I was not a spotty teenager the last time I saw Spear of Destiny. I was a teenager, but I never had spots. I did have my haircut like Kirk Brandon though and I can vividly remember the gig at Leeds Uni. Just as we were going in, the windows were smashed, I lost my jacket, bought a blue and white SoD training top, got a kicking off a group of flat tops at the front of the stage, & copped off with a girl. I loved it – in fact I think it’s fair to say that it was one of the gigs that lit the spark for my life-long love of live music.
Some thirty years, and god knows how many gigs later, I’m catching them for the second time. I haven’t got enough hair for the haircut anymore, but I can remember the words like yesterday and I don’t think I’m the only one in the audience who’s feeling nostalgic.
As Kirk takes to the stage there is no mistaking who it is – it might have been a while, but the white as snow quiff is a dead giveaway (not sure if he still has to bleach it these days) and just in case there was any doubt, the band immediately rip into ‘Rainmaker’ from the classic ‘One Eyed Jacks’.
But it’s not just a look back bygone era gig, in between the favourites Kirk and co. play tracks from their soon to be released album ‘31’. From the new stuff ‘Titanium Man’ stands out above the rest. That’s not taking anything away from the other tracks but this one displays the full talents of the band and is most reminiscent of the ‘full fight rock and roll’ that we know and love.
Mid set, Brandon tries his hand at humour with a joke about dogs, and monkeys in space. I must have missed the punchline getting a shot of his monkey impression, but either that or his face pulling had everyone laughing, which adds to the intimate personal feel of the gig, not to mention the heat and the sweat!
The set ends with SoD call to arms –‘Young Men’ and it’s been a blast, but if they think they are getting out of town without playing their anthem, ‘You’ll Never Take Me Alive’ might turn into a prophecy as opposed a song. Within minutes they’re back on for a three song encore that includes a brilliant cover of The Ruts ‘Babylon Is Burning’ and ends with none other than the song I’ve waited 30 years to hear live again ‘Liberator’ – as powerful today as it always was. Great gig!
And just in case you were wondering; this time round no property was damaged, I’d left my jacket folded up neatly on the back seat of my car, there was no punch up, and I took my missus with me. Not quite sure if that’s classed as copping off, or copping out?
Spear of Destiny will be touring again later this year; catch them at:-
1st King Tuts, Glasgow
2nd O2, Newcastle
3rd Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
4th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
5th Concord 2, Brighton
6th Garage, London
Spear of Destiny are:
Kirk Brandon – vox, guitar
Adrian Portas – guitar
Craig Adams – bass
Mike Kelly – drums
Steve Allen-Jones – keyboards