((From Kerrang, 25 October 2008)Just Announced:
The Forum, London
Riotous post-punks play first two albums back-to-back
One of the latest trends in
live music seems to be the concept concert - where instead of just playing a
bunch of songs, bands will perform an album in it's entirity. Tonight, it's the
turn of British post-punks Killing Joke to do something similar, almost thirty
years after they began.
The first of two sold out gigs at the Forum, tonight sees the band play their first two albums - 1980's Killing Joke and 1981's What's This For...! - back to back. Frontman Jaz Coleman (who's almost fifty, incidentally) is commanding and engaging, imposing and inspiring as the band, after a long long wait, begin to burn through the dark noise and apocalyptic gloom songs that constitute those albums.
It's incendiary and savage - Wardance, Bloodsport and Follow the Leaders especially - but it's music, unlike most these days, that says something. That makes you believe in change. That makes you realise there's so much out there to fight for and against.
The fact that recordings of these gigs are on sale at the end of each night does seem to conflict with the band's rebellious, confrontational and anti commercial nature, but they get away with it. Besides, it's a worthy memento of an important, near revolutionary performance in apathetic times. At least, that's how it felt to be there.