(From Manchester Evening News UK daily, 24 August 2005.)
Killing Joke Are Still Serious
KILLING Joke were perhaps one of the strangest bands to emerge from the post-punk scene.
Combining punk, industrial, metal, and many other bits in between, they have been acknowledged as a key influence by the likes of Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, who drummed on one of their recent albums.
Combining a furious rhythm section with near-psychotic performances from the singer Jaz Coleman, whose voice was once famously described as “the sound of the earth vomiting”, the band released Wardance, their debut single, in February 1980.
Despite line-up changes, working on other projects and even breaking up, they have still managed to produce nearly 20 albums over their career, not counting various compilations.
In 1994 they released, Pandemonium, seeing the trio Coleman, Geordie and Youth back together once more. The single, Millennium, and the title track sold in excess of 100,000 copies in the USA, where they signed to Zoo Records.
However, Coleman’s other career had by now evolved - not only did he become a successful arranger of classical interpretations of the music of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, but also a composer in residence for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
The latest twist in the tale took place in 2003 when Coleman, Youth and Geordie reunited once more to make Killing Joke II, hiring ex-Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill and Grohl on drums.
Now the group are back out on the road to promote the re-release of re-mastered versions of their best LPs in July.
Killing Joke play Academy 1 on Thursday, October 6. £15. Call 0161 832 1111.