(From Kerrang, UK weekly magazine focusing on industrial and metal music, 30 August 2003.)

Killing Joke

Notting Hill Hellions Put The Fun Back In Homicide

The Underworld, Camden

"In 2004 everything's gonna get worse!" shrieks an exasperated Jaz Coleman. It's possible, but in the light of tonight's mood he'll be hard pressed to find a like mind. He's just spent the last 60 minutes bombarding the room with enough dire predictions and shit-kicking stomps to make a grown emo kid stop crying, but the defiant chants of "Joke! Joke! Joke!" call his bluff.


Just an hour ago post-rocking hipsters Carson were churning out Bush-worshipping swells of catchy, albeit incongruously palatable grooves. But the almost embarrassing swathe of Killing Joke branded cloth around the room leaves no doubt as to where the amassing throng's loyalties lie.


As the stage time nears, it's as if the sweat drenched floor is slowly warping inward around the stage as people topple over each other to secure a view. As the lights dim and the torturously awaited assault begins, it seems as if Killing Joke's 20 years of under-dogged determination is about to pay off. Waves of ecstatic Jubilation course through the crowd like sonic semiconductors as Coleman appears in a spider-emblazoned cloak ; a demented arm-flailing thespian preaching to a flock of long- converted.


As the doom-laden prophecy of 'War Dance' summons a rapturous frenzy, it's clear that the response is about far more than pulsing, angular rhythms and righteous dismay. Tonight in the Underworld's dank, mottled interior, Killing Joke have arrived. KKKKK (Classic)


Alexander Milas