Review + Photos by Frank Ralph

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BlackWaters are a great band and are much more deserving of a decent audience than the criminally small crowd that filters in as they play their set. They have bags of punk attitude and swagger about them with tracks like Let The Good Times Roll and People Street. The frontman has a touch of the Ian Curtis’ about him and their set really impresses. Definitely ones to check out further.

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Turbowolf were a great bonus for me as it’s been a few years since I last saw them, and having not seen who the supports for tonight’s show were, a completely unexpected surprise. They’ve blown me away on many occasions and I can confirm they are still incredible. Giving Chris Georgiadis so much stage space allows him to hurl his skinny frame all over the place and he ends the show crawling around the stage on his hands and knees with a scarf covering his head completely. They’re coming back to Manchester soon, in his words, ‘whether you like it or you fucking don’t’. They were a primal racket that’s was a perfect preface to Killing Joke.

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Killing Joke are a band you should know and if you don’t I can guarantee you’ve heard more than you think you have by them. Love Like Blood in particular is one of those instantly recognisable songs that you’ve probably heard a thousand times. They have been cited as an inspiration by many of the big names such as Trent Reznor, Metallica and Soundgarden. Dave Grohl was even their drummer for 2003’s eponymous album.

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Tonight, for the Laugh At Your Peril 40th anniversary tour it is the original 1978 line up of Jaz Coleman, Youth, Paul Ferguson on drums and Geordie Walker on guitar. 4 decades of doing this hasn’t watered them down or changed them at all. They sound, through a combination of tribal drums and visceral guitars, both powerful and vital with the music hitting you in the chest hard at times. Whereas only a matter of months ago I saw PiL looking and sounding like they were going through the motions, Killing Joke were the complete opposite.

Stalking across the stage with hands in the air making wild eyes and almost satanical hand gestures, as if he was about to rip your heart of your chest, Jaz Coleman looked and sounded equal parts cool and scary. However as a complete juxtaposition to his visual appearance his accent makes him sound ultra polite during his between song political commentaries. Before Autonomous Zone he gets everyone to turn to the person next to them and make a connection. Lovely.

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With 11 of their albums dipped into throughout the set list their debut album is given the most focus with 4 songs drawn from it, where you get one or two from others throughout their catalogue. Eighties and Requiem both sounded huge but it was probably Butcher and Follow Your Leader that proved to be my highlights of the night.

The encore, which included Wardance, another one of their finest closed an excellent show where I’d discovered a new band, seen an old favourite and enjoyed an epic set by some bonafide legends. Not a bad Wednesday!

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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