Killing Joke, Yonaka, Blackwaters @ Scala, London

Date: 12th June 2017
Review by Gabor Csete
Photography by Miguel de Melo

Killing Joke

First of all I have to admit that I never was a big Killing Joke fan in my life but I knew them – I knew that they’re good and if you like punk rock then the band is basically unavoidable. And I wanted to see them. So when I had the chance to see them and write a review about the gig I was immediately up for it.

Unfortunately, it was a really busy week for me and the confirmation of the press pass came quite late so I missed the first support. Completely. But it was the right time to get a beer because the Scala was already a bit warm!

I went in and found a good place on the balcony close to the door if I had to escape. Yonaka from Brighton came on stage and I have to say they did not impress me. I came to see Killing Joke so I wasn’t ready for a hipster band. I immediately checked them out on my phone and they say their genre is dark-alt pop with heavy riffs. Well, it was dark and kinda catchy but I missed the heavy riffs. Or we have different ideas about heavy riffs. The way they moved on stage was strange for me but the dance moves of the vocalist Theresa Jarvis were kind of hypnotising. Her voice and how she uses it on the other hand were totally mesmerising. She has a beautiful voice paired with a talent. There were a few people who really cheered them and knew their songs but as I scanned through the mostly middle-aged punk crowd I realised that I wasn’t the only person who was confused.

Before the last two songs I had to leave for a drink ’cause it was super hot in the venue and it was starting to get packed. So after a cold beer and a facewash I went back to the balcony. They started to play the “Masked Ball” from Jocelyn Pook (Ghost used it before their shows too and it was the OST of the movie “Eyes Wide Shut”) and while it was on the venue get totally rammed. More and more people tried to squeeze in and it was super hot.

Killing Joke

Then the band came in, the whole crowd started to cheer and Killing Joke started their set with “The Wait” and what a start it was. These lads in their late 50s have more energy than most of the new bands. The fans started to dance and sing and it made the Scala hotter song after song. At “Love Like Blood” I was already swimming in my own sweat.  Jaz Coleman’s expressions were amazing.

Killing Joke

e is so theatrical and immersive that most of the time I was only able to watch him. The whole band was super tight and as I looked around it seemed that everyone shared the same joy as me. The whole set ended very quickly but the band came back and played a 5 song encore. How the hell or why I never really listened to Killing Joke before I don’t know. It was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made, in a musical sense.

Killing Joke

After this amazing gig I am sure I will listen to Killing Joke more and I hope they will play for at least 5 more years!

Killing Joke

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