Eyewitness: Carl Griffiths

My introduction to the Virgin Prunes was a complete fluke. Having purchased tickets to the Futurama festival in Stafford, where I along with 90 per cent of the audience, were looking forward to the likes of Gang of Four, UK Decay, Bauhaus, Theatre of Hate and Bow Wow Wow, I left for home being completely blown away by a “performance” by a band, billed on Sunday afternoon fronted by two singers wearing only loinclothes.
The entire hall was completely taken over with the band’s unusual entrance where two singers walked onstage and sat down. Both singers then began to whine, eat apples and spit at each other with this cacophony of noise in the background consisting of tapes and loops. People were genuinely glued to the stage and when the organisers decided to cut short their set a hostile reaction ensued.
The comment from Gavin or Guggi — I cannot remember who said it but I cannot forget the comment aimed at the sound engineer as he turned off the PA “THAT MAN IS MY PERSECUTOR.”
That performance was the talking point for weeks to come and I began to search for this band within the music journals.
My second helping happened I think 31.10.81 at Heaven, Charing Cross, London, supporting SPK and someone from Young Marble Giants
From then on I saw them play Manchester Hcienda twice, an extremely hot Electric Ballroom in London, Brixton Ace in London and finally at London’s Hammersmith Palais minus Gugi supporting Psychic TV where there were readings by Katy Acker etc.
What times.
What an era.
Carl Griffiths, Stoke-on-Trent, England.