Saturday, 20 March 2010

Favourite Albums - V

Honourable Mentions
  • Vs by Pearl Jam
  • Vinland Saga by Leaves' Eyes
  • The Varangian Way by Turisas
  • Versus the World by Amon Amarth
  • Virtual XI by Iron Maiden
Visual Audio Sensory Theatre - VAST (1998)
Visual Audio Sensory Theatre - VAST (1980)

VAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theatre (or Eye, Ear, Hand, TV as Gav insisted on interpretating it as.) so this is almost an eponymously titled album. For the first few years, and certainly the first two albums (of which Visual Audio Sensory Theatre is the first) VAST was essentially the solo project of Jon Crosby, although I understand nowdays they are more of a standard four peice band. I got into them when someone on IRC sent me a few tracks to listen to, I was hooked and told pretty much anyone who would listen about them. They've appeared on soundtracks a bit, most notably on a few episodes of Angel. "Touched" was featured in Lonely Hearts and either "Here" was used on the trailer here. I think some other songs featured in the series also.

VASTThey toured the UK in the winter of 2000 (that was a proper winter, none of this snow nonsense, just dark and a bit chilly) and I ended up going to a couple of shows. On the 12th November I went to a show at Manchester Academy 3, but I think that it was called Hop & Grape back then. It was a quality gig, I remember that the music inbetween the support and VAST was some sort of best of the Doors music on a loop which was pretty cool. The support was My Vitriol, who I didn't really like so the Doors was a nice break, well first time through the loop at least. One thing that I remember about the support, which in itself is unusual as I don't normally remember supports but this was pretty ludicrous - the lead singer / guitarist guy during their final number threw his guitar off stage. "Hey, that's pretty rock and roll" thinks I. At least until a roadie carries a guitar back on, fully intact a few seconds later whilst packing their gear away. Anyway, a good time was had by all and we went outside to meet the band. Not as rock 'n' roll as it sounds, as meeting the band isn't as hard as you would think, especially for small scale gigs. Essentially the theory is that the band has to get from the venue to the tour bus, so if you hang out around there you should bump into them. It worked quite well while I was at uni, Type O Negative, Fear Factory and Justin Sullivan among those whom I met, but I digress slightly. That's a young me with Jon above there, and a time faded signature on the cover to this album. As everyone was getting Jon to sign stuff and whatnot we had a chat with the guitarist for a bit, my mate got his ticket signed saying something along the lines of "No food until guitar practice." A top end to a top night


A few days later on the 15th I went to see them again at Nottingham Rock City, in the basement room there. We got there fairly early and as such were reasonably close to the front, but not making a play to get to the barrier or anything pretty happy with our position, besides a couple of guys ahead of us seemed to be clutching onto the barrier and not paying much attention to the support which was again My Vitriol , who were not any better the second time around, but at least this time I had some idea of when they would finish. He didn't try the guitar trick again tho, I don't think the Rock City basement room was set up for that sort of con, there was a little walkway from the door to the stage which sort of elongated the front where the band would walk past to get to the stage. Anyway, I figured that those guys were VAST fans, just waiting for the main event like us. To our surprise as the familliar sounds of the Doors loop tape kicked in again they vacated there spot, and I noticed that they had been wearing My Vitriol shirts. So we slid in and ended up right near the front without trying. Now for the really cool bit - as Jon was coming to the stage, he spots me as he walks past turns back a couple of steps and shakes my hand recognising me from a few nights previous. A wicked memory and this album always reminds me of this pair of gigs.

Favourite Tracks
"Here","Touched","Flames","Temptation","I'm Dying"

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