MUDKISS FANZINE

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KILLING JOKE @ THE FORUM, LONDON 16/03/13 – REVIEW BY BOB SPITZER

 
Killing Joke! What a band! What a history! Celebrating 35 years as a band ,one should also bear in mind their considerable individual achievements outside of the band: Jaz Coleman's orchestral works, directing the Prague Symphony Orchestra and receiving an award from the French government for his contribution to the Arts, Youth’s well-deserved success as a producer in the 90's and Geordie's unique guitar style earning him praise from Jimmy Page amongst others. Killing Joke almost single-handedly invented the industrial, alternative rock sound, the combination of Geordie's insistent and abrasive riffing,Youth's and later Raven's (R.I.P.)sub-bass tones, Paul Ferguson's tribal beats and Jaz's throaty, guttural vocals and apocalyptic lyrics.

Playing to a sold out Forum, they started with a couple of oldies, namely ‘Requiem’ and ‘Turn To Red’,the massive sound nicely filling up the venue and kept things moving with a set which included:‘The Wait’, ‘Love Like Blood’ (always a pleasure to hear!) , ‘Chop Chop’ , ‘Sun Goes Down’,’ Whiteout’, ‘Money Is Not Our God’,’ The Beautiful Dead’ (intense! ), ‘Pandemonium’, ‘Eighties’ ,’This World Hell’, ‘European Superstate’ and crowd-pleaser ‘Asteroid’ with the band deliberately letting the punters shout out the chorus (Asteroiiiiid!) before kicking in for real!

The only track from last years album MMXII was ‘Corporate Elect’, one of the weaker tracks on the album in this reviewer's opinion (why not ‘Pole Shift’, which sounded so awesome at last years Roundhouse gig, or  (Rapture’?).Nevertheless, ‘Corporate Elect’ still sounded massive and with such a huge body of work to choose from, no doubt everyone in the room had at least one track missing from their ideal KJ set list.

‘Empire Song’ was a high point for me; the combination of that simple yet compelling guitar riff with the up tempo tribal tom-tom beat and Jaz's melodic vocal line...perfection! This is one of the things I love about Killing Joke....although they are known for having an abrasive and discordant sound, they thoroughly understand and engage melody (‘European Superstate’ being a perfect case in point...melodic without losing 'the edge'). The encore was announced by Youth as being 'the disco part of the set' and we were treated to ‘Change’ and an excellent version of ‘Psyche’.

All in all, a greatest hits show of the bands own choosing...and why not. A band this influential can and should do whatever the hell they want! I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Jaz Coleman (thanks Svenja!) a few hours before the concert and when it was put to him that Killing Joke were an influential band he replied "are we?" Yes, Jaz...a thousand times, yes!

Review by Bob Spitzer
Photos by Svenga Block