Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Terrorvision - The Britannia, Plymouth 1 November 1993

I love Terrorvision. One of my all-time favourite live bands and one of those rare occasions when a band I championed early doors actually became commercially successful. The other one was Terraplane who hit me square between the eyes with their first single I Survive. They signed to a major, released a couple of albums that included a weedy re-recorded version of the single, ditched the bassist and found fame shortly after as Thunder. Terrorvision. Terraplane. There's a pattern emerging there....

My memory of how I first heard Terrorvision is muddled. I remember hearing Urban Space Crime played by Mark and Lard on Hit the North - their Wednesday night radio 5 show. I was doing a taxi shift at the time. Remember when Radio 5 used to play music? What I don't remember is whether that was before or after I bought my copy of the Thrive EP from which that track was taken. At the time, I was going to a lot of record fairs and several dealers had piles of the Thrive EP on 12" being knocked out at £1 each. A year or two later, these would change hands for £20 a pop.

On the strength of the EP my sister and I went to see Terrorvision play at the Concorde in Brighton. It's not there anymore but the new Concorde 2 just along the street is brilliant. Support on that occasion came from a local covers band whose name I do not remember. All their mates turned up, filled the place and sang along to competent versions of Play That Funky Music White Boy et al. They then all left leaving I'd say about 20 of us to watch Terrorvision do their thing. And what a thing. They had hard edged rock mixed with clever/funny lyrics and pop melodies and played with energy. Topped with a mad drummer and a singer who danced like no one was watching - they always looked like they were having fun. I loved them on sight. There is also an appallingly disgusting scatological story from that night that I will never tell you, no matter how many Coke Zeros you buy me.

At the end of 1993 I was temporarily working in Plymouth which is how I wound up at this gig. The Britannia is a slightly out of town pub that at the time had regular live shows that were a cut above the usual pub bands. I also saw Freak of Nature there and they kept tripping the fuse and killing the power to the singer's obvious frustration. It was a brilliant place to see an up and coming band like Terrorvision. All of which many tangents lead us sadly and inevitably to a familiar closing sentence. I don't remember anything much about the show at all, more's the pity.