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...

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