Gorilla - The Final Gig

Derby Vic Inn

October 31 1998

Remember that date. It’s 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 I’ll readily admit to it. But this time I don’t think I was, and so I’m 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 I’ll 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, I’ll need my computer to keep score there!

Yes, I know I can be guilty there. I go on about US bands. There’s nothing wrong with them. Provided that you treat UK bands with the same respect. Balance. It’s a word I’ve found myself using a lot since starting YAZ. Balance between US and others. Bands do exist outside of the States. But that shouldn’t take away from American bands. Establish a balance. I hope that I do. It’s sometimes feels harder to get info on UK bands, but, that’s because I rely on the Internet a lot, and also because I’m just not very good at this. I don’t have the connections established that I probably need. That’s my fault, and I’m trying to rectify it. I know it’s 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, don’t need the support as much as the upcoming bands. But I have to find the upcoming bands. So, I’m trying to do something. What about you?

It’s just endemnic of the uphill struggle in this country. Took some issues of the last zine to some record shops today. “Can I leave some here please?” asks me. “If it’s free yeah” says one shop. so I place them next to the £2 per issue Maximum Rock’n’Roll. “Well,” comes the reply in one of the other shops, “leave a few. I don’t know if we can get rid of them. We haven’t really got much space”. 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 don’t 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 it’s about time people who were so fucking “real” 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 shouldn’t be about me. But there’s 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 that’s all. So why should I bother. But without this sort of thing, where will the support for these bands come from? I can’t just give up like this. And fuck all of you who do shit all but may not like me slagging stuff. It’s getting to the stage that the more I offend the better I feel. Prove me wrong. Rant over.

But Gorilla have lost the battle. Finally. Shouldn’t have happened, but, well, maybe in retrospect it was on the cards. But that doesn’t 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 I’ve been to. And one of the most shambolic. Which was wonderful. Coming on to Joan Jett’s “We Love Rock’n’Roll” Andy’s guitars immediately fails. Things eventually get worked out, but it’s indicative of the night. But it doesn’t matter. This is the end. Tonight is relaxed. There’s a sense of anticipation, probably a sense of sadness. “I think this is probably my favourite Gorilla song” says John before The Working Man Has Found Us Out. The “million selling” Outside is aired, as is Let You Down from the same EP. Superstar, some new tracks that unfortunately we’ll 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 it’s 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 “some oldies” to finish with Bulldozer. 98 Grand is the final ever live Gorilla track.

Most of you don’t 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 won’t be carrying on. Which means that we’ve lost one of the most unique voices around. For that at least, they are more important as far as I’m concerned than the Deftones or Korn or Marilyn Manson will ever be. Their loss is up there with Faith No More’s split as far as I’m concerned. Bands that never got the respect and credit they deserved. While half of the current hottest property aren’t even fit to drink Gorilla’s urine.