VISION VIDEO + THE PINK DIAMOND REVUE – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 8.11.23
Vision Video hail from Athens, Georgia, in the USA and have crossed the pond to perform a 15 date UK and Europe tour which runs throughout November. A handful of these dates are here in the UK, these being London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Reading and right here in Brighton, where they played this evening at The Prince Albert courtesy of Dark Disco promoters.
Vision Video are labelled as a goth rock post-punk outfit, who are influenced by among others The Cure, The Chameleons and Joy Division, blended with sharper edges inspired by The Clash and The Replacements. The band features lead singer and guitarist Dusty Gannon, Emily Freedock on keyboards, Dan Geller on bass (formerly of the Agenda, I Am The World Trade Center) and Jason Fusco on drums (also of Shehehe). Although this is not the personnel on stage in front of us tonight. Instead we have Dusty Gannon (vocals/guitar), Tom Ashton from The March Violets (who we recently reviewed – read it HERE) (bass), Angelica Avila (keys/backing vocals), and Jason Fusco (drums/backing vocals). It’s worth noting that Tom recorded Vision Video’s 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album at Sub Von Studios and it was released on clear red 12″ vinyl as well as on CD.
The equipment on offer this evening for Vision Video’s first ever Brighton gig, which ran from 9pm to 9:59pm, was a Roland Fantom-06 keyboard which was looking resplendent immediately in front of me, Fender Jazzmaster guitar, Hagstrom FXB-200 bass, and drums. As the outfit took to the stage, Matt, who was on sound at the rear of the room, played a snippet of Soft Cell’s 1981 epic ‘Sex Dwarf’, which incidentally was also covered by top German outfit Scooter in 2000. The arrival of the snippet certainly put charismatic frontman Dusty in the right frame of mind for the dozen song set.
The visually differing styled band members kicked off with the first of a half-dozen tunes culled from last year’s ‘Haunted Hours’ long player, that being ‘Beautiful Day To Die’. Now that’s a goth titled tune if I’ve ever heard one! Looking around the room behind me, almost everyone present is clad in black, with some even sporting Halloween style painted faces. This is very much in keeping with frontman Dusty’s pained face. Next up is the first of a handful of tunes from their debut album (‘Inked In Red’) from back in 2021, this tune being ‘Static Drone’, which is arguably another goth sounding song title. However, I must now flag up that the audience appears to be having far too much of a great time and are merrily bopping along to the Vision Video tunes. So far it feels more Go West than Joy Division, which is a little startling! Drummer Jason is attacking his kit ten to the dozen, which is impressive, no wonder he discards his top!
Dusty is certainly a charismatic chap and already was in the know about the fight to save The Prince Albert, and he’s American based. He said he loved the venue and that we should all support it! Good man! In fact, whilst we are talking about Dusty, it’s fair to say maybe the band could make an ‘Action Man’ figure of him in his face paint as he is clearly a fit fellow and that “action” has played a large part of his life thus far. Not many folk can hand on heart, say “Been there, seen it, done it”, but Dusty can! Throughout tonight’s performance we certainly learned quite a bit about his life up until this point. These details included that although Vision Video are based in Athens, Georgia, he was born in Berlin in 1986 to a German mother and an American military father who was stationed in the army there. Dusty has military blood as they say and he himself was on the last USA deployment to Afghanistan, hence the song ‘Kandahar’ (from the 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album) was given an outing this evening.
Once you realise the things that Dusty has obviously witnessed in his life, you begin to understand the subject matter of the Vision Video compositions. Dusty was also a medic as well as a firefighter in Athens, and also thanked medical workers and enquired as to whether there were any present. There was one and he duly received our appreciation through a heaty applause. “Buy into delusions that nobody will ever die alone (die alone)” was the striking line from ‘Static Drone’, no doubt penned during his medic or firefighter days. He dedicated ‘Death In A Hallway’, his most angriest delivery yet, to those people that have lost someone. This was rather moving, not just for myself, having lost a partner and both parents, but to many within the first floor performance space.
Current single ‘Normalized’, which had Tom delivering a (dare I say it a U2-esque, meets The Cure and Antipole sounding guitar work), was a heartfelt number that was showing Dusty’s distaste of governments (especially his own) as well as people that included Elon Musk earning more money than some smaller countries! ‘Organized Murder’ (from the 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album) with Jason on backing vocals, was, as Dusty informed us, about “The West profiteering from war”. Realising the songs subject matter had got deep, Dusty and chums played a very short circa 30 seconds ditty about cats. After which the doom message was reconvened with the arrival of ‘Cruelty Commodity’ (from the 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album).
It’s fair to say that the highlight, by far, of their set was their penultimate number, a rendition of Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’ single, which made my arms tingle and hairs stand on end. Rather than leaving the stage for a fake encore, the quartet simulated leaving the stage by hiding behind their instruments, which was rather comical. So despite all the messages, the outfit still maintains a sense of fun!
They signed off with ‘In My Side’ (from the 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album) and at 9:59pm they were done playing the music. But Dusty ended the night with a five minute preach, which included the statement that tonight had “had been one of the best gigs!”. You know what, some band’s always say that, but I reckon Dusty really meant it. The crowd were really up for tonight and the atmosphere was great and many goth’s had a decent boogie. Clearly Dusty was impressed with tonight’s support act, as he flagged them up no less than four times during the set…good man!
The band are working on their next album and it’s called ‘Modern Horror’, although Tom won’t be at the controls this time as he’s very busy with the re-emergence of The March Violets.
Vision Video….a bad with a social conscience!
Dusty Gannon – vocals/guitar
Tom Ashton – bass
Angelica Avila – keys/backing vocals
Jason Fusco – drums/backing vocals
Vision Video setlist:
‘Beautiful Day To Die’ (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘Static Drone’ (from 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album)
‘Inked In Red’ (from 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album)
‘Promises’ (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘Haunted Hours’ (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘Kandahar’ (from 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album)
‘Death In A Hallway’ (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘Normalized’ (2023 single)
‘Organized Murder’ (from 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album)
‘Cruelty Commodity’ (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘Transmission’ (Joy Division cover) (from 2022 ‘Haunted Hours’ album)
‘In My Side’ (from 2021 ‘Inked In Red’ album)
As stated above, the support who Dusty flagged up no less than four times during the Vision Video performance, were none other than Brighton & Hove News favourites The Pink Diamond Revue, who are an outfit once seen never forgotten.
The goth fans who were already packing the venue this evening were, prior to the commencement of The Revue’s set, a little perplexed to say the least, as there were quite a few giggles at the arrival of ACiD DoL to the stage. ACiD DoL being the top half of a female mannequin and centrepiece of the trio. But at 8pm on the dot, when the human duo of mystery man Rob Courtman Stock (drums) and ‘Rockin’ White Duke’ Tim Lane (guitar) graced us with their presence and the backing film kicked off for ‘A New Kind Of Life’, their perspectives of the musical outfit dramatically changed! Ears pricked up and absorption into The Revue’s retro 1960’s chic world was achieved. This setting was furthered by svelte-like Tim, clad in a smart sky blue suit with accompanying Watkins Circuit 4 vintage guitar (from circa 1964 at a guess), set about getting across their whaaah whaaah guitar sound.
‘Lux’, ‘Nuclear’ and ‘The Fuzz Guitar’ followed in rapid succession and clearly today was going to be a great day for the band. As not only a few hours earlier were they announced as a new act that will be performing at the UK’s largest punk festival, that of Rebellion in Blackpool, which happens each August, but this evening the crowd were being very appreciative of their work, which was pleasing to witness.
‘Milkshake’ was the next number and the only one where Tim exchanged his vintage axe for that of a Fender guitar. After almost every tune, ACiD DoL’s look was updated by Tim as he swapped her choice of headgear and glasses and then swung her back around to face us via the end of his guitar. Meanwhile Rob, sits patiently in between tunes, only to begin his metronmonic drumming via two red brushes as opposed to drumsticks.
‘Nothing Can Go Wrong’, ‘At The Discotheque’, ‘Elvis Presley’, ‘aCid DoL’ and ‘Blink’ saw out their 37 minute set. A different backing film for each tune of the set drew folk in as the music swirled all around them. At 8:37pm the band were rewarded with the biggest appreciation I have witnessed, since they performed at ‘The Official Jordan Mooney Memorial Charity Concert’ at the Concorde 2, where Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s Neal X came on stage and he and The Revue gave us the classic ‘Love Missile F1-11’ hit. Read the review of that day’s events HERE. Coincidentally, one of the bands that performed at that event are playing a secret gig this Friday at The Prince Albert. I wonder who it could be? Review to follow…..
The Pink Diamond Revue:
Tim Lane – the fuzz guitar
Rob Courtman Stock – drums
ACiD DoL – the glamour model
The Pink Diamond Revue setlist:
‘A New Kind Of Life’
‘The Fuzz Guitar’
‘Nothing Can Go Wrong’
‘At The Discotheque’