The Cult – The Mission – Killing Joke

Killing Joke are playing next month and I probably won’t be going. What?! I hear you scream…

Well it’s like this. When I first heard that they were on tour with The Cult and The Mission I thought, wow what a goth fest, that’ll be great. Then having thought about it and looked at the line-up, which suggests that Killing Joke are on first, the alarm bells started ringing.

The Mission Thing

First, The Mission are billed higher than Killing Joke? What? The Mission were bloody awful. They can be single-handedly held responsible for every worst aspect of goth… which if I’m honest I never really identified with anyway… goth has always been when fashionable pretty girls latched onto punk and started wearing black lace… like the Mission.

My loathing for The Mission knows no end. Not only were their songs derivative, the were crap derivative. Listen to this… it opens like a Psychedelic Furs song and lurches towards Simple Minds.  But it gets worse, isn’t Wasteland The Mission ripping off themselves in a way. It’s basically Marian from the Sisters with different words? Not content with ripping off, goth-i-sizing everyone else, they even did it to themselves.

The Mission are, for me, the band that sold out the Sisters of Mercy. That’s it.

And are they on AFTER Killing Joke? Really? Even as time-fillers whilst they change the stage equipment I know I’d find them annoying from the bar. Galling.

And then there’s the other thing

Killing Joke on BEFORE The Cult? I know Killing Joke haven’t quite had a She Sells Sanctuary hit, but The Cult have only had one. Really?

And then there’s the other thing

I’ve always felt let down by The Cult, or as I should say, The Death Cult. That is to say, I really, really liked The Death Cult. They were incredible. They had Nigel Preston on drums doing the most tribal sounds ever, a wall of sound guitar from Billy Duffy, strong bass and warpaint. Killing Joke were in tatters around now (1982 – 3ish) and Death Cult were emerging as leaders in the world of post punk. Just look at them.

They even had Killing Joke scared. I have a video of Jaz ( since removed from YouTube of Jaz ( obviously drunk ) making veiled threats to the band that “calls themselves tribal for the sake of the music press“. They’d become The Cult and they brought in a frillier, psychedelic sound. When they went rock I danced along, in a way, thinking it ironic… but it carried on.

I mean, listen to Wild Flower. Yes, the riff may be reminiscent of AC/DC but they’re dressed like Status Bloody Quo. And the drumming in BUM – THUD – BUM- THUD. Dull.

The demise of Death Cult from brilliance into popularity was almost a bad as Adam Ants. And Ian Astbury kind of went the same way.

The last thing…

Whilst I’m not quite yet completely convinced by Killing Joke’s last offering, I do like it. They are still trying, still making, still kicking, still relevant. Maybe forced by a lack of “success” to remain true to themselves and producing wonderful tracks like Pole Shift that begin gentle enough and end in an 8 minute transcendental noise mosh pit.

And I don’t think I can grit my teeth whilst The Mission float around and The Cult fail to do Horse Nation ( albeit in the style of ZZ Top).




One thought on “The Cult – The Mission – Killing Joke”

  1. Looks like you’re not the only one not to be going. They’ve had to downgrade all of the venues, and are now playing places that KJ could probably fill on their own. My money’s on KJ pulling out – its pretty laughable if you ask me. Ian Astbury suffering from ego problems again, or a promoter who’s taken way too much coke…

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