Derby Victoria Inn

September 19

So they are still alive then. After seemingly being on the brink of signing for Earache last year, Gorilla promptly disappeared from view. There'll be an interview I did with the band after this gig soon, which will tell more of the tale, but for now, it's good to simply know they are alive and well. And playing a home town gig, and having it sell out.

So having been away from the scene for a while, what's changed. Well, there's a few obvious visual differences. For one, they've lost Andy the Violinist. Secondly, Neal has gone the way of the others, and had his hair shorn, and finally, they're all resplendant in suits!

Musically, they seem to be carrying on in the more straightforward, less complex vein than the stuff they did as the Beyond. New material dominates tonight, as you might expect, and it seems like the band has discovered the chorus as well. It's not soft by any means, Andy's guitar is still as heavy as ever, and John remains one of the most distinct, and best, vocalists about, but the music is know more instantly accessible and memorable.

Of the new material, new single Who Wants To Save The World Anyway? and Superstar are the obvious standouts. And WWTSTWA will be released at the end of September, definately, finally, definately. I'm not really sure that Superstar is about Andy though, despite his protests.

The band also seem more relaxed onstage and enjoying themselves, although banishing Andy to play one song on a table in the middle of the crowd is different, but they do it.

Acid Test still remains the highlight of the set. But it's not surprising really as it's one of the older Gorilla songs, so I'm more used to it, and it was probably my favourite song of last year, or joint favourite with maybe 2 or 3 others. 5 Year Plan also stands out, but you get the feeling that once the new stuff has worked it's way into the system, then it'll take some shifting.

So both band and crowd seem pleased they're back. With a new label behind them, Viper, and the backing of the Sanctuary management team, maybe at last, the future is looking better for one of Britains finest. Don't let them slip through the net again. Keep an eye out for the single, and the band touring the UK from October onwards.