Terminus are back in Witney less than a month after their date with Stone Trigger and the Sykko Dollz. They play two new songs tonight so the set feels both fresh and familiar to the Terminus faithful.
The first new song is Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak. For ages the lyric “Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town” has made me think “Somewhere? It’ll happen at the jail surely, what are the other venue options?” but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a song about a metaphorical jailbreak, a break from the working week and the constraints of normal life.
There was a minor rock and roll moment when part way through second new song, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Dean kicked his music stand and A4 lyrics folder with Animal from The Muppets on into the crowd like he’s a stationery based version of Paul Simonon from The Clash. Edgy!
Terminus played the stuff that they’ve learnt over the past three years of gigging gets their crowd going. They opened with The Cult’s Lil’ Devil. They gave us what is fast becoming their signature tune, Rose Tattoo’s Sweetmeat, with the grind, wiggle, wiggle dance and the lyric “I like to bite it, I like to roll it in my teeth”. I think this refers to Angry Anderson’s modus operandi when eating a Drumstick lolly.
There was some great “Oi!” shouting from the crowd during AC/DC’s TNT and then during Whole Lotta Rosie I noticed that Dean, who had previously been very up close and personal with the crowd, singing lines at individual members, dishing out high fives, politely stared dead ahead for “she ain’t exactly pretty, she ain’t exactly small”. This could have been totes awks if his singing to specific people had continued. Rumour has it that Dean has been asked to contribute a chapter to Debrett’s upcoming book “Social Etiquette for Lead Singers”.
The Kiss cover Detroit Rock City for a moment created Witney Rock City* and Terminus closed with Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name. I love this song and having my old mate Gareth next to me and us dancing like it’s still the 1990s was a treat and a tonic.
Headline act Pandamönium came onstage to the Steptoe and Son theme tune (and this made me think of the days when Charlie Mouse would come onstage to the song A Windmill In Old Amsterdam).
You can trust Pandamönium to do metal because they’ve got an umlaut. They opened with Michael Schenker’s Armed And Ready. They followed this with a meaty version of Judas Priest’s Grinder. I’d also like to hear a vegetarian option of this song, lyrically along the lines of “Grinder! Looking for chickpeas to make houmous, Grinder! You can get all the protein you need from plants actually”.
Accept’s Balls to the Wall sounded hairy. Sabbath’s Children Of The Grave galloped along, with James Knapp’s bass expertly herding us through this classic. AC/DC’s Live Wire was a good choice, as was Priest’s Metal Gods. I find I’m humming cowbell heavy Hair Of The Dog by Nazareth today, Gareth Kerry having percussed it superbly and Mark Cunningham’s vocal embroidery proving as florid as his Western shirt**. Guitarists Liam and John wearing Terminus vests provided a handy hint for the audience to remind them which of the personnel were in both Pandamönium and Terminus.
It’s my first time in a while hearing Sabbath’s Country Girl and Priest’s The Rage. Pandamönium have chosen some less well covered stuff because they love it and who can argue with that decision? They played a set with some surprises rather than the obvious. A few people wanted to be able to buy a Pandamönium T-shirt so I hope this happens in future, they have a very cute and spiky logo.
The gig in brief:
Number of Motörhead T-shirts in venue: 3
Number of Terminus T-shirts/vests in venue: 5 (not counting the ones sat patiently on the merch stall waiting for a new owner).
Number of Belly Dancers in venue: 2
*Yeah, Witney is a town, this is a confusion that happened before with the Sleaze in The City tour, but what you don’t know is that when I go to Witney I take a very, very small cathedral in my pocket, thus rendering it a city for a short while.
**Embroidery is so on trend this season.