Spear Of Destiny hold an annual fan shindig, Westworld, in the Black Country surroundings that are Crewe. The band and 500 fans congregate to play, drink and be very merry and In Performance At Her Majesty's Request DVD recorded the first of these in February 2002.
Spear Of Destiny and Kirk Brandon are a misnomer in the punk/goth world. Beginning with the seminal Theatre of Hate, Kirk has played almost non-stop for 30 years. There are few others who have continued to mark their presence so - others like Lydon rested in California making the bucks in property, or others like Mark E Smith have fallen into addiction only to occasionally be resurrected. Brandon on the other hand has played gigs and made records continuously, making neither money nor rock'n'roll excess history, he just keeps his head down and plays in his own inimitable way.
This DVD therefore marks a resumé of the earlier years, the set concentrating on the '70s and '80s era and as the band take the stage, the watcher feels they are watching a slice of punk history. The gig starts with two The Pack songs, King of Kings and Brave New Soldiers and immediately the appeal is made evident. This band (Wilson, Yardley, Farrant, Allen Jones) are beautifully raw yet tight, and Kirk's charisma as frontman is obvious with a voice almost operatic and vocal cadences unique.
For Brave New Soldiers, Theatre of Hate sax man John Lennard is introduced which is a treat for the original punk fans and he adds an otherworldly quality that sits beautifully with the guitars. The gig continues with classic punk tracks like Legion and The Wake while a class addition to the set is a Brandon acoustic break when he plays three tracks solo.
Young Man is rousing, and the beautiful At Her Majesty's Request calmly folky with Brandon's voice impressive in stature. The Alarm's Mike Peters then joins the band and the crescendo of the gig hits it hard, loud and passionate with Never Take Me Alive, Westworld and Liberator, the crowd baying for Mickey, a song Brandon has not played live for over 15 years.
This DVD serves as a reminder that Spear Of Destiny are largely and erroneously unsung in the rock annals. You get a hint of perhaps why in the interview with Brandon in the extras. However, their influence undoubtedly remains and not only does Brandon's staying power astound, but his voice, stage presence and quality of material belie the years. Fans will love this DVD but novices must also buy it.