The road to reinvention starts here

Somewhere in the back of my (abused) mind Terrorvision songs lurk, attached to vague memories of house parties and compilation tapes. I always thought the name was appropriate, because they kept coming out with these amazing pop/rock tunes that jumped out of the radio and ate their way into your brain. Which might explain why I don’t really know what happened to them for the last few years.

Already back on the road to reinvention, Terrorvision are one of the quirkier additions to the bill. And they prove that however often you look at a Hard Rock Hell bill and wonder ‘why the hell are those guys there?’ HRH always seem to pull it off. Terrorvision fit perfectly. The bars are doing a roaring trade, the floor of the main arena is covered with dancing, inebriated bodies, and we’re ready for one last big house party.

Frontman Tony Wright is a human spring for the whole set, bouncing gleefully from one end of the stage to the other in a garish suit that’s only acceptable to wear if you happen to be famous for singing ‘Tequila’. Which he does, with a confident swagger. It’s a bigger, heavier sounding version of their singalong hit that goes down just as well as the beer with the audience.

Wisely, they opt for the Greatest Hits package tonight, complete with first single ‘My House’ sounding like it had been released a week ago. The tongue-in-cheek ‘Josephine’ and a supercharged ‘D’Ya Wanna Go Faster’ roll out like an unstoppable tank of riffage in the face of a delighted and vocal swarm of fans. The blitzkrieg attack of ‘Alice, What’s The Matter?’ ensures that very few other bands can make the kind of connection with their audience that Terrorvision manage. The “do wah” chant of ‘Oblivion’ raises the energy in the room to dangerous levels. If only all the frantic arm-waving could make a difference to the lack of oxygen in the room. Mind you, if you had to choose a way to leave this mortal coil, it might as well be suffocating to the unrestrained explosion of ‘Perseverance’.

For a band that played the original Monsters of Rock (Donington, before Download for the youth of today) they’re sounding as fresh and bright as ever. As is usually the case, experience and a short but sweet blast of good tunes wins hands-down over any number of young, serious pretenders to the throne. As one hammered observer assured me, you can’t not dance to Terrorvision. As grammatically incorrect and personally irritating as he may have been, he had a point.

The whole band were exactly as you hoped they’d be ��" musically tight, sartorially sloppy, and mad as a sackful of ferrets. And the whole scene was completed by the release of several large white balloons into the crowd, which barely lasted five minutes before either ending up back on the stage or giving up the ghost to heat and clawing hands.

The only thing that could make the set more perfect would have been the announcement of new material, but sadly there was no such news. Instead, we made the most of an awesome nostalgia trip with the clown princes of party rock. Long may they reign.