Virgin Prunes – Had The Plug Pulled On Them Too

With all the press this weekend about Bruce Springsteen playing past the curfew set by the powers that be in London. Then they pulled the plug on Sir Paul McCartney and ‘The Boss’ to appease the local residents. This made think about all the gigs I have attended and it came back to me my one and only time I had witnessed this happen. Well this occurred at the Futurama 3 festival held at Stafford’s Bingley Hall way back in September 1981.

This honour was bestowed upon Ireland’s Virgin Prunes, who had been on stage for about ten minutes, where they just made a whole lot of sexual noises and throwing around what looked like fake tree trunks and pigs heads. Well the powers that be had enough of this and first they turned off the lights on the set.  The band then traded insults with the John Keenan, the promoter, over the sound system. They then switched off the sound on the band. Still the band refused to move off the stage. This then resulted in the security dragging them off one by one. If memory serves correctly they had a lot of people with them on stage that evening.

The outcome of this was that some bands later on were denied their time slots. This did include Doll By Doll who actually disbanded that evening, without even playing. For that reason alone I did hold a grudge against ever seeing the Virgin Prunes live again even though subsequent records they released were rather good. So my experience was double-edged but thankfully it was first and only time it happened whilst in attendance.

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About Stevo Music Man

Music fan (Worked in music 79-92, gigs, collector, Indie DJ) Football (LCFC Season ticket), Travel, Read, Swim, Cycle & Internet.
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One Response to Virgin Prunes – Had The Plug Pulled On Them Too

  1. Remember seeing Shane McGowan & the Popes just about get the plug pulled at Millstreet, Cork, in 1996. They wanted to do an encore but were just at the curfew, and Shane was frank enough to say they wouldn’t be paid if they played on. Their schedule was tight mainly because the previous act was John Martyn. John had been told to finish up by the stage manager, but was reluctantly let do one more. To the managers obvious despair John , typically contrary, did a 10 minute plus blazing version of Johnny Too Bad. They were really racing clock after that. Indeed a remarkably spritely Shane, none of his stylised drunken behaviour, and the Popes played an amazing set, brought back memories of classic Pogues sets from the 80s.

    Now that I remember, the same years Elvis Costello & the Attractions final Dublin gig at The National Boxing Stadium almost got shut down as well. It was the first time Elvis pulled his stunt of starting late because he wanted to watch a football game. They didn’t get going til after 9:30, he usually played a 2 hour + set. It was an ok show, weird pacing, an element of compressing was obvious. Finally around 11 the cardigan wearing ancient boxing officials made it clear they wanted to go home, the show finished up shortly afterwards. An unfortunate way to see out a great band.

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