KRAKOW,  November 21,  2016



Jaz Coleman and Killing Joke have embarked on a European tour in support of their new album titled Pylon. Right now they are playing  gigs in 24 cities across the continent. The whole thing started in Dublin on October 30 and will finish in Belgium early in December. And on the way they stopped at the amazing, though horribly polluted, city of Krakow to prove that they are still alive and kicking as a palomino. I guess we should feel lucky like a four-leaf Glover that they did (oh, let's make it five as Killing Joke is a quintet now). Especially because their North American tour has been cancelled early this year due to some undisclosed "health issues".

So it was good to see them in perfect shape and playing ecstatic music like whirling dervishes all the way till two encores of The Death and Resurrection Show and Pandemonium. A healthy dose of pure intelligent madness of in-your-face and in-your-ear noise.

To prepare the audience for the coming storm they had a supporting group by the name of Death Valley High. These four guys come from San Francisco and they play some kind of a mixture of alternative rock, punk and a bit of goth. They were slowly warming up and around the fourth song in their set, when the singer started playing guitar as well, their sound became a little fuller and more massive.

But of course the crowd was awaiting their favourite band that brought them here from all corners of Poland. The one and only, masterful Killing Joke. That band is a legend of alternative music if the term still means anything. Having started in the seventies, they naturally have a long and winding road behind them. For nearly forty years of ups and downs they have been building a great pyramid made of punk, post-punk, industrial, electronic, metal, gothic rock and even weird disco.

With their fifth studio album Night Time they achieved a huge mainstream success but paradoxically entered the path leading to perdition. Luckily they have survived all the pitfalls and so here they are in magnificent Krakow. And we were lucky to see them in the original line-up of the singer Jaz Coleman, Paul Ferguson on drums, Geordie Walker on guitar and Martin "Youth" Glover playing bass. The fifth member is a longtime friend Reza Udhin.

After kicking off with The Hum from the Revelations album, they proceeded to one of their greatest hits Love Like Blood. This heated the already jumping and shouting audience members even more. Next on the list was another big one. Eighties, just like the previous song was taken from Killing Joke's mega popular album Night Time.

Then the musicians continued to give one of the best live performances I have heard this year. They never tried to dazzle the listeners with super light show or eccentric histrionics. Instead, they offered a highly tight live act with a lot of quality music and meaningful messages. Without jumping or running around like a crazy cat! They stayed cool all the way.

And Slo Jaz Coleman, all geclæþd in black, looked rather demonic. Black-eyed and black-haired but actually not so black as he's often been painted. At times he would look up and point to the sky, addressing the stellar regions. But in his case probably meaning: Beg to differ! 

Time and again Jaz Coleman gave some short commentaries between songs, sometimes harking back to various important issues of the world today. A few songs referred to those as well, like for example New Cold War and I Am The Virus from their latest Pylon album or  European Super State from Absolute Dissent. And as the reception of that Killing Joke first Krakow gig ever was enthusiastic, after the show the band returned to play two more songs as encores. These were The Death and Resurrection Show and Pandemonium.

Great music, great show, great performance. One of the best concerts of the year. A night to remember.











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