(from the NME, 17 July 1982)
My Brilliant Career
Gavin Martin revisits his old chum Youth - Killing Joke's former Sid-alike, now on the threshold of something Brilliant.
Just over a year ago when I first met him, Martin 'Pig Youth' Glover was the bad acid retard at the centre of Killing Joke's jaunt around Britain. He spent his time throwing tantrums and generally coming on as a tedious bore with a scrambled cranium.
But now, as he bounces around a messy Ladbroke Grove basement crowded with books, porno mags, records and tapes, the inevitable big bins booming out a mixture of dub, funk and tapes from New York radio, he's smiling and alert. In a whole lot better shape than last time.
"Oh sure," he grins, "I went through a weird one - but that was a year ago. I think we all go through them, I mean Jaz went through the same thing."
Indeed he did. A few months back KJ founder member Jaz tracked a leyline to Iceland, a place he reckoned would have great significance when God has his final big haha at the end of the year. He was quickly followed by guitarist Geordie, while drummer Paul stayed back home with Youth and formed a new group called Brilliant. Then two weeks ago Jaz persuaded Paul to join him, leaving Youth to hold the baby.
"What Paul did was a blow to me on a personal level," Youth admits," because he had been a close mate and the way he did it was pretty low. But we had been arguing quite bit about how the new group should go - he wanted a Killing Joke type group and I wanted one which would be as different as Killing Joke were when they first came out."
So there's no chance of you getting fed up and joining the others?
"None at all. We've got a very tight working unit and we're very excited by what it can achieve. Anyway, there's a US naval base near Iceland - it hardly seems like the wisest place to be when the holocaust comes."
Youth lost no time replacing Paul's vaunted percussion artillery. He called on friend and session drummer Andy (who'd just worked on Jimmy Pursey's album) the day after he left, and took him along with the rest of Brilliant - Justine (a French bass player who'd served an apprenticeship with frog rock overlords Magma), Marcus (a vocalist from Brighton) and Rob Waugh (a 'deranged' keyboard player) - to get it all together in a cottage in Sussex.
The result is a formidable battery of progressive dance rhythms, much more optimistic than Killing Joke but still with an abrasive edge which wasn't going to find much time on my turntable. You'll be able to hear the result in a couple of months, once Brilliant ink the ideal that they are presently negotiating With several companies. One of things holding up the release of the single ('That's What Friends Are For') is EG Records, who Youth claims are "proving a little difficult" following his refusal to rejoin the rest of the Joke.
"Jaz even came back to England to get us to join but I just said no. What we're doing is completely different from Killing Joke, it's completely different from anything. The original idea was for us to keep changing and not remain stagnant, but at the end we were becoming more and more like your standard rock group, doing pretty much the same thing for two years."
Youth, with his Sid Vicious fixation and first-kid-on-the-block whiteman's dudlocks, was always the focal point of Killing Joke- but he isn't out to become the star in Brilliant. The other four take equal billing, and the emphasis keeps returning to those pulverising dance rhythms. Hence the odd format of the group.
"You can only take the conventional bass, drums, guitar format so far. So I thought it would be best to take the guitar, which had been the predominant instrument for years and years, away and listen to more rhythms. With two basses at the centre working against each other and sometimes moulding together you get something which sounds a lot more refreshing. It's still as intense as Killing Joke but there's more music involved now. Killing Joke was basically concerned with getting an attitude across."
Ahh yes- warlocks, pentangles and Aleister Crowley - what ever happened to all that rubbish?
"Well that was mainly personal philosophy - and that was one of the big problems at the end of Killing Joke. The others felt that they couldn't concentrate on that as much as they'd like. Personally I was more interested in the music than the theory behind it."
So you had no big problem finding people with the right star signs to form this group?
"Hey! I don't even know what star signs the others are."