Gig Review: Killing Joke, The Institute, Birmingham, 31st October 2015 @Killingjokeband #MusicIsEverything

Quite the most appropriate band to see on Hallowe’en, Killing Joke are unique; almost unclassifiable. Some say Punk, some say Industrial, some say Goth – I say none and yet all of the above.

This Autumn, we see them touring their brand new album “Pylon”, possibly their most important and potent record since 1994’s “Pandemonium”.

Right from the off, the mix hammering out of the PA was bordering on sonic violence. Commencing with an almost gleeful version of “The Wait” and lurching into the hypnotic and relentless “Autonomous Zone”, Jaz Coleman fervidly demonstrated himself around the stage like a demented Hindu God.

DSC_0226Pausing briefly to greet the audience, there was a poignant moment in which Coleman reminded us that Hallowe’en was the time when we remember the dead, before the band crashed into the extremely pertinent “Absent Friends”.

DSC_0435Tonight’s set is an eclectic mix of brutal gems garnered from the last 30 plus years of their back catalogue. However, the jewel in the apocalyptic crown of tonight’s performance was “I Am the Virus”, the new anthem for a world going to Hell in a handcart.

Never a band who can be accused of predictability or commerciality, the inclusion of “Eighties” and “Love Like Blood” this evening were both somewhat unexpected but nonetheless warmly welcomed.

DSC_0333Killing Joke’s industrial brand of heavy metal disco and their vigorously expressive political commentary has illimitable relevance, and as such the band is in many ways still in their creative prime. And Hosanna to that!

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