Terrorvision were one of four British rock bands that I followed avidly in 1994 and 1995 – alongside The Wildhearts, Skin and Therapy? I’ve always disliked that question mark at the end of that Irish band’s name. If I mention them at the end of a sentence, it immediately looks like I’m doubting myself. But yes, I’m pretty sure it’s them I’m talking about! I managed to meet all four of those bands except- sadly – The Wildhearts, who were my favourite contemporary band at the time.
This album was very important to me at the time of its release – if only in that it proved to me that rock music doesn’t always have be serious and glum. It was also nice to introduce the album – and its big single, Oblivion – to my guitar teacher, who really got off on the jazzy Major 7 chords that guitarist Mark Yates peppers throughout his playing. It’s full of great songs too – five very strong singles even – which always helps, and the album cover is fantastic.
Speaking of Mark Yates, me and a friend spotted him once after a gig in Bradford’s Rio nightclub. I went over to ask him if I could have a photo, and being more than a little drunk, I held the camera far too close to our faces. The flash blinded us, and it even knocked me over I was so unsteady on my feet.
Incidents involving cameras and Terrorvision seem to go together. At a record signing in Huddersfield, the band’s singer Tony Wright stopped me, holding up the queue behind me, to ask me about my camera – my second-hand Olympus Trip gifted to me by my parents. He was very excited to see such a nice camera. When I asked one of the band’s hangers-on to take a photo of me next to the band, she cut me out of the shot so all you can is my left ear. Excellent.
It seems like I did a lot of stupid things when I was a Terrorvision fan. It must have been the band’s zaniness rubbing off on me. At one gig in Leeds – just after I’d sold a spare ticket to a tout, queued up, been searched by the bouncers, and was walking into the venue – I felt my inside (denim!) jacket pocket, and had a slight panic attack. That day, I had walked into university with the firm intention of removing a road sign next to the building where my lectures were. We had named our covers band at the time – Primitive Street – after this road, so it only seemed right that I should remove the sign to decorate my bedroom, or our rehearsal room. Walking into the Terrorvision gig, I suddenly put my hands on the bulge next to my ribs – a huge nine-inch screwdriver I had taken to aid my act of road-sign theft – and wondered how on earth I’d not only managed to get through the rest of the day without noticing it was still in my pocket, but more importantly, how a trained bouncer had missed it when he searched me. I tried to keep out of trouble for the rest of the night, but it wasn’t hard to mosh with such a hard and heavy tool about my person: is that a screwdriver in your pocket or are you just far too excited to see this band? etc, etc.
Hidden Gem: Middleman