Spear of Destiny have a repertoire that stretches back to 1983. Kirk Brandon still leads the band along with other projects that have persisted over the years-e.g. solo work, Theatre of Hate or Dead Men Walking. The current five piece arrived at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff sparking a great deal of enthusiasm amongst a gathered throng. On the back of Theatre of Hate playing a sparkling gig at this venue last December Kirk brought the sonic senators of S.O.D. for what was to prove to be an evening of pristine post punk.
The booming voice of Brandon does not falter and it appears that he could explode such is his level of endeavour. The aural atmosphere shifts from soaring tones filtering through to moving landscapes. The mix of the up tempo and the more sedate has a common theme and that is the quality of the tunes remain at an elevated level.
The post millennium material such as the buoyant offerings of: Fascinations, Iceman, Titanium Man, Cry Baby and Judas prove to be popular and thoroughly justify the contemporary existence of this act. However, the nostalgia fires the punters back to the passion and power of their respective youths. What is wrong with reversing a cruel clock that only moves forward-and, as us more mature souls know the years tally up at a rapid rate. Seemingly one moment we are listening to the debut of 80’s tunes that are: Come Back, The Flying Scotsman, Rocket Ship, Forbidden Planet and The Wheel-but, then time has vanished and here we are in 2016 absorbing this sonic tonic!
Other great tunes from that distant yesteryear decade fly off the stage. The monstrous momentum of Mickey, the multi-faceted Playground of the Rich, the cinematic scope of Never take me Alive, the knockout punch of set closer Liberator and the personal highlight that was a golden Grapes of Wrath
The Welsh public are out to share in the Spear of Destiny experience. This could be a going through the motions exercise but like so many acts from their era these chaps are proud performers who could not dream of anything but 100% commitment and competence. Brandon is a survivor unlike many of the here today, gone tomorrow wannabes.
The reason he is still vibrant comes via a working his socks off ethos-and, the word ‘complacency’ does not exist in the vocabulary of this aural ambassador.
The incendiary immediacy of the concert catalogue has the evening in the ascendency-with a dexterous display in both the lyrical and musical content of the S.O.D. library. Things can get a bit intense but this is one of the qualities that made this band great in the first place. These guys can write a potent pop song and also a moody momentous track.
However, as a live entity the spear has not lost its sharp edge and its point can still reach its destiny. Proceedings can take things on to a new frontier and also hark back (using both both subtle and scything edges). Nonetheless, the appearance of Prisoner of Love would have taken the show up to the ultimate dimension!
S.O.D. are more than a one person entity because each segment of the quintet dovetails to provide a whole that satisfies a forum of fanatics. Ultimately, everyone left the venue liberated from the shackles of everyday life. Thank you Captain Kirk and each S.O.D. Soldier (Soldier) for a memorable night.