Terrorvision were born in 1988 out of the remnants of a glam rock mess called
Spoilt Brats, an amalgamation of art school buddies Mark Yates and Leigh
Marklew, drumming loon Shutty and long-haired urchin Tony Wright. After
three years of gigs and demos they were signed in 1991 to EMI Records on
the strength of Pump Action Sunshine, a demo which featured what was to
become their first Top-30 hit, My House.
Incessant touring – including support slots with long-time heroes, The
Ramones and Motorhead, backed up positive reviews of their debut album
Formaldehyde. They broke off the European leg of the Motorhead tour to
open the show at Def Leppards’ homecoming Sheffield Don Valley stadium
gig in front of 40,000. The night before they played an impromptu gig in front
of 100 at a pub just down the road…
At the end of 1993 they decamped to New York City to record their second,
breakthrough record How to make friends and influence people with alt-rock
uber-producer, Gil Norton. The album went on to spawn five top-30 singles
during 1994, catapulting the band into the mainstream. Appearances at both
Donington Monsters of Rock and Reading cemented their reputation as the
default festival bands of the 90’s. Kerrang awards followed (then lost in a
drunken haze) and their most successful year wound up supporting Therapy
all across Europe.
More awards followed in ’95 from Kerrang and Raw magazines, and the band
took a left turn, supporting REM at a UK stadium gig and donating a track to
the world famous Help album, for the Warchild organisation. All the while
plans were being hatched for album number three, Regular Urban Survivors.
Released in 1996, the album notched up four more Top-30 singles, including
Perseverance, which debuted at number 5 on the UK charts. The album
swiftly went Gold. Celebrating their success, tequila-fuelled, in Madrid whilst
on another European jaunt, Tony smashed both his ankles trying to scale the
walls of the Hard Rock café to rearrange its famous logo. Gigs were curtailed
only briefly, ideas for new songs were hatched and then the band was back
out on the road, taking in Glastonbury and Reading in 1997.
Their fourth album for EMI, Shaving Peaches, saw the band take another left
turn, working with four different producers, including Edwyn Collins and the
Utah Saints. Acid, Speed and Scrumpy-fuelled mixing sessions in deepest
Cornwall resulted in the sprawling 15-song set, which gained mixed reviews
from fans and critics alike. EMI wanted out, but delayed the axe when Zoe
Ball began playing a remix of the Shaving Peaches track, Tequila (remember
the Hard Rock café?) incessantly on her Radio 1 Breakfast show. Eager not
to miss an opportunity, EMI rush-released the track, the band organised a last
minute video shoot at (where else?) a Tequila bar in Camden Town and 1999
arrived with the band sitting at number 2 in the UK charts.
The fall out with EMI wouldn’t go away though and the band were dropped
before storming Reading / Leeds festivals as an unsigned act in the summer
of ’99. Party of over, fuck you over there, as they say…
A new deal (with Papillon Records) was done in 2000 and the band released
what was to be their last album for ten years in 2001. Good to Go gave them
another Top-30 hit, D’ya wanna go faster and the Neil McClellan (Prodigy)
produced album was generally received as a storming return to form. Alas,
ten years of touring, excesses, abscesses and successes saw the band knock
it on the head, bowing out with a sold-out farewell tour.
Mark, Tony and Leigh threw themselves into other musical projects (Laika
Dog, Malibu Stacey, Blunderbuss, Broken Hearts Club band) along with dry-
stone walling, creating art, graphic design and even opening a tattoo studio.
The joy that is Terrorvision was never far away though, and the boys reunited
in 2005, then again in 2007 and every year since to play gigs, hang out and
party! In 2009 they celebrated the 15th anniversary of their seminal How to
make friends and influence people album with a sold out tour, playing the
entire album in order and in its entirety!
In 2010 the band got itchy songwriting fingers and a decision was made to
start working on new material once again. Drummer Shutty didn’t make it
along for this ride however, and was replaced – after 20 glorious years on the
throne – by Cam Greenwood, for the writing and recording of the first new
album in ten years, Super Delux. The band toured the album for 18 months,
culminating in a rampant return to Donington in 2012 for the Download
festival. However, after a momentous gig at Manchester Ritz in October 2012,
the band went their separate ways once again – Tony launched his solo
career with the critically-acclaimed acoustic Thoughts n all album, and Mark
stepped out with Leeds rockers Boomville – and it looked increasingly likely
that we may never see Terrorvision on stage again.
Cut to Summer 2015, three years since the band played together, three years
since they were in a room together, and an unlikely meeting at a charity gig
sowed the seeds for more Terrorvision in 2016. Thank the good Lord of Rock
n Roll for that!