Spear of Destiny tour a lot. They were on the road three times last year, as well as playing a special Westworld fan week-end.
This, the Anthology tour, promotes the recently released Anthology box set CD, which contains all the SoD favourites, as well as some tracks from lead singer Kirk Brandon’s previous band, Theatre of Hate, rebooted, remixed and repackaged.
The venue, Oxford Streets’ The Metro is a small venue for SoD, but it has a nice vibe and the audience are cheery, expectant and I suspect, a bit drunk!
Ambient sax, played by old school Theatre of Hate boy John Leonard, introduces the band beautifully, and as it’s joined by the thumping bass line for The Wake, the audience start swaying awkwardly, like teenage boys unsure of the game plan, but waiting for some excitement sure to come.
It indeed does come with The Wheel, and the sounds really lifts off and up. The heavily delayed sax interlinks with Brandon’s almost operatic voice and marks a beauty wonderfully smashed by the heavy intensity of the main riff. The funny chicken pogo dance now starts in earnest and I find I can chart this gig by how many body parts of mine are damaged by the dancers. My knee in The Wheel, my bosom in Lucky Man and I still have the bruise on my arm from Prison Planet. Forty-year-old boys reliving their punk youth, only now they smile, rather than snarl when they accidentally bump into me.
Westworld really brings the house down. This is an old song, 1980′s Theatre of Hate, but it’s still alive with it’s Burundi drum and bass lines, banshee screaming and manic head shaking. Brandon is smiling, and the band is enjoying themselves. Leonard even plays air guitar with his sax!
Conquistador however, pitches a lull, the band look a bit tired and it seems just straight delivery without the angst. The pace picks up again with Judas, a beautiful song, and one of many SoD songs recently recorded acoustically on the LP Dutch Masters 2. Tonight however, it bashes away at the senses and Brandon’s emotive delivery touches the crowd.
It seems a scary devil has been let loose in Propaganda as Brandon does away with his guitar and maniacally proffers his passion and anger, heading the crowd to the heavens and then crashing it down back to the stomach. At the same time, coincidentally, as I get winded by yet another errant elbow! The guitarist also hits a high with a wicked solo, driven by the mania of the bassist and drummer.
Tonight was exuberant. When you see a small venue go mad like tonight, it has to be special. It’s sweat and smells, youth and remembrance, passion in music. Nearly all you can ever ask for.