Killing Joke:  The Concert File

Living In The Eighties: 1983-1987

This time has become known as the 'mid-period' of the band --  at least according to most 'encyclopedia of rock' books that even bother to mention Killing Joke's existence. Certainly it was with the Night Time and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns albums that they achieved their greatest commercial (and grudging critical) success.  It also marked a time when creative and personal differences begin to come to the surface, setting the stage for some radical changes as the decade came to a close.


The first part of the year is relatively quiet in terms of live appearances and activities, presumably because the band are busy recording the Fire Dances album.

26 June: Poitiers (France), Chapiteau Festival "L'oreille est hardie". This was the first ever French gig, kicking off at 5:00 PM with an early incarnation of Sonic Youth as the support act along with a now long-forgotten band known as Orchestre Rouge.

Setlist: Wardance/ We Have Joy/ Frenzy/ Psyche/ Sun Goes Down/ Lust Almighty/ Song and Dance/ The Gathering/ Rejuvenation/ (Let's All Go) To The Fire Dances/ The Pandys Are Coming.

12 July: John Peel Radio Session

21 July: Sheffield, Leadmill

22 July: Glasgow, Nightmoves

23 July: Durham, Dunelm Ballroom

24 July: Ashton, The Metro

26 July: Cardiff, Top Rank

27 July: Nottingham, Rock City

28 July: Hull, Spring Street Theatre

29 July: Dunstable, Queensway Hall

30 July: Birmingham, Digbeth Civic Centre

31 July: London, Hammersmith Palais

with support from The Box, Sexbeat and Play Dead.

Setlist: Dominator/ Frenzy/ Pssyche/ Lust Almighty/ Sun Goes Down/ Song And Dance/ Requiem/ The Fall Of Because/ We Have Joy/ Empire Song/ Change/ Take Take Take/ The Pandys Are Coming

18 August: Leeds, Queens Hall ("Futurama Festival")

24 August: Copenhagen, venue unknown

9 September; Eindhoven, Effenaar

13 September: Dusseldorf, Zeche Bochum

Setlist:  included The Hum, Let's All Go.

"The Band was fantastic! Geordie was the iceberg in that melting pot and Raven was even thinner! Rumours were going around later that one guy had been killed during the pogo dancing! Who knows?! But watching this mad crowd could be true. Honest."  --Ralle


25 September: Mugnano (Italy)

29 September: Lyon, Palais D'Hiver

30 September: Paris, Le Palace

2 October:  Zedelgem, Groene Meerson

3 October: Antwerp, Hof-ter-lo

8 October: Madrid, Rockola

October: Berlin, Loft Club

3 December: Southampton, West Refectory

4 December: Brighton University

6 December: Brighton, Riverside

7 December: Cardiff, New Ocean Club


9 December: Leicester University

11 December: Swindon, Brunel Rooms

with support from Crown Of Thorns.

12 December: Birmingham, Tower Ballroom

13 December: Sheffield, Top Rank

14 December: Manchester, Hacienda

15 December: Edinburgh, Coasters

16 December: Newcastle, The Tube TV Show, Channel 4

The band perform Dominator, Frenzy and Eighties.

17 December: Newcastle, Bear Pit

18 December: Leeds, Tiffany's

19 December: Nottingham, Rock City

20 December: Liverpool, Royal Court



1 January: London, Hammersmith Palais

with support from Danielle Dax and March Violets

Setlist: Booids Intro/Song & Dance/Empire Song/We Have Joy/Pssyche/Complications/Lust Almighty/Sun Goes Down/Requiem/Change/Eighties/The Pandys Are Coming/Wardance/Frenzy/The Fall Of Because/Dominator/Tension/The Gathering

A clear but somewhat distant-sounding audience recording was made and widely circulated.

15 February: Osnabrueck (Germany), Hyde Park

16 February: Hamburg, Markthalle

17 February: Berlin, The Loft

18 February: Muenster, Odeon

19 February: Cologne, Luxor

20 February: Bochum, Zeche

21 February: Frankfurt, Batschkapp

23 February: Vienna, U4 Disco

Setlist: Song & Dance/Empire Song/Pssyche/Lust Almighty/Sun Goes Down/Frenzy/The Wait/We Have Joy/Wardance/Change/Eighties

There is a tape of this gig, fairly good sounding audience recording.

"It was an amazing gig ! I remember they have two security guys in the audience, and when somebody got too crazy, they send them through the audience - no matter if boy or girl... it was really funny..." -- EM

25 February: Munich, Alabamahalle

29 May: Kid Jensen Radio Session

29 June: Dyrskuepladsen, Denmark, Roskilde Festival

Setlist: Booids Intro/Frenzy/Complications/Pssyche/Lust Almighty/Sun Goes Down/Good Samaritan/Song & Dance/Dominator/Blue Feather/New DayThe Wait/Change/Requiem/Eighties/Wardance/Tension

"An OK audience recording of a great gig stuffed full of rarities. Tension cuts off halfway through; the soundboard tracks are from a Danish TV broadcast of the concert." --TB

This is the last live appearance for the summer.  The band spend August and September recording the Night Time album at Hansa Studios in Berlin.

21 December: Barcelona

The band also make an appearance on the Estoc de Pop Spanish TV show around this time; the exact date and content is unknown.



At some point during this tour, Dave Kovecevic joins on keyboards.

19 January: Colchester, Essex University

Setlist: includes Night Time, Kings & Queens and Darkness Before Dawn.

21 January: Leicester University

22 January: Blackburn, King George's Hall

25 January: Newcastle, The Tube TV show, Channel 4

The band perform Night Time, Kings & Queens and Love Like Blood.

1 February: Reading, Hexagon

3 February: London, Hammersmith Palais

6 February: Brighton, Top Rank

8 February: Exeter, Riverside

9 February: Oxford, Polytechnic

10 February: Bristol, Studio

11 February: Cardiff University

13 February: Nottingham, Rock City

"A cult the size of Iceland gathers for the homecoming of Jaz in the black jeans and to pay homage to Geordie's unique guitar noise - a buzzing lawnmower on the green fields of pop sensibility - and Paul's cogent, influential drumming. . . . Here is the manic, grinding Eurodance of 'Night Time'. And, of course, most of the new album, from the crystal clear 'Kings And Queens to the dirty 'Tabazan'. Jaz stares, leers, shouts: "Listen!" And as the tension grows, they throw 'Requiem' and the agonised script-for-life 'Bloodsport' into the carnage. . . . Killing Joke are pure devastation live." -- Chris Roberts, reviewing the Hammersmith Palais gig, NME

14 February: Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Victoria Hall (Cancelled due to conflict with a Top Of The Pops appearance; rescheduled for March, exact date unknown)

15 February: Warwick University

18 February: Sheffield, Top Rank

19 February: Leeds University

20 February: Newcastle, Tiffany's

21 February: Edinburgh, Kaley Palais

22 February: Glasgow, Queen Margaret Union

Setlist: Booids/ Night Time/ Sun Goes Down/ Tabazan/ The Wait/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Kings And Queens/ Multitudes/ Requiem/ Bloodsport/ Love Like Blood/ Tension/ Change/ Psyche/ Eighties/ Wardance.

23 February: Manchester, Apollo

24 February: Birmingham, Powerhaus

Setlist: Booids/Night Time/ Sun Goes Down/ Tabazan/ The Wait/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Kings And Queens/ Multitudes/ Requiem/ Bloodsport/ Love Like Blood/ Tension/ Change/ Pssyche/ Eighties/ Follow The Leader/ Wardance.

25 February: London, Hammersmith Palais

Setlist: Night Time/ Sun Goes Down/ Tabazan/ The Wait/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Kings And Queens/ Multitudes/ Requiem/ Bloodsport/ Love Like Blood/ Tension/ Change/ Pssyche/ Eighties/ Wardance

2 March: Liverpool, Royal Court Theatre

Setlist: Night Time/Sun Goes Down/Tabazan/The Wait/Darkness Before Dawn/Kings And Queens/Multitudes/Requiem/
Bloodsport/Love Like Blood/Tension/Change/Psyche/Eighties/Wardance

6 March: London, Paris Theatre

Setlist: Night Time/Tabazan*/Darkness Before Dawn/Kings and Queens/Tension*/ Pssyche*/Eighties/Wardance

"Tracks marked* were released on the BBC in Concert CD in 1996 out of order, edited between  and with bad sound! A recording  of the whole gig from FM radio is floating around with better sound than the CD and is worth seeking out." -- TB

9 March, Toulouse

10 March, Tous, Salle des Halles

12 March, Paris, Mutualite

13 March: Lyon, Palais d'Hiver

20 March: Bologna, Teatro Tenda

25 March, Munich, Alabamahalle

Setlist: Night Time/ Sun Goes Down/ Tabazan/ The Wait/ Love Like Blood/ Tension/ Change/ Pssyche/ Eighties/ Wardance.

26 March: Frankfurt, Batschkapp

27 March: Detmold, Hunky Dory

28 March: Berlin, Metropol

29 March: Hamburg, Markethalle

30 March: Muenster, Odeon (cancelled)

31 March: Bochum, Zeche

2 April: Osnabrueck, Subway

3 April: Cologne, Alter Wartesaal

4 April: Rotterdam, Arena

5 April: The Hague, Paard van Troje Den Haag

6 April: Amsterdam, Paradiso

7 April: Bree, Belgium, Breekend Festival

11 April: Arnhem, Rijenhal

14 April: Hollywood, John Anson Ford Theatre

17 April: San Francisco, Club DVB

18 April: San Francisco, Paradise Lounge

22 April: Tokyo, Shinjuku Nenkin Kosei Hall

28 April: Melbourne, University

29 April: Melbourne, Prince of Wales Hotel

27 July: Cornwall, St. Germans ("Elephant Fayre")

Setlist: The Hum/Darkness Before Dawn/Requiem/Empire Song/Tabazan/Night Time/Kings and Queens/Good Samaritan/Love Like Blood/Bloodsport/Complications/The Wait Pssyche/Eighties/Wardance/Sun Goes Down/Follow The Leaders

"being straight from the mixing desk, the quality is high (although the bass
features low in the mix) but during the opening song "The Hum" the engineer
is obviously having a fiddle as it briefly cuts out a couple of times ...
other than that, it was a fine performance."  --Antoni Adamiak

3 August: Sneek, Netherlands, Sneekwave Festival

10 August: Belgium, De Panne Seaside Festival

17 August: St. Goarshausen, Loreley-Freilichtbuehne ("Rockpalast Festival")

setlist: Booids Intro/The Hum/Darkness Before Dawn/Requiem/Empire Song/Tabazan/Night Time/Kings & Queens/The Good Samaritan/Love Like Blood/Bloodsport/Complications/The Wait/Psyche/Eighties/Wardance

The audio and Quicktime video are available on the official release No Way Out But Forward Go.  At least part of the gig was broadcast on German TV and video clips are in circulation.

24 August: Alsdorf, Freizeitpark

31 August: Schuettorf, Open Air

15 November: Nottingham, Rock City



The first part of the year sees the band taking a well-deserved break from touring.  They meet up in Berlin at Hansa Studios in the spring to begin work on what will become the Brighter Than A Thousand Suns album.

22 August: Reading Festival

"Killing Joke came over very forceful and Jaz, looking mad as ever, really wanted to give a great set over to those that had braved the rain but it didn't seem to come off. This could be sensed by the band as they did not come out for an encore." --A review from the House Of Dolls magazine, Sept/Oct 1986.

27 September: Burton-on-Trent, Central Park

28 September: London, Hammersmith Palais

Setlist: Intro/Twilight of the Mortals/Chessboards/Kings & Queens/Darkness Before Dawn/Night Time/Love Like Blood/Love Of The Masses/Sanity/Sun Goes Down/The Wait/Requiem/Eighties/Wardance

18 November: Glasgow, Barrowlands

19 November: Newcastle, Mayfair

Setlist: Twilight Of The Mortal/ Chessboards/ Kings And Queens/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Night Time/ Love Like Blood/ Love Of The Masses/ Sun Goes Down/ Requiem/ The Wait/ Wardance/ Eighties/ Rubicon. Encore: Complications.

21 November: Manchester, Apollo

Setlist: Twilight Of The Mortal/ Chessboards/ Kings And Queens/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Night Time/ Love Like Blood/ Love Of The Masses/ Sun Goes Down/ Requiem/ The Wait/ Wardance/ Eighties/ Rubicon.

22 November: Liverpool, Royal Court

23 November: London, Hammersmith Palais

24 November: Bristol Studio

25 November: Nottingham, Rock City (Cancelled after Jaz fell off the stage in Bristol, suffering a broken arm)

27 November:  Coventry, Polytechnic

28 November: Leeds, University

29 November: Sheffield, Octagon University

30 November: Birmingham, Odeon (Cancelled reportedly due to Jaz developing bronchitis)

3 December: Paris, Zenith

4 December: Utrecht, Vrendenberg Music Centre

6 December: Lyon, Exonere

8 December: Florence, Tenax

Setlist: Twilight Of The Mortals/ Darkness Before Dawn/ Night Time/ Love Like Blood/ Love Of The Masses/ Sun Goes Down/ Requiem/ The Wait/ Wardance/ Eighties/ Complications/ Rubicon

This concert was also broadcast on Italian TV.

13 December: Mainz, Germany

14 December: Bonn, Biskuithalle

15 December: Hamburg, Markethalle

17 December: Berlin, Metropole

20 December: Deinze, Belgium, Brielpoort



At some point during this year, work was begun on the follow-up to Brighter Than A Thousand Suns.  However, friction within the band led to the departures of Paul Ferguson and Paul Raven, leaving Jaz and Geordie to carry on with what eventually became Outside The Gate.

Jaz makes an effort to explain the ideas behind the musical arrangements on the album with a lecture, held 19 September 1987, at the Courtauld Institute in London. This lecture was recorded and also released as a Killing Joke album, The Courtauld Talks.