Last V/VM gig ever? I was there.   Leave a comment

Went to Colchester a month or so ago with the Bad Timing posse to see the last V/VM gig. I was feeling incredibly physically weary and spiritually fucked-over, but I forced myself to go, and I’m glad I did because it definitely joins the long list of best gigs ever. I’m feeling a bit physically weary and spiritually fucked-over today, so I won’t get into the details like I ought to, but here are the moments I remember.

James comes on in what I presume is a wig (pig mask too, obviously) but what eventually turns out to be his real hair, and makes a short speech about this being the last gig for V/VM. He says he’s been doing it for 8 years and he feels it has run its course. It’s hard to tell exactly how serious he’s being, because it all feels a bit poignant here in the unlikely surroundings of Colchester Arts Centre (a former church). The maverick artist is telling us he’s giving up the fight. The thing I find with V/VM is that there is something redeemingly sincere at the heart of this huge pisstake. Then he announces he’s going to kick off with a few Elton John tunes, because, he says, he always wanted to be Elton. Strangely enough, with the funny hair and the mask, he does have something of Elton about him. Then he does, of all things, Nikita, which is a piece of 80s hammery that I happen to be extremely familiar with. Now James is only a bloke in a pig mask miming along to Elton John, but he somehow rises above the actuality of the situation and produces something genuinely affecting. And this is what he does all night. You might think it would wear off somehow. At one point he does The Ace Of Spades and leaps off the stage with the mic stand as though he is genuinely hoping to injure himself, and then has some sort of rock ‘n’ roll epilectic seizure on the floor in the middle of the small crowd. All the time the venue security people are standing about wondering what the protocol is for dealing with crazy dudes in pig masks who know no fear. In fact they are kept struggling with this conundrum for the rest of the evening.

Right, must finish this off because its been hanging around for ages. I can’t remember too much about the rest of the gig until the bit at the end, but it was all quality pranksterism with genuine Northern soul. Now, I must admit, both to the reader, and to the specific readers that I went to the gig with, that I was a little bit mashup for this gig, because when I went outside to check in phonewise with the wife, I had the tail end of something from the night before or whatever. All I’m saying is I had a heightened sense of the absurd, not that you’d probably need it watching V/VM in a church. Anyway: the finale. Near the end James goes into Earth Song by the famous Michael Jackson, and is joined by the purple gown-wearing members of humorous faux metal support act Fast Lady, who have some tunes out on V/VM’s imprint Test Records. As the orchestral pop pomp of Earth Song starts, these dudes position themselves at the front of the stage and start to implore the small audience to come up the front, as though we’ll help sick kids by doing so or something. Dutifully, everybody starts shuffling forward, but then the Fast Lady gents start pulling people onto the stage itself! This is where the magic starts. You have to remember that Earth Song is playing, right? It’s the end of a long evening in licensed premises. Most people immediately get onstage, and they beckon to the rest who are standing out there in the big auditorium, feeling a little foolish perhaps. Suddenly there is no performer/audience divide, because we are all one, and we are all miming to Earth Song, and it’s fucking great! Of course the arms start going… “…What about us?!” and so on, and everywhere you look everyone is joining in and holding hands and waving their arms and swaying and grinning their arses off and to me it feels like we’ve just taken back everything that’s true and real and beautiful that had been stolen from us by the global entertainments industry and then handed back everything that’s shitty and packaged and crass and fake and told them to stick it in a post-apocalyptic Michael Jackson Disneyworld where the sun never shines. I honestly felt redeemed. It was fucking great.

More spam!


In a Hidden News article, I read that you were convicted in stealing credit card numbers and using them to purchase different goods on the
Internet. They write that you are one of the criminal elements in the criminal crew. However, they do not know and therefore do not disclose your name there. But I know for sure that it were you!
Please read it here –
See you later, I or the police will call you…

Ah, I love that. Also, while I can just about believe that there is somebody out there who thinks that I will believe them when they say I have been “approovved” for a mortgage, and I can almost, almost believe that they are called “Nolan Patrick”, but any vestiges of credulousness about the email can soon be discounted by the subject, which simply reads “obtrusion trout.”

My plans for the rest of the day:

Purchase kebab and consume.
Drink lager.
Make short film about Voting In The 2005 UK General Election Whilst Drunk (all works with historical precedent are grist to my mill)
Put child to bed.
Hang out with Man From Uranus.
Watch Election Night Special until bitterness becomes too much to bear.

Posted May 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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