Einstein look a-like, Tony Wright hits the stage at 100 miles an hour.
Clad in silver ‘Alcofoil’ trousers and a Bowie ‘flash’ tee shirt, he proceeds to get in his 10,000 steps…. Per song. My, his energy is through the roof as he belts out this opener. Yates, clad in bandana and shades is grinding out the sleazy riff looking like an extra from the Quireboys as he does so, his foot on the monitor as he looks straight down the barrel of the lens, great shot.
On stage left we have bassist Leigh Marklew, who is dressed in a white suit, how does he keep it so clean. Not shy of showing off his dad moves he’s rocking out to the crowd and the togs, full on gurning, great shots in the making.
‘Our Christmas Song’ follows and the band are rocking out, and the crowd are singing along, Yates and Marklew are posing together on stage left Tony Wright is bouncing around encouraging the crowd to sing along which they duly oblige in. The smoke is flowing well now and it’s made the drummer disappear into the shadow of the backdrop, of which you can’t read. With the bright T and V either side of the drums making it a challenge. You know someone’s there as you can hear the skin’s being beaten to within an inch of their lives with a pair of sticks.
‘Alice What’s the Matter?’ is up next with its ticking intro that suddenly erupts into a cacophony of aural abuse and then back into the ticking riff as we ask Alice what’s the matter? The driving riff gives way to a sleazy grinding solo that befits the atmosphere of the song. Tony Wright is back and forth across the stage one minute then leaning on the mic stand his right arm covering his face as he commands the stage.
The high energy continues with ‘Come Home Beanie’, ‘American TV’ and the catchy riff driven ‘Pretend Best Friend’ complete with speed rap lyric delivery which has more than a passing likeness to the American rock band Extreme in its delivery but then again not? Full of theatrics and time signature changes this song delivers.
The crowd so far are bouncing as one, a small group, stage centre, are being watched by the security guys as they seem to be enjoying the night a bit more than those around them. The post-apocalyptic punk style carries on with ‘If I Was’ with a great riffing guitar section and plenty of crash cymbals just to tingle the fillings in your teeth.
Didn’t Bleed Red’ with its nice clean chord intro follows, Wright’s vocal is great, its controlled and deliberate as he calmly sings up to the chorus where we get the return of crashing drums and screaming guitars, a nice little ballad of a tune ha ha.
‘Tequila’, ‘Urban Space Crime’, with its more rock guitar orientated set up from the album ‘Formaldehyde’ and ‘All Girls Wanna Dance’ follow in quick succession. The snare work on this number is great, para diddles galore with a great 50-60’s feel to it added by some superb rockabilly-esque guitar.
From Out of Nothing’ off the 2001 album ‘Good to Go’ has a chance for Milton Evans on keys to be heard over the wall of sound with a great Hammond section, as we get a softer delivery from front man Wright. ‘My House’ has us back in more of a rock mode with a repetitive guitar riff intro, that eventually drops into a snare drum assault then cleanish guitar as Wright joins in and it all goes a bit crazy, distorted wah wah driven guitar to finish? Yes please, lovely.
Pics are strewn from Evan’s back pocket into the crowd, not just singularly but cast like sowing seeds, the crowd are scurrying to find a treasure as…
‘Celebrity Hit List’ starts off with its Nirvana style groove, sounds great as the band then twist it and make it theirs’s with that chugging bass that just breaks you in two and turns your spine to jelly..’Go Jerry’ from 1998’s ‘Shaving Peaches’ has the job of following that epic tune.
This short tune segues into a night I remember well. ‘The Night That Lemmy Died’, an homage to everything that Lemmy and Motorhead have done, the tune brought back memories of ‘Three Little Pigs’ by Green Jelly, a stunning tune. ‘Lemmy’ gives Evans a chance to smash the riffs out on that gold top Les Paul, and it sounds great smearing its sound around the back of your head. A short and sweet number that’s both sincere and evocative.
Phones are invited to have their lights turned on just like lighters in the olden days for the firm favourite ‘Middleman’ which has the crowd singing out loud, well louder than previously, the arms are waving as the crowd follow Wrights lead, Liz Mitchell can be heard belting out the solo on her Sax a great addition, she has been somewhat hidden in the primordial mist for most of the set, only making a rare journey out to give us a honk on her horn! ‘Babylon’ with its Queen inspired guitar intro has the vocals curled around it like a snake around a rat, the drums and bass kick in and we get the bouncing Terrorvision trade mark post punk with influences sound.
Great stuff guys. The Rock City floor is yet again bouncing as the crowd are, as one ‘bopping’ along to this great tune.
‘Some People Say’ leads off with a slightly slower beat, a chance for us all to catch a breath as this shows a different side to the band after the frenetic sounds of those that have gone before, a great juxtaposition. Tasteful guitar backs this solid song with a difference and we can all breath again.
D’ya Wanna Go Faster’ builds the crowd back up again with its chaotic beats and screaming repetitive guitar cries until the rap style vocal joins the party, as do the crowd jumping and singing along, Marklew is strutting around posing and gurning to the crowd, he’s long since shed his jacket and is now showing off his guns under a tight white tee shirt! The girls are loving it!
‘Josephine’ follows from 1998’s ‘Shaving Peaches’, with its ‘Western’ sound, drives through behind a great drum beat which, as always, is locked in solid with the thundering bass, a solid backline indeed. Crash cymbals galore as the song builds alongside a tasty bit of guitar work, sleazy and naughty. This brings us into the set closer ‘Oblivion’, again, from 1994’s ‘How to Make Friends’ with its thundering intro has the house bouncing and singing along. The stage lights are flashing along to the driving beat of this fan favourite, as the floor is flexing beneath our very feet once again, the bouncing is higher than ever, phones are out recording every moment as the set draws to an end.
As is usual, nobody leaves until the house lights come on. As the stage clears the cheering and chanting starts up, so luckily its not too long a wait and the band are back on and we get the rousing anthem ‘Santa Never Came’. The band faithful are singing along and bouncing as the chorus rebounds around the hall. Hands are reaching for the lights as they rock along to this 70’s sounding Christmas song. Last song of the night could only be ‘Perseverance’ again another solid tune from the 1996 album, ‘Regular Urban Survivors’ with its USA East coast punk vibe. This has the crowd singing along like their lives depended on it. When it finishes, we get the band stage centre with the bowing and thanks to those who ventured out to enjoy them.
Carly Simon’s ‘Nobody Does It Better’ chimes up and the crowd and band join in singing along to this 1977 James Bond theme tune (the first Bond film not to have the film title the same as the song title by the way), as they pose for the odd photo before finally leaving the stage, this time the house lights come on and we make our way out of the building, I’m outside and it’s just gone 10:35, already there is a queue for the late night party session.
I’ve caught Terrorvision only twice previously, once as support for Thunder alongside Blues giants King King, back in 2016, and then this year at Stonedead 2021 at the Newark Showground. The former we chose the time to visit the bar and to grab a cob, the sound in the RCH was horrific so didn’t do the band any justice. The latter was let down by poor lighting so I never got the full effect of the band’s dynamic even from the pit while shooting them. Thankfully tonight was a thing of beauty, ok there was smoke a plenty, a bit too much at times maybe but it led to great lighting effects and possibly some great images.
The band from Bradford certainly brought the party to Nottingham and it was greatly appreciated by all who attended. As people exited the venue, they were still buzzing from what they’ve just seen, I’m now thinking about editing pictures and humming Oblivion to myself as I try to find my parking ticket??
Ah there it is on the passenger seat just where I left it, Doh!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Let’s hope we have as great a start to 2022 as we have tonight, seeing out 2021.