Spear Of Destiny
Winchester, The Railway
11th July 2012
The criminally underrated post-punk / goth band Spear Of Destiny have been around since the 1980's. They recently embarked on a short UK tour which took in Winchester on Thursday. Our man Ged Babey was there & he reports back below.
Frank Turners old ”Ëlocal', the Railway is one of the best ”Ëintimate' pub venues in the country. The cosy Attic hosts acoustic acts and the Barn is kitted out with a great PA, the pub has a pool table and the semi-covered smokers garden is a bonus. It is small, a capacity of 150, but perfect for seeing a band, close-up and in the flesh.
If there were any justice Spear of Destiny should be playing stadiums and arenas but their panoramic rock'n'roll sounded astounding and widescreen even in intimate confines.
The fact that Kirk Brandon is not famous on a Bono-scale is purely down to the publics taste being manipulated by marketing and promotion that insists that U2, Coldplay and the like are better, when its blatantly obvious that Spear of Destiny should have been huge”Â¦ but fate, bad luck and circumstances dictated otherwise. Still, there are a lot of loyal fans scattered across the globe that know that Spear of Destiny (like Theatre of Hate and the Pack before them) were and still are, one of Britains best, Boys Own, punch the air, grandiose Rock'n'roll bands, second only to the Clash and a cut above the Alarm, Big Country and their contemporaries.
Kirk has an idiosyncratic sartorial elegance, which is a polite way of saying that's a terrible shirt Mr Brandon. He's aging well, looks fit and his voice strong but perhaps slightly gruffer than it was. Craig Adams (former Sister of Mercy and Mission-ary) is a superb bass-player, a master of his art, as are Adrian Portas (ex New Model Army, Sex Gang Children) and Mike Kelly, on guitar and drums respectively. This really is a post-punk-gothic super-group with years of experience and it shows in the sound. The saxophone, on all the bands 80's material, is absent, but, at the time, no-one notices as the power and the glory of the songs hits home from the off.
Seventy”âfive minutes of sheer quality, from Land of Shame to Liberator via a stirring ”ËNever Take Me Alive' and my particular favourite from the new Omega Point CD, Undertow. A song about how the politics of greed bring us all down, yet unite us in desperation and anger. Musically it has that doom-laden bombast that turns to a triumphantly anthemic feel that makes for classic Spear of Destiny.
A Wednesday night but the fans are out in force and dancing their cares away.
A truly majestic show by a criminally under-rated but much-loved band.
JULY 2012 dates continue:
Sat 14th LONDON The Electric Brixton Tix 0207 274 2290
Sun 15th BRIGHTON The Albert Tix 01273 730499
Spear Of Destiny's Myspace
Kirk Brandon's Facebook.
All words Ged Babey. All photo's Steve Little-Triggers. The Youtube video was taken by Keef Bubba. More articles by Ged can be found here. A FLickr album collecting a lot of Steve's photo's from this show can be found here. A review of the bands imminent release, The Singles 1983”â88 can be found here.