Sunday, November 26, 2023

RIP Geordie


A guitar anti-hero, scalding ears with that sulphuric sound.

Revelations is the peak, for Killing Joke and for Kevin "Geordie" Walker.

"Forbidden was bidden..."

"We were drunk, intoxicate

Revelations is where Killing Joke arrives at itself, brutally shearing off  precursor-traces and exterior inputs.

Which is not to say the journey to absolute individuality is without excitements. 

But they funked more when they stopped trying to be funky.

My favorite of first-phase KJ, a B-side that Peel played incessantly, preferring it to the A-side seemingly.

I did also really like this first EP, especially "Turn To Red"

Levene-isms still very much present (and Wobble-isms for that matter - this tune could be off The Legend Lives On... Jah Wobble in 'Betrayal', if purged of all mirth) 

Alone of any of the other postpunk bands that I saw live in those days, Killing Joke I saw twice.

First time was December 1980, at Friars Aylesbury. (Which means I must have seen The Passions as well - no recollection of that, but I do recall the other support band, UK Decay, as being really good. A bit of an odd "band sandwich", the glassy delicacy of the P's between two proto-Goth outfits).

Second time, just as exciting, was around the Fire Dances tour -  Dunstable, July 1983. 

Loved Fire Dances at the time but it's not one I ever go back to. In fact, I can't remember a single tune off it. Listening again for the first time in decades, it sounds tinny and toned-down compared with Revelations. Geordie's sound doesn't foam out of the speakers...

There's even a slight resemblance to Big Country at moments. While Jaz is getting a bit too Classix Nouveau-y for discomfort. 

By Night Time, I was off the bus completely and their '90s returns-to-fierce-form did not return me to the fold of the faithful. I was more like, "oh, okay - that's nice".  Extremities, Dirt, and Various Repressed Emotions is too try-hard as titles go.  Also, around about this point, Jaz started to come across like a regular sort of socially concerned liberal, aghast at endless Tory rule - "Money Is Not Our God," "Age of Greed". Whereas the actual energies in their music seem far more predatorial and ravenously raptor-like.... 

No, remember them - and remember him -  this way... 

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