Trevor Horn And The Buggles - Live in 1998
This exclusive report was written and submitted to me by Jamie Sefton. Thanks Jamie!
A personal account of the ZTT Acts Night at The Mean Fiddler December 3rd 1998
By Jamie Sefton.
Trevor Horn. A man who had shaped my early tastes in music – from the pop perfection of ABC and the myriad of different remixes for Two Tribes to the ridiculous camp of Jacky by Marc Almond. I had been, and probably still am, in awe of the man. Even after producing Barry Manilow and Tina Turner, I still wanted to meet him and say something pathetic like, “Erm…I think you’re really good”.
Then I saw the advert in NME last November and my heart leapt. ZTT were having an evening of their acts at The Mean Fiddler, London on December 3rd 1998. The line-up included Lee Griffiths, The Marbles, Headspace, The Frames, and “A VERY SPECIAL GUEST”.
My mind was racing – would Trevor be there? Would he perform?! The night of the gig arrived and me and my mate Tim paid our £5 and headed straight for the bar. After ordering two beers from the bar staff (who were all sporting ZTT T-shirts) we sat at a table near the stage and awaited the first act. Richard O’Brien (Rocky Horror Picture Show) was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and introduced The Marbles.
During the band’s set (which was competent guitar-y pop) I noticed a be-spectacled figure heading towards the bar near our table. Trev! It was the master producer himself!! So he was the special guest, but I still had doubts whether he’d perform. I saw him order a drink and before I could gather the courage to say my great line “Erm...I think you’re really good”, he disappeared backstage. “DAMN!”, I thought “ I’ve missed my chance to meet Trev.” I finished my pint of lager and headed for the bar for more drinks.
I got back to the table as The Marbles finished their set. Richard O’Brien thanked the band and then made an announcement – “And now, they haven’t performed for twenty years….some of you may not remember them, but they’re back for one night only, would you please welcome…... THE BUGGLES!!!” Trevor, Geoff Downes (keyboards), two guitarists, a drummer and backing singer came onstage to huge cheers and applause. Trevor, dressed in a smart suit, moved to the microphone at the front of the stage. He theatrically removed his glasses, then took a large, round blue pair from his top pocket and put them on. Another huge cheer. Cont… The Buggles performed a thrashy, guitar version of Video Killed the Radio Star, complete with Trevor on megaphone during the “I hear the playback and it seems so long ago” section.
When the song ended, there was a massive reaction from the crowd with huge applause and shouts of “More!” – mostly from myself! Then there was a break so we could get our breath back. I’d seen the only live gig of The Buggles in twenty years! I couldn’t believe it. The other bands Headspace, The Frames (Trev produced their “Revelate” single) and Lee Griffiths (Mancunian singer/songwriter) did their funky thang, but it was The Buggles that had made the night. I stayed in the venue after the gig, drinking and chatting with a band member from The Marbles who said that Trevor was a good person to work with, and was very interested in all the bands on his label – popping his head round the studio door to listen to recording sessions.
It was getting late and we decided to head home. It had been a great gig and Trev had performed live, which was a dream come true for me. However on the way out of the venue I saw Trevor. I’d had a few drinks by this time, and thought “Sod it” and decided to go and meet the producer of some of my favourite music. “Excuse me, Trevor..” I blurted, “I just want to say that I really enjoy your work.”. “Thanks.” Trev replied. “And I really enjoyed The Buggles too!”. “Well, “ said Horn, “we’re having another re-union in about another twenty years!”. We laughed, and then he was gone. I’d done it! I’d seen The Buggles live and met Trevor Horn. Long live Zang Tuum Tumb!
The Trevor Horn Worship Hall - trevorhorn.net.
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