Fifteen years after the album “How To Make Friends And Influence People” came out, and eight years after their officially split, Bradford’s Terrorvision are back in Wolverhampton, obviously because they need the money – as far as I’m aware, this is the only reason all these “older” bands are getting back together, especially if they don’t plan on recording new music. At least they’re not jumping onto the arena package tour bandwagon, playing alongside Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and Big Fun…
Also, I have to confess that I used to be a massive fan of Terrorvision back in the day – I saw them live about 15 times, and still have my Monsters Of Rock t-shirt from 1994. I just hope that they haven’t lost it too much since then.
Pretty much bang on 9pm the familiar “Tick Tock” opening from the HTMFAIP album plays over the PA, and the sold out (since January!) crowd of late 20 / early 30-somethings go mad. The roar is immense – I’m shocked at how loud the crowd is. They’ve obviously been waiting a long time for this show. I’m also shocked by how diverse the crowd is – there are punks, metalheads and grown-up indie kids all around the venue tonight. In my case Terrorvision were a bit of a gateway band back in 1993, getting me into the rock / metal genre that I’m still listening to today, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people here.
At least the setlist is easy to work out. As they promised, they play HTMFAIP in it’s entirety, exactly as it’s laid out on CD. So they start off with hit single “Alice, What’s The Matter”, where the crowd shout along to the whole song, knowing every single word, straight into hit single “Oblivion” and track three “Stop The Bus” without a breather between the tracks. And I think it’s fair to say that they’ve still got it! For a start, none of the band seem to have aged – a little grayer, maybe, but they don’t look much older, at least from where I was standing. Vocalist Tony Wright still seems to love pogo-ing and high-kicking along to the songs, guitarist Mark Yates still looks like a cross between Elvis and 50’s throwbacks Mark LaMarr and Mark Kermode and drummer Shutty still looks like beer-swilling potato head! The only one who looks different is bassist Leigh Marklew, who looks so different that I can’t even work out if it’s him or not. Shaved head, glasses, shirt, tie and leather waistcoat wasn’t what he used to wear, but he still plays a mean bass! They’re joined on this tour by multi-instrumentalist Milly Evans, playing keyboards and various bits of percussion.
As they continue through the album, the crowd show their love by dancing and pogo-ing along – when I say the crowd, I mean the whole crowd. From front to back, everyone seems to be having a bit of a boogie, but especially the females in the audience! The other three hit singles from the album “Middleman”, “Pretend Best Friend” and power ballad “Some People Say” go down best with the crowd, even if Wright has a bit of a problem keeping up with the rapping-esque vocals of “Pretend Best Friend”.
Then, the strange thing happened. After the last track of the album “What Makes You Tick” finishes, Terrorvision leave the stage, and support act Rebel Yell re-take their little corner of stage right, and play some songs while the headliners take a breather. This leaves the crowd to go back to the bar, and the venue empties ever so slightly, but the crowd that remains seem to enjoy the brand of rockabilly rock that this Leeds four-piece are playing. I just love the fact that the bass player is playing a double bass – not something you see everyday at a rock gig!
After about 20 minutes, Terrorvision re-take the stage for their second set, and personally, this is where the show starts heading downhill. For a start, they begin this set by playing their most successful single, “Tequila”. A single that only made it to number two in the UK charts due to the pop music loving kids at the time having a song that they can bop around to with a catchy chorus, and not because their hardcore fans purchased it in droves. The applause is slightly muted at the end of this track, and then they play some non-album tracks “for the fans” in the audience. At this point, the majority of the crowd, including myself, seem disinterested, and I start wondering when the set is going to end.
To be fair to them, they pull it out of the bag by encoring with two great tracks – “My House”, the song that gave them their first bite of the Top 40, and “Perseverance” – that bloody Whales and Dolphins song.
In my opinion, tonight’s show started off really well, went downhill with the second set, but managed to scrabble back up the slippery slope with the encore. I had great fun watching them, and loved the fact that I don’t think I saw even one camera phone recording the show!
Set One – “How To Make Friends And Influence People”
Alice, What’s The Matter
Stop The Bus
Still The Rhythm
Ten Shades Of Grey
Stab In The Back
Pretend Best Friend
Time O’ The Signs
What The Doctor Ordered
Some People Say
What Makes You Tick
This Drinking Will Kill Me
Celebrity Hit List
D’Ya Wanna Go Faster
Review – Tony Hackett
Photos – Lee Allen