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God bless Killing Joke and god bless punk rock!

Posted on 29 April 2012 by Chris Knight

30 years on and back with the original line up, Killing Joke appear as cutting edge and just as important as they ever were. Sometimes music is just about a trend or an accessory to the latest fashion but Killing Joke stand for a lot more than just a fad. It’s no coincidence that a large contingent of the Wulfrun Hall are punk rockers, a misunderstood generation of what the dictionary deems to be followers of “loud, insistent music and abusive or violent protest lyrics, and whose performers and followers are distinguished by extremes of dress and socially defiant behavior.”

Way back when this band first emerged from the dying embers of the late 70s, some critics such as Stephen Thomas Erlewine and John Dougan described there sound as “quasi-metal … dancing to a tune of doom and gloom”. One thing they weren’t doing was dancing but rather delivering a message which is as important then as it is today. Music is their parliament and their music sales are their vote! This is an institution and unlike an endless stream of dithering politicians these guys can adapt and cross over to endless generations and genres.

But let’s not play totally into the hands of these misinformed critics because Killing Joke are pioneers of their trade. Leaders not followers and a huge musical influence too many of today’s bands.

The set opens up with ‘European Super State’ from the album ‘Absolute Dissent’ and there’s a good sprinkle from the new album ‘MMXII’, including the infectious ‘Rapture’ which is lapped up from the large following contingent. It’s a battering ram of joy, where else can you get ‘chinned’ by a 6 foot punk and still be able to get up, hug and shake hands. ‘The Wait’, ‘Pssyche’ and ‘Requiem’ bring about a shuddering roar of approval and a ground shuddering stomp. The pale faced, boiler suit wearing Jaz Coleman, stomping around the stage like a delusional nutter, menacing, grimacing and totally mesmerizing. Then the encores ‘Love Like Blood’ & ‘Wardance’, yes that right as mentioned earlier delivered by a front man ‘distinguished by extreme dress’ a dressing gown!!!!

God bless Killing Joke and god bless punk rock!