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Honey Bane, the teenaged punk wild child who sang with Crass and Killing Joke
02.07.2017
09:59 am
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The other day I was crate digging through some 45s when I was confronted with something I used to own, but had not thought about in many years, the You Can Be You EP record by Honey Bane that you see above these words. It was put out on Crass’s record label in 1979 when Bane—who’d already done a stint at the St. Charles Youth Treatment Centre in Essex—was a 15-year-old teenage runaway.

On You Can Be You‘s three tracks—the presumably autobiographical “Girl On The Run,” the menacing “Porno Grows” and “Boring Conversations”—she’s backed by members of Crass who are pseudonymously billed as Donna and the Kebabs. A year earlier she’d put out another record via the Crass Records imprint—well at least half of one, it was split with Poison Girls—with her punk group Fatal Microbes, who included Poison Girls leader Vi Subversa’s kids Pete Fender and Gem Stone. (Both later became members of dayglo punk group Rubella Ballet, another Crass-associated act.)
 

 
The Crass connection is where my knowledge of Honey Bane more or less began and ended. She was the sort of person famous more for being a “wild child” in the gossip columns of the British music weeklies like Melody Maker, Sounds, and the NME than for her actual music. Googling her today I see that the following year—after self-releasing an amazing single called “Guilty” on her own label (listen below)—Bane handed Sham 69’s Jimmy Pursey, who was then doing A&R work for Zonophone, a demo tape and he signed her and became her manager. This seems, at least in retrospect, odd, as her Zonophone labelmates would have included groups like Angelic Upstarts, the Cockney Rejects and other sorts of early Oi! skinhead bands who seem a bit of a stark contrast when compared to the UR anarcho-punks she’d previously been associated with.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.07.2017
09:59 am
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Members of Crass, the Pop Group, Killing Joke, PiL, and Current 93 are the New Banalists Orchestra


 
Mark Stewart titled the 2012 solo album he made with Kenneth Anger, Richard Hell, Tessa Pollitt, Keith Levene, Gina Birch, Factory Floor, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Youth, et al. The Politics of Envy. A proper dialectician, he prepared the way by singing about the “Envy of Politics” on 2011’s Mammon, a six-track digital album by London’s New Banalists Orchestra.

The orchestra appears to be the musical component of the New Banalists group founded by Stewart and the artist Rupert Goldsworthy. The Bandcamp page says only that the New Banalists “formed an orchestra to proclaim [their] manifesto”—which is refreshingly concise, as manifestos go, and seems to be slightly different in each iteration:

TASTE IS A FORM OF PERSONAL CENSORSHIP.
DENY THE POLITICS OF ENVY
TECHNIQUE IS A REFUGE OF THE INSECURE
SHADOW WAR

 

Rupert Goldsworthy and Mark Stewart’s beautiful logo for the New Banalists
 
On Mammon, Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine of Crass, John Sinclair of the White Panther Party and the MC5’s management, David Tibet of Current 93, and Zodiac Mindwarp (“The trick is to tough it out, sailor”) of the Love Reaction espouse a bohemian, psychedelic anticapitalism over music by Youth of Killing Joke and Michael Rendall, some of which will sound familiar to fans of Hypnopazūzu. Ex-PiL guitarist Keith Levene and the late cannabis kingpin Howard “Mr. Nice” Marks are on there, too.

After the jump, watch the ad for Mammon and then stream the whole thing…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.03.2017
08:40 am
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Killing Joke, Nick Cave, The Damned & Billy Idol lip-synching for their lives on 80s television


Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke looking a bit confused about how the band ended up on German music television program ‘Musik Convoy.’
 
As a frequent flier on the astral plane that is the Internet I never get tired of flipping through pages upon pages of YouTube in search of footage worthy of sharing with all you Dangerous Minds music fanatics. I cannot lie, I feel like I’ve hit the motherfucking JACKPOT today when it comes to these amazing clips that are also somewhat amusingly strange. And that’s because you are about to see musical gods like Nick Cave, Killing Joke, The Damned and Billy Idol lip-synching for their very lives back in the 80s on the short-lived German music television show Musik Convoy.

Musik Convoy was only on the air for a year but during that time they managed to get quite the cast of characters to “perform” on the show including a 1984 visit by The Cure who performed “Shake Dog Shake” with a beautifully disheveled Robert Smith, his signature red lipstick and hair askew. There are so many strange moments from the collection of videos in this post I just can’t pick a favorite. Like Nick Cave pretending to belt out an emotive version of “In The Ghetto” when you know—and he knows that you know—that he’s totally faking it. Or Billy Idol literally dancing with himself for two-plus minutes while miming “Eyes Without a Face,” or Robert Smith’s distinct indifference with his strange white microphone during another of the Cure’s appearance on the show. And since I’m feeling generous I also threw in twelve-minutes of the Ramones from Musik Convoy performing in front of a mostly solem, confused looking crowd of “fans” and soldiering through four songs: “Howling at the Moon,” Mama’s Boy,” “Wart Hog,” and “Chasing the Night.” I’ve said it before, the 80s were certainly full of fantastically weird times.
 

Nick Cave performing ‘In the Ghetto’ on ‘Musik Convoy,’ 1984.
 
More lip-syncing with the bad boys, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.16.2016
09:48 am
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Number 666: The Aleister Crowley issue of Flexipop!


 
I learned many things during my recent conversation with David Tibet (Current 93 and related projects) and Youth (Killing Joke, the Orb, the Fireman, Brother Culture, Pink Floyd, et al.) about their fabulous new album as Hypnopazūzu. One of these was that during the early 80s, a British pop magazine had, at Tibet’s urging, numbered its final issue 666 and put Aleister Crowley on the cover. Tibet had written the cover story, too, about the Beast and his influence on pop musicians.

Both Youth and Tibet seemed to think the magazine in question was Smash Hits, but in fact Flexipop! was the one that employed Mark Manning/Zodiac Mindwarp as art editor and concluded with the Crowley issue. Though I wasn’t there, Flexipop! seems much hipper than Smash Hits from my vantage point: Every issue came with a flexi disc, and alongside the shit (and not) pop stars of the day, they profiled quality bands like the Birthday Party, Pigbag, Motörhead, Bauhaus, and Killing Joke (Youth dropped his pants in the pages of No. 19).

Having reached the kabbalistically significant number 32 with their second-to-last issue in June 1983—featuring both Killing Joke sans Youth and Brilliant, Youth’s new band with Jimmy Cauty—Flexipop! made a daring editorial decision at its perch atop the Tree of Life. For the cover of their valedictory number, instead of Paul Young or Sting, they took a chance on this fresh-faced, golden-voiced up-and-comer with a song in his heart and an Enochian key on his lips.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.29.2016
08:28 am
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Current 93’s David Tibet and Killing Joke’s Youth discuss their first album as Hypnopazūzu


David Tibet’s cover for Create Christ, Sailor Boy
 
My main impression of Create Christ, Sailor Boy is of its grandeur—not so much in the sense that it’s musically fancy, but more that it has the dignity and courage of a bravura theatrical performance. Where recent Current 93 records have presented David Tibet’s voice as vulnerable, or naked, on Hypnopazūzu’s first release he sings out, summoning a voice he acknowledges he hasn’t used much before, if at all. Youth’s sound-world draws it from him: Here, that means the mad scientist of Space Mountain is using a psychedelic orchestra of strings, bells, horns, synths, tamburas and God knows what else to play compositions that draw equally on 20th-century art music and raga-rock. But all you really need to know is that the album is gorgeous and moving, for which reasons I hereby declare Hypnopazūzu “the hottest new group of 2016.”

Tibet and Youth are two of my musical heroes, as my long-suffering friends will attest; to ride in my car is to enjoy Youth’s Killing Joke in Dub and Current 93’s Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain at high volume. So when I learned of Hypnopazūzu, I immediately began writing sweaty-handed emails to their publicist.

This is Tibet and Youth’s first collaboration since Youth played bass on Current 93’s first LP, Nature Unveiled, released in 1984. (Get the Andrew Liles remix before they’re all gone.) Since the last person I interviewed for Dangerous Minds, Little Annie, also appeared on C93’s debut, I started by asking about that 32-year-old apocalypse.

(When they weren’t busy kicking members of Hypnopazūzu off the conversation, Skype gremlins were hard at work garbling Tibet’s bons mots. I had to resort to “[inaudible]” more than once.)
 

 
Dangerous Minds: Coincidentally, the last person I interviewed was Little Annie. So I feel I ought to bring up Nature Unveiled, since I’ve now spoken to so many of the participants in the session. What do you remember about it?

David Tibet: Me, or Youth?

Both of you, since you both participated.

Youth: Let David go first, because it’s his album, really, that I guested on.

Tibet: Well, that’s a shame, because I’d always thought of it as Youth’s album, and I’d wanted to put it out as Youth, featuring me.

Youth: [laughs] I remember the studio in Shepherd’s Bush.

Tibet: Yeah, the studio was a really weird place. It was called IPS, as in “inches per second,” and it was run by a guy called… Pete. Pete something. And the odd thing about it was, Steve Stapleton from Nurse With Wound used to work there, and when I became friends with Steven, he said, “Oh, come and join Nurse With Wound and come down to this studio.” So I went down there. It was in the basement. And we worked there for years. Steve actually had—I think it was Wednesday—every Wednesday booked for something like [inaudible] years in advance, we would go down there on Wednesday. And then the last time I went down there, just before it closed, all the sewers had backed up, and so there was urine everywhere, and other stuff which I didn’t choose to identify. But it was a great studio.

But the bizarre thing is that I was down there getting things ready for Youth, and there was a guy in the studio, working there. And he said, “Oh, what are you doing?” And I said, “I’m working on a new album; I’m waiting for my friend to come down.” And it was Jaz [Coleman], from Killing Joke.

Youth: That’s right! He was walking out as I was walking in. [laughs]

Tibet: It was a time when Youth wasn’t, uh—well, you had—

Youth: I’d left the band, yeah.

Tibet: —you’d left the band, and you were very uncomplimentary about [each other]. But I didn’t know who he was at first, because I thought you said he was working [in] jazz. [inaudible] And I thought, Oh, that sounds horrible.

Youth: There was some serendipity.

Tibet: [laughs] It was just bizarre, looking back. But Youth and I met, I think—it must have been through Kris Needs, mustn’t it?

Youth: And Mark Manning, Zodiac.

Tibet: I think I met Mark through Kris, or Kris through Mark, and then I met Youth. And we used to go clubbing.

Youth: I was sharing a coach house with Kris at the time.

Tibet: You were! Yeah.

Youth: And we were all going down to the Batcave. And also, I’d just done this album with Ben Watkins on Illuminated, The Empty Quarter, just around that time. And Zed had done the artwork; Zed had been doing the layout for Smash Hits. Weren’t you doing something for Smash Hits as well, David?
 

Youth and Ben Watkins’ The Empty Quarter
 
Tibet: Yes. Oliver, Zed is Mark Manning, became Zodiac Mindwarp, and that’s who Youth means, I believe, as Zed.

Youth: Yeah.

Tibet: I wrote an article on Crowley for them.

Youth: That’s right! The Crowley edition. They had Crowley on the front cover of this pop magazine.

Was there a special issue of Smash Hits?

Tibet: It was their last issue, and I said “It has to be number 666.”

Youth: [laughs]

Tibet: And it had an interview, I remember, I think in that same issue, with, there was a band called—oh gosh, what were they called? They were a new goth band or positive punk or something, and the guy who was interviewed was interested in Crowley. And then they spoke about somebody that had been killed who was interested in Crowley, who was knocked over in a car accident, and they said to the guy, “What do you think about that?” And he said: “Well, it’s love under wheels.” Which I thought was pretty funny, but I can’t remember the name of the band.

Youth: Good name for a band.

Tibet: Yeah. That’s how Youth and I met. Then I said to Youth, “I’m doing my first album,” and Youth probably looked at me and said, “Who are you again?” And I said, “I’m a friend of yours; we go clubbing, and doing other things that go with clubbing, together.” And then he kindly came down and played amazing bass, and Annie was there swearing in Spanish, and then Youth and I didn’t see each other for… 30 years or so.

Youth: Yeah. That’s right. But I did know who you were, because Zed had been hanging around Sleazy, he’d had his penis pierced by Sleazy and was hanging around the Psychic TV clique of people. There were interesting, alchemizing scenes at the time that were all coming together, and weirdly enough, the Batcave was one of the nexus points. Not just for goths and punks, but also the emerging New Romantics and electronic scenes that were bouncing up. And—

Tibet: It was the guy from Doctor and the Medics. Was it Clive?

Youth: Oh, that was Alice and Wonderland, wasn’t it. That came after the Batcave.

Tibet: Then that was Olli from the Specimen.

Youth: Yes, yes, yes.

Tibet: ‘Cause they got loads of bands to play there. I mean, I saw the Jesus and Mary Chain there before they were—I think that was the same show that Alan McGee saw which made him want to sign them.

Youth: At the Batcave?

Tibet: Yeah, definitely.

Youth: Really? I don’t remember that. But I do remember the club was more based around DJs than bands, with Hamish and Sex Beat. It would go on until two in the morning, so the DJs carried on. It was the dance floor in that club where I thought, this is the sort of beginning of indie dance, really. There was a real special chemistry and alchemy going on there. Lots of ideas came out of that place, and Alice in Wonderland, actually. There’s a new Derek Ridgers book, actually. You know Derek, the photographer who was around those clubs all the time?

Tibet: No, I don’t remember that, no.

Youth: He always looked a bit straight, and he had a beard, but he was doing everything—the S&M clubs, everything. And he’s got a new book out where there’s pictures of me and Zed, I think you might even be in it, from the Batcave in those days.

Tibet: No, I don’t remember him at all. I do remember it wasn’t Sleazy that pierced Zed, it was Mr. Sebastian.

Youth: Ah.

Tibet: Because recently I got a lot of footage of Mr. Sebastian in action. And I was hoping Zed would be there, because I remember, I was actually down there when Zed was pierced—

Youth: Really!

Tibet: But yeah, the footage wasn’t there. There was other footage, which I’ll be releasing soon if people don’t [inaudible] making huge amounts of money.

Youth: Did he have a semi-chub on, or was it just flaccid?

[laughter]

Tibet: I can’t remember! I was young; I was too busy admiring myself in the mirror, probably.

Youth: Zed’s got a legendarily big dick, goes down to his knee.

Tibet: I heard about that, and Sleazy told me about that, but I—

Youth: I gone on holiday with Zed, the first time he’d ever been on a plane, and I took him to Formentera in Ibiza when we were 21. And we woke up on this nudist beach, totally naked, and the ring in his cock had heated up in the sun [laughs] and he’s fallen asleep and woken up in agony.

And then he had these eagle wings coming out the top of it, tattooed, right? So he’s coming out of the sea with his snorkel and flip-flops, with massive dick dangling between his knees, his eagle wings and a big ring hanging out of it—and all these German families just gathered their children and ran to the other end of the beach. [laughter]

Tibet: Those were the days.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.13.2016
12:22 pm
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David Tibet of Current 93 and Killing Joke’s Youth debut their new duo, Hypnopazūzu
07.22.2016
09:56 am
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This is a welcome development: Hypnopazūzu, a duo comprising Current 93’s David Tibet and Killing Joke bassist Youth, will be releasing an album and playing a show in London this year. (Youth’s other duo is the Fireman, with Paul McCartney of Wings fame.) The date of the show has not been announced, but the record, Create Christ, Sailor Boy, is coming out on the House of Mythology label in August; it will be a three-sided LP (with side four devoted to “a laser etching of a Youth/David Tibet Hallucinatory Cartoon”) and a single CD.

It figures these guys are old pals. Youth, along with Annie Anxiety and Steven Stapleton of Nurse with Wound, joined Tibet on Current 93’s first album, 1984’s Nature Unveiled. As for Pazuzu, whose name I will forever hear as intoned by Richard Burton in Exorcist II, he is among the evil deities William S. Burroughs invokes at the beginning of Cities of the Red Night:

Pazuzu, Lord of Fevers and Plagues, Dark Angel of the Four Winds with rotting genitals from which he howls through sharpened teeth over stricken cities…

 

 
Pazuzu is also the subject of a number of Tibet’s recent paintings. Tibet explained (sort of) his interest in the Mesopotamian demon king in a very condensed memoir published by Dazed three years ago:

I started painting Hallucinatory Prayers, which consisted of biblical verses written thousands of times in white ink on black paper. Revisiting my pubescence, I did an MA in Coptic and started translating mainly Sahidic texts. Then I began to learn Akkadian after dreaming of metal doors covered with cuneiform, which meant I had also to paint Pazuzu. Anaku pazuzu, as the Akkadians wrote.

While you search for your copy of Huehnergard’s Akkadian grammar, hallucinate with “Magog At The MayPole,” from Create Christ, Sailor Boy.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.22.2016
09:56 am
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Killing Joke’s drummer is making sterling silver jewelry
07.01.2016
09:24 am
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via Boneyard
 
Good news for Killing Joke fans: not only is the long-awaited documentary The Death and Resurrection Show finally coming to DVD (you can order it here), but drummer Big Paul Ferguson has unveiled his own jewelry line, too.

Ferguson’s company, Boneyard, offers rings and necklace pendants cast in sterling silver; there are also bracelets, one of them based on Tibetan Buddhist prayer beads, all of them marked with the Ouroboros. Images of skulls, occasionally wearing the cap of the Killing Joke jester, abound. Boneyard’s website explains:

Skull ’n’ Bones: The symbol of death, danger, warning. Adopted by outlaws, pirates and secret societies throughout history. Placed on tombs, poison bottles and flags to send the message of inherent threat. It is also a meditative tool used to ponder the transience of life and its impermanence.

The symbols are ubiquitous but the pieces are unique.

 

via Boneyard
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.01.2016
09:24 am
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LEGO Killing Joke performing ‘Requiem’
02.28.2016
12:27 pm
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Killing Joke fans in North America would have seen that band on tour recently had the entire run of 26 shows supporting their new album Pylon not been summarily canceled due to unspecified “health issues.” The next chances anyone will have to see the band are a few scattered festival dates in the UK and Portugal, hardly practical travel-wise for US fans (and also, festivals blow). That’s a real downer, as Killing Joke rank up there with Wire among the very few active bands from the first wave of post-punk who still totally deliver the goodsPylon contains some quite excellent material, and the chance to take in a show would have been mighty nice.

This hardly compares to an actual Killing Joke concert, but we think you’ll agree that it’s still really great. YouTube user itsnotbennings recently uploaded an animated LEGO video for the band’s classic song “Requiem,” from their indispensable self-titled debut album, complete with custom KJ portrait mini-figures. And while the LEGOfication of freakin’ everything is getting a bit stale, we found this to be one of the more inspired examples.
 

 
Bonus: After the jump, check out Killing Joke’s recent video for “Euphoria”...

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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02.28.2016
12:27 pm
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Tension: Killing Joke live on German TV, 1985
03.04.2015
09:01 am
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30 years ago, in March of 1985, Killing Joke released their fifth album, Night Time, an impressive creative leap and commercial success. The band basically jettisoned the tribal drumming and shouted vocals that had made their name in favor of a more accessible sound, though their music retained its anthemic loftiness and inflammatory lyrics. The album spawned the indelible “Eighties,” which somehow still packs a huge punch despite its long-passed expiration date, and the single “Love Like Blood” owed a significant debt to the poppier side of the gothic scene, and sported some mighty radio-friendly production. Their prior album Fire Dances had hinted at the more accessible direction, and Night Time‘s successor, the self-consciously grandiose Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, though quite good, sounds at times like an effort to make an entire album out of “Love Like Blood.”
 

 
Also in March of 1985, KJ appeared on the improbably named German TV program Live aus dem Alabama. The show was named for its shooting location, the Alabama Depot in Munich, a long-time military storage installation that received its conspicuously non-Teutonic name when the USA took the facility over after World War II. The program’s musical performances are listed here. Killing Joke’s performance, unsurprisingly, includes half of Night Time.

00:00 – Night Time
04:55 – Sun Goes Down
09:19 – Tabazan
13:42 – The Wait
17:29 – Love Like Blood
22:01 – Tension
25:16 – Change
28:50 – Pssyche
33:31 – Eighties
36:59 – Wardance
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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03.04.2015
09:01 am
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Killing Joke live at Philly’s East Side Club in 1981
03.27.2011
04:55 am
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image
 
Killing Joke lurk in rock and roll’s shadow world where they weave with electronic instruments of mystic fire magical incantations and dark grinding musical shapes that linger in the air like Aleister Crowley’s opium-scented nightsweats.

I’ve been in on the Joke ever since I saw their epic performance at NYC’s Peppermint Lounge in 1981. Killing Joke is not a band you watch, it’s a band you become a part of. The zone between artist and audience is decimated in a pounding, unrelenting surge of energy and mantric mayhem. The apocalypse and resurrection in one blow to the head. Post-punk mindfuckers and proto-industrial metal pioneers, Killing Joke approach music like alchemy: it isn’t worth a shit if it doesn’t change something.

This video footage of Killing Joke performing at Philly’s legendary punk venue the East Side Club in 1981 is history, plain and simple. Not even the crude technology thru which these signals were recorded could constrain the power and urgency of KJ.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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03.27.2011
04:55 am
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Killing Joke tour North America
12.06.2010
05:18 pm
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image
 
Killing Joke, one of the most ferocious and intense live rock acts of all time, are currently on a North American tour in support of Absolute Dissent (Spinefarm Records) their 13th full-length album and the first to see the original lineup of Jaz Coleman (vocals), Geordie (guitar), Youth (bass) and Paul Ferguson together in 28-years.

Upcoming Killing Joke tour dates:

12/06/2010 Cabaret Du Musee – Montreal, QC
12/07/2010 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
12/09/2010 Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
12/10/2010 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
12/11/2010 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
12/14/2010 The Venue – Vancouver, BC
12/15/2010 Showbox – Seattle, WA
12/16/2010 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
12/17/2010 Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
12/18/2010 Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA

Below, Bruce Alexander Prokopets interviews Jaz Coleman over the weekend in New York. Coleman reveals a few extraordinary facts about the life of one-time Killing Joke bassist, Paul Raven, who died in 2007. If you just want to cut to the chase, go to about 7:00 minutes in.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.06.2010
05:18 pm
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Interview with Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman
10.11.2010
04:45 pm
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image
 
Two of the most exciting live performances by a rock band that I’ve seen were Killing Joke at New York’s Peppermint Lounge and Limelight in the 80s. Intense, powerful, transcendent, Killing Joke’s influence has been long and deep. Underrated but much loved by their fans, KJ are gods among men.

Here’s a fan-made video interview with Killing Joke’s lead singer and high priest Jaz Coleman. Plus, a live performance by Killing Joke in Munich, 1985.
 

 
Parts 2 and 3 of the interview and live performance video after the jump…

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Posted by Marc Campbell
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10.11.2010
04:45 pm
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