Killing Joke at The LCR - 14/11/2018
Yesterday I took another risk (fans of my previous work Husky Loops at The Waterfront Studio know what I mean) in going to see Killing Joke, a band that in all honesty I hadn't heard of until deciding to go the gig. By the look of the demographic for the gig it's unsurprising that I'd never heard of them as the Norwich middle aged punks were out in force and I was one a very limited number of younger people in the room.
Unfortunately, upon my arrival it became apparent that Phobophobes had pulled out of the gig as their name didn't appear on the gig times. This is a real shame because it was them being announced as support that made me decide to go the gig.
As this was a last minute change there was no replacement so the first band to the stage were Bristol rock group Turbowolf. I will admit before this that there was a time where I was quite a big fan of the band - a key part of my musical rota in when I was a fresh faced year 11. However, I didn't get the sense of glorious nostalgia I was expecting and instead it was more of an uncomfortable and disappointing experience. Lead singer Chris Georgiadis, came across as a Russell Brand-eque showman who kept attempting to get a reaction from a crowd who just wanted to quitely wait for the main event. This lead to many attempts to get the crowd closer to the front, and shout the bands name which but these kept awkwardly falling flat. The music was equally uneventful with predicable riffs and drum beats that seemed to blend into one treble heavy (as the lack of bassist really showed) song. I could see this band doing well if they returned to a smaller venue in Norwich playing to their fans however this was not the right gig for them.
Following that light crushing of year 11 Aled's music taste came the main show: Killing Joke. As the walk on music started people seemed to appear out of no where and what previously was a reasonably empty venue suddenly filled up. The band slowly meandered on to the stage to a very welcoming crowd, most of whom dedicated fans who had seen them multiple times. Lead singer Jaz Coleman came on donning face make up (which made him look like a mix between Gene Simmons and Robert Smith) and they got started with the set of about 20 songs. Listening to all these songs for the first time I was slightly unimpressed. There was nothing obviously wrong with the music and they delivered a much better performance than the previous act. The vocal delivery and performance from Jaz Coleman really captivated the crowd, along with the hypnotic and constantly strong delivery from the rhythm section. However, there was nothing in that which appealed to me.
What was clear from their performance as this was a gig for the fans. The band having been around for 40 years had worked to built a strong almost cult following and this show gave them exactly what they wanted. A strong delivery of the back catalogue and putting their all into it. This gig will never be a memorable event for me, having been disappointed by the support and mildly uninterested in the main act. However, what I can say for certain is that for the majority of people in the room that will have been a special moment that will stay with them forever.
It just wasn't for me.