review guy salvador pic from Life
There was also an oddity called Motley Crue headlining on the bill tonight, needless to say I left before that particular circus hit the stage, affirmed in my decision to do this by the fact that Mr Stuart Cable was walking in whilst I was walking out!. I don’t really know or understand to be honest how or why one of the finest bands the UK has ever produced ended up on an arena tour opening for the debacle mentioned above. Most KJ fans I know could not bring themselves to attend with the £33.50 price tag for what was to be only a 45 minute or so set. Luckily I am not one of them & a glorious 45 minutes it was!
From the opening chords of “Pandemonium” it was obvious this was going to be a special show. The sound was right, which is a rarity in these arena type venues that frequent many of our British towns & cities, generally cavernous, soulless venues that very few bands can really pull off. The second song they played tonight was their legendary 1980 Malicious Damage single Wardance, which also featured on their 1st album but was more recently resurrected with Dave Grohl on drums & added to the “Loose Cannon” single. Interestingly nowadays their “mad genius” frontman singer “Jaz Coleman” has moved away from playing keyboards, proffering to stay upfront “shaking” in his own inimitable style. The guy who now plays keyboards is made up in the same smear paint style that Jaz used through the eighties, so you sort of get two for the price of one! Along with Geordie’s glorious guitar noise & Raven’s furious bass playing this band are as good nowadays as they were at any other stage over the last 25 years, yes & I should know, I’ve seen them at least 50 times starting back to early 1981! Yes, it’s been that long as they celebrated their 25-year anniversary with two glorious shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire earlier this year of which there is to be DVD released later this year along with a brand new studio album.
Back to tonight’s show another treat was served up as the band played “Primitive” from their first album which a track that demonstrates the real essence of KJ’s early post punk heritage along with the added groove that was evident in their early work via their original bass player “Youth” who has gone on to be a celebrated producer in his own right. The set, although short was a great mix of old & new, even giving the first song Killing Joke ever wrote “Are you receiving” a good bashing just before playing the sets finale of “Psyche”. Jaz also rather hilariously counted in few of the songs via “un, dau, tri, pedwar” (one, two, three, four, in Welsh) which was taken in the spirit it was intended by the crowd who, surprisingly to me enjoyed the band, ironic really as surely the vast majority had turned up to see Motley Crew, although was an obvious KJ contingent…..
Jaz also graciously thanked the Welsh people for welcoming his Indian English parents into our midst & allowing them to live a safe & welcome life in South Wales, you’re welcome Mr & Mrs Coleman!
Jaz also assured us all that they would be back in October to play for two hours, which will be great! Here lies the only criticism of KJ that over the 25 years they have been together they have only played Wales 5 times, including tonight’s show & all of these gigs have been in Cardiff. I understand this is more to do with promoters, agents etc than the band but….. There’s a whole if only small, country here itching to be played, lets hope KJ lose their fear of us in the West & visit us in Wales more often!