The Icarus LineEdit this event
- Corporation, Sheffield »
One phenomenon which never ceases to amaze is that of the heckler at a live music event. Particularly the type that chooses to abuse support bands rather than sit in the bar or chill out at the back of the venue. Or just don't bother coming in at all. Sadly, it seems there's several such examples of this species at the Corporation this evening. Granted, openers The Crying Spell might not have been to everyone's liking, hovering somewhere between the quasi nostalgia of The Bravery and Billy Idol's L.A. years respectively. However, they got off lightly compared to main support act, The Icarus Line, whose set was punctuated by a constant barrage of abuse. One Murderdolls t-shirt wearing punter in particular seemingly enjoying his fifteen minutes in the spotlight as his personal spat with singer Joe Cardamone continued before, during, and after each song for the entire duration of the set. Which is a shame because, if anything, it spurred Cardamone - arguably one of the most confrontational frontmen of the past decade anyway - and his band into a frenzy of nail-biting excitement. Choosing to play a set drawing mostly on material from last year's long player Wildlife, their Birthday Party meets The Stooges schtick didn't disappoint in any way, shape or form - for those of us who'd come to be entertained by the performers on stage at any rate.
Which brings us onto the headliners. Since 2010's excellent Absolute Dissent first landed on DiS' doorstep, it's fair to say Killing Joke have enjoyed something of a resurgence in popularity on these pages. Due in no small part to both that record and their subsequent live shows, interest has heightened to the point where their fanbase has swelled to similar levels that the band held in their early 1980s heyday (when they were a serious chart bothering force to be reckoned with). What that means is a whole new generation of fans brought up on the artists citing their music as an influence alongside the refugees from first time around, as tonight's audience of various demographics and ages demonstrates.
Then there's also the fact that a new Killing Joke record - their fifteenth in all - is imminent. It's perhaps no surprise then that over half of tonight's set is taken from both the forthcoming MMXII and its predecessor. Of the five new songs aired - forthcoming single 'In Cythera' surprisingly omitted - the industrial electronica of 'Fema Camp' and tribal pounding 'Rapture' ably illustrate where Killing Joke version 2012 are heading. Mixed in with more familiar material from their embryonic years, such as 'Bloodsport' and 'Unspeakable', along with a rare outing for 'Chop-Chop' from the Revelations period, the new songs are as taut and incisive as anything from their largely flawless back catalogue. With Jaz Coleman in full combat gear, stalking the audience with impassioned vigour, augmented by Kevin "Geordie" Walker's distinctive razor sharp guitar sound and the brutal rhythm section of Martin "Youth" Glover and Paul Ferguson, they've rediscovered the prowess that elevated them to the status as one of the UK's most incisive live bands back in the day.
Saving early singles 'The Wait' and 'Pssyche' until last causes a melee of blood, sweat and beers across the Corporation's increasingly sticky dancefloor. However, the biggest talking point centres around the band's decision not to return for the pre-planned, four-song encore. Plastic cups fly through the air, the audience baying for more. Stories circulate suggesting Jaz Coleman had collapsed at the end of the set prove to be neither confirmed or denied, however, we're relieved to hear the following evening's show in Manchester went ahead unscathed.
The Killing Joke machine rolls on, thirty-four years and counting...
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