by Rob Jones
Theatre of Hate (TOH) are led by Kirk Brandon (also of Spear of Destiny amongst other career collaborations e.g. Dead Men Walking). Original band members Stan Stammers and John Lennard also join an operational 2015 TOH quintet. These three guys date back to 1979 but in whatever format Brandon has sauntered in to the Welsh capital he has always had a warm welcome-and, one has affectionate memories of particular nights (e.g. SOD at the sadly lost Barfly (11/12/2004) and DMW at St. David’s Hall (24/10/2006)).
The present line up of Kirk & Co. mix current compositions with the precious past and a pristine package was well received by a hardcore faithful at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff. The crowd were treated to a mixed bag of fan favourites of diverse tempos and that even included a couple of ‘happy’ ones as Brandon outlined (although his tongue was most firmly in his cheek). Amongst the upbeat tunes identified were the immense duo of The Hop and My Own Invention. The might of Rebel without a Brain, Incinerator along with Judgment Hymn were several of a set of soaring sonerous strikes!
Meanwhile, the more mournful Aria of the Devil and Omen of the Times pay tribute to the deft sonic skills of one of the great post punk phenemenons. Newer material such as Slave, Eyeless in Gaza and fresh offering Day of the Dog also whipped up the troops-but, the audience continually beckoned for Propaganda and when it arrived yours truly ended up suffering an inadvertent flooring in a rabid moshpit! I was only minding my own business and then wallop! I was glad to survive unscathed and after dusting myself down there was an encore treat of Original Sin, Legion and Do you believe in the Westworld. A colossal closure to a lengthy and lustrous performance sent the gathered throng in to orbit.
Whatever, era was propelled it was clear that the crowd is right there with Theatre of Hate and the punters absorb each and every precious moment. Such a bond is special and public loyalty to this cause spans decades. King Kirk had his devotees in the palm of his hands and he is ably supported by a boisterous band. Theatre of Hate = auditorium of devotion!