Saturday, 31 March 2012

Love Like London Blood

On the morning of the Killing Joke London Gathering, the Today Radio 4 broadcast announced news of a solar storm...

The Roundhouse gig must've been the biggest venue of the Killing Joke tour and was certainly the most visually impressive, with two screens of rapidfire images of dystopian, primitive, majestic nightmares created by their old album sleeve artist Mike Coles. Check out the youtube videos which were being extensively made by every Gatherer and his dog. I usually try not to shove people when I dance, but made an exception for the man who'd been alternately blocking my views of Jaz and Youth with his mobile and barreled right into him when they played "Unspeakable." The rest of the crowd seemed to agree and shoved right back away from the stage. Then I spotted my friend Ding/o former bassist of The Fall, PJ Harvey, Black Francis, Bobbie Peru and Kin mohawking unspeakably near the centre front and bounced around for a bit, discovering the sound to be much improved on the Youth side... things had sounded a little tinny near Geordie for the first few songs. The first familar face I encountered was Michael from Mannheim during the Crying Spell's set. I made the mistake of buying some expensive vile wine with which I had to drink more than a pint of water to swill down and was feeling too weak to stand while the Icarus Line were vociferouly heckled by impatient Gatherers, so retreated to the edges where I sat next to a pretty lady who I got talking to with complaints about the wine quality. Her name was Viktoria and she'd traveled all the way from Sweden for the gig! "Unspeakable" was my gig highlight, that tribal drum pattern energising us away from Tory Workfare concentration camp Tesco bullshit. The new song "Fema Camp" had the most grim visuals, of no future cages and barbed wire, as nightmarish as "What's This For...!" What's this for? Inspiration to carry on the battle against the corporate greedmongers and their pathetic attempts to enslave us all on the wheel of docile time wasting labour. The encore was a bit special, as they launched into celebratory extended renditions of "Requiem" and "Wardance" followed by the very best "Love Like Blood" for their homecoming triumph. Jaz looked like the happiest man on the planet after they played that!

Afterwards I found myself drinking cider in the Barfly, where Killing Joke had played the gig for Jester with numerous Gatherers from not just London but all over the world! Towards the end of the evening I ran into my old friend Johnno from Liverpool Scene of the Crime Records, a now defunct should that fueled my ears with Dischord, Blast First and SST in the early nineties. I hadn't seen him for years, and he is now managing the Darkness at

The next day I woke at 5am, and watched "The Empire Strikes Back" as it was the DVD already in the player. Then up north to Sheffield, via the Camden Excahnge where I bagged Elvis Costello's "Armed Forces" and The Fall "Bend Sinister" for a mere quid each on CD and the triple disc "Twenty Years of Dischord" compilation. No sign of Killing Joke album promos though...

Francis Massacre

Considering the immolation of a silly Yorkshire lady who probably just wanted to get to WORK on time to support cancerous planet raping economic growth, isn't it rather lame that just one Labour MP appears to be calling for the resignation of Minister for Petrol Panic Francis Maudlin?

Surely they should now be launching an investigation into criminal negligence relating to his comments about the strike that isn't happening?

Fat chance, they haven't even put that war criminal Tory Bliar on trial.

Still it brightens my day to imagine Tories on fire. Which one would you douse in top grade stolen Iraqi petrol and immolate?

Actually one would not require the gasoline, as they are all so greasy already!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Two Last Harbours & Mark Stewart

Since Wobbling, I've had one day off gigging, and been to see Last Harbour twice at Band on the Wall and in Preston and returned to Ruby Lounge to witness Mark Stewart's band who are way better than the Pop Group! What a shame the gig was so underpopulated.

Norwich Floodsport 6.3

I'd never visited Norwich before. I once tried to hitch there for a Fugazi gig but gave up when I got as far as Nottingham too late to continue, and that was where they were playing the next day. Almost a couple of decades later I finally made it there for Killing Joke. It seems a pleasant place, with a cathedral which I visited the morning after the gig and a castle which I'd have explored if I'd had time. What a shame it'll flood when the ice caps melt, along with London, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Portsmouth. I made it to the Waterfront just after Seattle band the Crying Spell had begun their goth rock set. Their most memorable song is the one where the dead walk. I enjoyed them and the Icarus Line more than in Bristol. The Icarus Line sound like 90% Stooges tribute, even with one song that sounds like "Dirt" with different words, but if you like the Stooges what's the problem with that? I got myself psyched up by hollering "In Excelsis" in the resonating acoustics of the stairwell between first floor toilet and ground floor bar which had the Gatherers in the bar laughing when I marched through. I spoke to several friendly people before the gig whose names I never found out but maybe we will meet again at futute Gatherings? Hello to Michael from Mannheim, who I spoke to because he had a Kiling Joke T-shirt I'd never seen before, Andrew who I'd met the night before in Bristol and the tall fellow with glasses and Specials T-shirt who was really going for it most of the gig getting enraptured. Youth was displaying greater levels of hygeine then back in the bad old days and had changed costume since Bristol, now he resembled a mutant cyberpunk holocaust survivor, not the sort of style the corporate elect will allow at their planned Fema Camps. I had my 'fuck off' finger waving moves down for "Fema Camp" which sounded even more desperately ferocious than the night before. First they scapegoated the youth and we said nothing. Then they locked up the Geordies and we said nothing. Then they chained up all the lovers of free jazz and made them listen to Ken Clark lecturing in semi-senile injustice. Then there were only old ladies left to complain and when they wrote to the Daily Mail demanding a little descency they found they were ignored as the papers were all owned by corporate elect who want us to WORK for cancerous growth of planetery armageddon. I think this was the gig where Jaz said, "2012? Youth's the optimistic one; he thinks there'll be a nuclear war!" although that might've been Bristol. As far as I recall the set differed from Bristol in that they dropped "In Cythera" and "This World Hell" in favour of "Requiem" and "Wardance." The Waterfront was a more compact and atmospheric venue than Bristol Academy and the cider flowed fast. The healing power of Killing Joke enables my slow gut to drink like a fish! I met Jon Chapman and Geordie Jim and his friend Kev after the feedback faded and they told me their train had been cacelled due to a death on the line. No such troubles with a fortnightly National Express Primobile go everywhere ticket. I was motoring back to Bristol to see the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as Killing Joke were taking a day off to prepare for London. Before I left I had time to discover a doodad in memory of a Sheriff Coleman of Norwich in the cathedral, which also boasts a massive organ.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Clocks Turn Backwards to Bristol 5.3

Before Killing Joke's Bristol gig I positioned myself in the location which would in less than half a hour become the best place on the planet to stand: a few bodies back from Geordie's amp. Stood next to me was a thin blond haired girl who looked about half my age, who I turned to and said, "You look about half my age!" She told me she was twenty years old (slightly younger than half my age) and that this was the second time she'd been to a Killing Joke gig. The first time her father had taken her to see them at a festival and she'd thought they were awesome. Funnily synchronously enough the third song in the set "In Cythera" was dedicated to all Killing Joke's dad's who are now all dead, and then was never played again for the remainder of the British tour. Even though we spoke for a while before the music / ritual started, I neglected to ask this young lady's name. I told her about how Killing Joke always have a healing effect on me if I'm feeling run down and made my standard comment about standing close to the guitar amp with which I opened this report. I was surprised they opened with "European Super State" and raised my glass, waiting for the real fire to start with "Sun Goes Down" as tribal and primal as ever it was. "Rapture" got the Gathering fired up as if it were "Pssyche" and another surprise was the resurrection of "Chop-Chop" sounding massive and relevant to these times of the Con-Dem butchery socio-economic agenda. A bigger surpise was that they didn't play "Wardance," the first time this has happened at any of the many Gatherings I've attended. Paul brought his "Unspeakable" circling drums home where the always should have been, spellbinding and mesmeric. He hardly moves as he plays, the eye in the hurricane, opposed to the Jaz's enraged stomping exorcisms. Geordie surveys the Gathering like a general inspecting his troops, swaying head snakelike as he chimes the greatest noise a guitar has yet made. The new songs such as the epic Poleshift, nightmarish Fema Camp and especially the manic Corporate Elect suggested the new album is going to be one of their best. Primobile sounds oddly like Gary Numan, filtered through the Joke of course. I ran into some old familiar faces after the last feedback squalls died, longtime hardcore Gatherers Jon Chapman and Anthoni Adamiak who I'd meet again later in the tour. Went for a drink aftewards with Gatherers Geordie Jim and Paul Richardson and a flock of other Gatherers including a woman I recognised from Wire's December gig in Cardiff. Six British troops were slaughtered like cattle for nothing in Afghanistan that day. If we're all in this together then why haven't Diceman Cameron's legs been blasted off yet?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wobble Monopoly

Everyone I spoke to told me I'd be silly to miss Wobble and Levene and that was my feeling too, even though the Stranglers are in the best shape I've ever heard them these days. They started proceedings with an amusing interview conducted by John Robb, who would later do a passable Lydon impression. Wobble recalled an acid tripping drummer on space invaders and explained why Brian Eno is a cunt. With that all made clear, Keith Levene had a few acerbic words and for some reason stared at me as if he was Spanish as he walked on stage. Wobble said he wanted to show us all a bass line and this was the low key way of starting the gig with a very long Poptones. Their drummer was most able and that trio would have been enough really, but they also had a trumpeter which added a bit of colour. Slightly more superflouous were the vocals. I think the second number Memories was the best and that might be partly because I think they did an instrumental take of that powehouse groove, extending it on and on and on and on and on. Robb was a much better frontman than matey boy from Northside who Wobble invited to sing a charisma free Public Image. It didn't matter though, as the bass carried it and when the line about "Not a game of monopoly" spewed forth I chucked a wad of torn up fake money in the air for Lydon's lawyers who tried to stop this gig. They finished with Annalisa, with Robb totally wired and giving the mike to some fans whose enthusiasm was in dastic excesto their talent. They also played Graveyard but didn't do Chant, Socialist, Caeering or Albatross.

Tickets were £14 in advance.
£20 on the door.
Not a game of monopoly?

Glitch Leak / Fopp Colony Collapse

I am currently listening to Glitch from the new Killing Joke album on youtube.
Already had a listen to Corporate Elect, All Hallows Eve and Colony Collapse which all sound excellent.
No need to buy the album then, thanks to journalists sharing.
Better than the one who sold a copy to Vinyl Exchange!
I went to Probe Records, Picadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, fopp and HMV in search of the In Cythera single on Monday 25/3 but none of them had it. Fopp assured me that CD singles no longer exist and that I would have to pay for a download. If that's their attitude no wonder they're going out of business!

Someone must be doing press for Killing Joke!

It is easy to get it all for free without bothering with them anyway these days!
May the farce be with you!

Does the Spinefam record label actually have distribution?

Picadilly said they couldn't get hold of the single or the album on vinyl but at least said they'd have the CD on Monday if the world lasts that long.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

NASDAQ Turn to Red

On returning to Manchester I was marching home listening to Psyche when a voice started calling: turn around! I searched through my possessions until I found the piece of paper on which I'd scrawled a message from my friend Dan the guitarist dBh. I changed direction and reached the Bay Horse to an Unspeakable soundtrack (every direction leading to the same place) where Dan's excellent instrumental band NASDAQ was playing, just in time for their set. Yesterday was the beginning of Indian new year. On my way here I cursed George Osbourne to the sound of Butcher, and the sign for Demesne Road had been painted blood red.

Napolean Pig Tory Osburn him say:
"Four legs good, one leg better!"

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Corporate Elect Lost Power

Can a curse be a blessing in disguise?

The worst moment of the Killing Joke tour was certainly when the power blew in Glasgow halfway throught my favourite new song Corporate Elect. I met a Gatherer called Stefan in Victoria House Hotel the next day and he had taken a setlist which confirmed that they'd planned to play the same songs as in Manchester. The word was that electricity supply had disconnected to several buildings in the immediate area of the venue, which meant the Joke had to abandon The Wait, Psyche, Requiem, Wardance and Love Like Blood.

However I later considered that the song on which the power went down was significant.THE CORPORATE ELECT LOST POWERGlasgow is in my opinion the most anti-authority city on this island, so maybe this is a
premonition of

This afternoon I went to Nottingham Castle and did a ritual to accelerate the end of the
Age of Greed.

POrtsmouth POleshift

I had never been to a gig in Portsmouth before, and walked along the seafront to the Pyramids. Passing a hovercraft landing the song became alive: the vehicle was making the drone that heralds
a song that was dropped from the set that night, never to return.
I marked out the points before the Joke erupted and as I stopped to sip cider Youth walked into the Pyramids and said hello. The sound was excellent and what the Gathering lacked in number that night they more than made up for in enthusiasm. The Joke rewarded their friends from the southern Extremities of the country by returning for an encore of Requiem and Wardance which were at their most incendiery. There is footage of these songs on youtube. Earlier in the gig Jaz had a short rant about the navy being a bunch of mugs. I'd picked up some army recruitment leaflets at the Stranglers gig in Lincoln Engine Shed the night before, and wardanced by tearing them up and throwing them in the air. After the gig I met a woman of liberty called Kelly, which is an Irish word for war.

The Gathering vs. Corporate Elect

There is a big banner demanding
on Market Street, Nottingham
where the Occupy Nottingham people have set up tents and are giving out information about the
I talked with them and other citizens in the home of Robin Hood about the need to push just a little bit harder... if all who reject those who would control us push together their house of cards will tumble.

In Bristol where I returned twice after my initial visit for the second gig on Killing Joke's British tour, the YHA had a painting of a homeless man with a sign reading
"Don't give me coins, I want

After the gig I sat opposite that picture and had a drink with longtime Gatherer Paul Richards who was also staying on the waterfront.

All last night in Nottingham the computer I am using today was left with the youtube video of Corporate Elect in Manchester open and ready to blast.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bristol Clocks Turned Backwards

I had to walk from Temple Meads railway station to the coach station and listened to Unspeakable, Butcher, Exit, The Hum and Empire Song again as a soundtrack. Every clock I passed had an earlier time than the previous one and I found I arrived at my destination earlier than I thought possible. At least I didn't arrive before I'd left. The day before I'd tried to use the internet but nothing would run except Killing Joke videos on youtube.

Unspeakable Cheltenham Exit

I didn't expect to end up visiting Jaz Coleman's hometown of Cheltenham on my trip around the country, but on my third journey to Bristol the coach waited there a while. I had been listening to "The Raven" by the Stranglers but after 'Shah Shah A Go Go' it stopped for no logical end as we drove into Cheltenham and I had to switch to my tape player loaded with my most listened to tape "Laugh, I Nearly Bought One!" Not for the first time electronic devices conspired with the universe to force me to listen to Killing Joke, not that I need much prompting. Unspeakable, Butcher, Exit, The Hum and Empire Song formed an appropriate soundtrack. Just prior to that a news report about "lead in the air" in Gloucestershire was on local radio.

European Super State has proved to be an excellent motoring song, and in Worcester on the way from Bristol to Nottingham for the White Hills gig, it was playing as the coach pulled in beside a ring of blue flags with gold stars.

Spirit of Resistance Haunt Us!

It transpires that the favourite 2010 album of Dave W, the guitarist of White Hills, the heavy psychedelic American band whose UK tour began on the day Killing Joke accelerated their last British Poleshift in Oxford, is none other than

Let that be a motto for the year.
At every gig mark out the points to create an energy field to repel
push, push, struggle!
Lets Kamikaze 'til we get a

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Killing Joke tour

Having made it to every gig except Exeter I'm having a laugh!
Three to go, then old Europe...
I will write more later when I have less more important things to do.

All Is Illusion:Fuck Glasgow Fema Camp

Psycho bitch from Glasgow
The Empire Strikes Back
Clock turned backwards
The enemy had cut down all the power
The government fled from Scotland today
Guided By ancestral Voices
Heart Foundation Ravens
Cyberpunk Concentration Camp Exit
No Fire Increasing
No Rapists with eyes on me
No Cattle for Slaughter
No Music to March to
No Love (Lost)
Toward the Low Sun
Lets go eat the factory

Friday, 2 March 2012

The Stranglers in Leeds

As I'll probably be missing the Stranglers Manchester gig, I travelled to Leeds to see the first gig on their tour. I'm happy to report that Jet didn't do a Davey Jones and kept a perfect beat in a stunning set that opened with Burning Up Time, The Raven and Sometimes. Dave botched up the start of Sometimes and they had to restart it which got a big chuckle from JJ. The nicest surprise was a venomous rendition of Rise of the Robots and even more surprisingly they resurrected Shut Up! I think I enjoyed Tank in the encore most, and the last song in the set Time To Die was a twangy exit. They also played Hanging Around, Duchess, Walk On By, Peaches, No More Heroes, Strange Little Girl and of course Golden Brown. A ticket on the door was two quid less than the internet rip off price and a couple of fans in the queue told me net fleecers had charged over thirty quid for their tickets! The new songs sounded like their best since Hugh was the singer and I'd go see them again if all the gigs didn't clash with the rapturous
whose new song RAPTURE I am listening to relentlessly now on