Thursday, 29 March 2012

Clocks Turn Backwards to Bristol 5.3

Before Killing Joke's Bristol gig I positioned myself in the location which would in less than half a hour become the best place on the planet to stand: a few bodies back from Geordie's amp. Stood next to me was a thin blond haired girl who looked about half my age, who I turned to and said, "You look about half my age!" She told me she was twenty years old (slightly younger than half my age) and that this was the second time she'd been to a Killing Joke gig. The first time her father had taken her to see them at a festival and she'd thought they were awesome. Funnily synchronously enough the third song in the set "In Cythera" was dedicated to all Killing Joke's dad's who are now all dead, and then was never played again for the remainder of the British tour. Even though we spoke for a while before the music / ritual started, I neglected to ask this young lady's name. I told her about how Killing Joke always have a healing effect on me if I'm feeling run down and made my standard comment about standing close to the guitar amp with which I opened this report. I was surprised they opened with "European Super State" and raised my glass, waiting for the real fire to start with "Sun Goes Down" as tribal and primal as ever it was. "Rapture" got the Gathering fired up as if it were "Pssyche" and another surprise was the resurrection of "Chop-Chop" sounding massive and relevant to these times of the Con-Dem butchery socio-economic agenda. A bigger surpise was that they didn't play "Wardance," the first time this has happened at any of the many Gatherings I've attended. Paul brought his "Unspeakable" circling drums home where the always should have been, spellbinding and mesmeric. He hardly moves as he plays, the eye in the hurricane, opposed to the Jaz's enraged stomping exorcisms. Geordie surveys the Gathering like a general inspecting his troops, swaying head snakelike as he chimes the greatest noise a guitar has yet made. The new songs such as the epic Poleshift, nightmarish Fema Camp and especially the manic Corporate Elect suggested the new album is going to be one of their best. Primobile sounds oddly like Gary Numan, filtered through the Joke of course. I ran into some old familiar faces after the last feedback squalls died, longtime hardcore Gatherers Jon Chapman and Anthoni Adamiak who I'd meet again later in the tour. Went for a drink aftewards with Gatherers Geordie Jim and Paul Richardson and a flock of other Gatherers including a woman I recognised from Wire's December gig in Cardiff. Six British troops were slaughtered like cattle for nothing in Afghanistan that day. If we're all in this together then why haven't Diceman Cameron's legs been blasted off yet?

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