V-SOR,X Authors 2
OUT NOW on Peripheral Minimal is a classic of the synth-pop scene (at the time received criticism for alleged lack of emotion and musicianship), that exploded into the glare of the music press and into the bedrooms of thousands of trendy teenagers in the UK at the tail end of the 1970s and early 1980s. A time when technology was rapidly becoming affordable for the plethora of part-time synth addicts and electronic experimenters.
From the V-SOR,X Website:
The glory of punk was fading but every month there were hundreds of groups releasing 7″ singles with their own money. Lichfield was a pretty, middle class city just outside Birmingham, England. Very conservative and very safe. I had been in a punk band called ‘the Nurses’ and was only just getting to grips with my instrument, the guitar. I was desperate to start a new band so that I could improve my skills. There was also a great feeling of brotherhood between musicians at that time, predominantly because there was content behind lyrics and music was an opportunity for the dispossessed.
This new group was set-up by myself, Morgan Bryan, and Ian (‘Rolls’) Rowlands. Shortly after we enlisted a singer called Irene Keyes. Irene was a short, layered, giggling teenager with a stunning voice and a warm personality. At this point we were called Ambush Infancy but both name and singer didn’t quite fit the image, which was more Stranglers than X-Ray Specs. After quite a number of rehearsals Rolls and I realised it wasn’t happening and we asked Irene to leave the band. I never kept in touch with her but I hope she did well as she was very talented, unfortunately the parting wasn’t completely amicable.
Many positive things came out of this union but mostly a good collection of tough songs which had been well rehearsed.
Ambush Infancy was a comment on education in 70’s Britain. This was the bus station approach to youth development. Thousands of travellers on too few buses that were all going one way to the same place. It was a bit too personal and a bit dated for the style of music that was being delivered.
We decided that a new name should be created that would/could only mean one thing, and that was the band. This was the era of The Police, The Cure, The Jam, The Stranglers, etc so ‘the’ was also out. A list was drawn up and the band and close friends were asked to pick their favourite. Amongst the names on the list were:
- T-Tes-T (pronounced Tay-Tez-Tay)
- Photas R
- V-Sor, X
There seemed little debate, V-Sor, X was by far the most popular name on the list. As for pronunciation there was only ever one way, Vee Sore Ex, but we could live with ‘Veeser X’. The best derivation I heard was ‘Phise Or P’ . . . . well your guess is as good as mine. Was it a good choice? Yes for the reasons it was chosen, i.e. it was totally unique. Unfortunately it was a marketing man’s nightmare. A product that no one could pronounce and that punters couldn’t second guess. Was it a band or a chemical treatment? I still love the name but would advise others against taking this route.