Gorilla - The Final Gig.

Derby, Victoria Inn

October 31, 1998


Remember that date. Itís the day yet another great band lost the battle against overwhelming apathy that sweeps the current scene when it comes to live bands, especially UK bands. I can be as guilty of that apathy as anyone else, and Iíll readily admit to it. But this time I donít think I was, and so Iím going to have my say whether it offends anyone or not.

So, how many of you knew of Gorilla then? Well, if you read the mainstream press, it makes it easier for me, as Iíll only need the one hand to count on. Now how many of you can name a dozen US bands that have released one album or less, and wear baggy pants. Shit, Iíll need my computer to keep score there!

Yes, I know I can be guilty there. I go on about US bands. Thereís nothing wrong with them. Provided that you treat UK bands with the same respect. Balance. Itís a word Iíve found myself using a lot since starting YAZ. Balance between US and others. Bands do exist outside of the States. But that shouldnít take away from American bands. Establish a balance. I hope that I do. Itís sometimes feels harder to get info on UK bands, but, thatís because I rely on the Internet a lot, and also because Iím just not very good at this. I donít have the connections established that I probably need. Thatís my fault, and Iím trying to rectify it. I know itís a problem. It nearly accounted for this zine about a month back. It feels too mainstream. To many bands being covered that have already made it, donít need the support as much as the upcoming bands. But I have to find the upcoming bands. So, Iím trying to do something. What about you?

Itís just endemnic of the uphill struggle in this country. Took some issues of the last zine to some record shops today. ďCan I leave some here please?Ē asks me. ďIf itís free yeahĒ says one shop. so I place them next to the £2 per issue Maximum RockíníRoll. ďWell,Ē comes the reply in one of the other shops, ďleave a few. I donít know if we can get rid of them. We havenít really got much spaceĒ. If you have space for one issue, you have space for 10. Besides, when the ticket shop next door was open (this narrows it down for people who know Nottingham!), they managed to get rid of a fair amount of copies for me. These are shops which specialise in the music I try to cover. This thing is free, and THEY DONíT KNOW IF THEY CAN GET RID OF IT. So what am I to do if I charge for this thing as some people have suggested I should. And which my bank balance tells me I should. Nothing. Cos the country is apathetic. And if a zine faces this problem, heaven only knows what the bands face to get themselves heard or their music in the shops. Maybe itís about time people who were so fucking ďrealĒ stopped worrying about how they looked, and concerned themselves with supporting the music scene instead of whether their fucking wallet chain is long enough. I know, this shouldnít be about me. But thereís a theme running through this issue. Me feeling sorry for myself. Thinking of jacking this in. I know that no-fucker takes any notice of this. People may read it, but thatís all. So why should I bother. But if I donít, who will? Where will the support for these bands come from? I canít just give up like this. And fuck all of you who do shit. Itís getting to the stage that the more I offend the better I feel. Prove me wrong.

But Gorilla have lost the battle. Finally. Shouldnít have happened, but, well, maybe in retrospect it was on the cards. But that doesnít diminish their worth, or what they did. Anyway, the Vic was rightly packed to the rafters tonight, for what was one of the hottest gigs Iíve been to. And one of the most shambolic. Which was wonderful. Coming on to Joan Jettís ďWe Love RockíníRollĒ Andyís guitars immediately fail. Things eventually get worked out, but itís indicative of the night. But it doesnít matter. This is the end. Tonight is relaxed. Thereís a sense of anticipation, probably a sense of sadness. ďI think this is probably my favourite Gorilla songĒ says John before The Working Man Has Found Us Out. The ďmillion sellingĒ Outside is aired, as is Let You Down from the same EP. Superstar, some new tracks that unfortunately weíll never get the chance to hear properly now, a snippet of Iron Man, and numerous guitar hero poses and snippets from Andy. And Neal is still one of the greatest drummers out there. David may have played better, as he sort of claims after, but itís not noticeable. Even when a shambles, the band still piss over most of the competition out there. And finally, it ends with Acid Test. Well, until we get ďsome oldiesĒ to finish with Bulldozer. 98 Grand is the final ever live Gorilla track.

Most of you donít realise it, but Gorilla are responsible for one of the finest songs by a British band in recent years in Acid Test. Combine that with their previous incarnation, The Beyond, who recorded one of the best songs by a British band in the last decade, Eve Of My Release, and you realise how important this band was. They were innovative. They were unique. They sounded like no-one else. Afterwards John indicated that he wonít be carrying on. Which means that weíve lost one of the most unique voices around. For that at least, they are more important as far as Iím concerned than the Deftones or Korn or Marilyn Manson ever will be. Their loss is up there with Faith No Moreís split as far as Iím concerned. Bands that never got the respect and credit they deserved. While half of the current hottest property arenít even fit to drink Gorillaís urine.

Andy, David, Neal and John. Cheers for the gigs, the interviews, and the music.

Gorilla R.I.P.