Killing Joke

A killing joke but you won’t die laughing

Nationality: UK

Genre: Post-punk, gothic rock


This band has had nineteen Top 100 singles in the UK, but only one of them found its way into the upper echelons. And that’s the one for which these Londoners will always be known – Love Like Blood. But let’s face it, perhaps that one song apart, ‘commercial’ was never a word you’d think of using to describe Killing Joke. What they do have is a small but very dedicated following, and that includes the likes of Metallica, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters and Rammstein, who have all cited Killing Joke as an influence.

From heavy to goth to new wave, they were never an easy band to categorise, but despite the odd hiatus they’ve kept going, with 2002 in particular seeing them back in the public eye with the song Loose Cannon. But thirty years on, vocalist Jaz Coleman and guitarist Geordie Walker are the only original members left, with bassist Paul Raven having been lost to heart failure in 2007.

As Coleman said at the time of the tragedy: “it was funny the unifying effect it had on all of us. It made us realise our mortality and how important Killing Joke is to all of us.” The eventual outcome was their 2010 album Absolute Dissent, unanimously considered by the band themselves to be their most important work to date.

Looking a lot more shall we say ‘mature’ than in their heydey, they’re only playing one night in Spain, which is something of a surprise considering it is to this country that they retired to work on their next album, called ‘2012’ and due for release in April.

Did you know: Killing Joke once sought to sue Nirvana for stealing the riff for Come as You Are from their own song Eighties. The lawsuit was dropped in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death. To fair, it does sound similar, but hardly enough to get your knickers twisted over.


Tuesday April 17, 2012 Barcelona Music Hall


1.  Requiem

2.  Wardance

3.  Love Like Blood

4.  This World Hell

5.  Primitive

6.  The Fall Of

7.  Ghost of Ladbroke Grove

8.  The Great Cull

9.  Asteroid

10.  Millennium

11.  Eighties

12.  The Wait

13.  Pssyche

Encore:  14.  Pandemonium


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