The Joke Remains The Same… Killing Joke @ The Roundhouse, Camden
It was a surprise for my Little A. Back in the day she was a huge fan, and one of the things that originally attracted me to her was her interest in and knowledge of, music in general and of UK post punk bands in particular. When over drinks in the pub, I found out that she had every vinyl 12″, 7″ and 10″ that The Joke had put out (up to about 1983/84) along with most of the original early vinyl output of Gary Numan, Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees (to name just a few) I was well impressed to say the least.
I’d never seen Killing Joke play before, but And had, several times, and in fact, she worked out that the last time was probably in Digbeth, Birmingham in 1983.. which is VERY scarily nearly 30 years ago.
I like Killing Joke: I like the craziness of Jaz Coleman, with his seriousness and his doomongering, occult and apocalyptic beliefs, I like “Big” Paul Ferguson’s immense tribal drumming, and I like the huge sonic onslaught that typifies most of their tunes.
But most of all, I like Geordie Walker’s guitar sound… On stage, he plays in a minimal effort, can’t really be bothered, laid back kind of style, but the sound that comes out of his hollow body Gibson ES295 Gold Top is truly an awesome thing. He looks so cool, almost peripheral to the proceedings, but in actuality right at its very heart; simple riffs, doubled up through his effects rack, with that lovely deep resonance that hollow body guitars generate… truly one of the guitar greats of his generation.
Last night’s set was really amazing. Jaz Coleman’s voice is still as strong as ever and it’s incredible how much energy a bunch of 50 year olds can generate. If I was to be slightly critical, I might suggest that they didn’t play enough old tunes, but to be honest the tunes I didn’t recognise sounded so good at full volume, that it didn’t really matter that we didn’t hear Follow the Leader or Eighties.
Thankfully though, I got to hear my all time favourite Joke track, Requiem and I can’t believe just how fantastic it still sounds, see what you think…
They have a new record out next month, more of the same I suspect (hope) but that’s what they do best, and on the strength of the last one, the very good in places Absolute Dissent, long may The Joke continue to entertain us…