I recently interviewed the four original – and current – members of Killing Joke for a feature in Uncut. I met them one-by-one in and around Lancaster Gate and we discussed their extraordinary career, from Crowley-inspired magical rituals in Battersea to police raids in Notting Hill squats and recording sessions inside the Great Pyramid.
We also discussed one of their first major gigs, when they headlined a CND show at Trafalgar Square.
As guitarist Kevin “Geordie” Walker recalled: “My favourite gig was the CND rally at Trafalgar Square. 80,000 people and us playing on the steps of the National Gallery in 1980. Jaz told them ‘Margaret Thatcher has bought all these cruise missiles and all you can do is stand there with a fucking placard. You dserve what you are going to get. This one’s called “Wardance”.’ It kicked off. It was killer. We never got invited back and I’ve got my suspicion that’s why we never did Glastonbury cos it’s the same hippie crowd and they remember.”
You can listen to that performance here.
I’ve interviewed several bands over the years for Uncut, from Buzzcocks and Gun Club to Soundgarden and The Damned. I’ve never met any quite like Killing Joke.