In 1985 the weekend was signalled not by the end of double Maths on a Friday – but by the start of a television program on Channel 4. The show was – The Tube.
Like an older wiser – more dangerous relative of Top Of The Pops or a non-tabloid version of The Word, The Tube was essential viewing. Great presenters and actual real live music. In the early and mid-eighties this show was a revelation.
Several live performances were just gripping, exciting television. The Smiths, The Jam and a very early Frankie Goes To Hollywood were aired on the show. You never knew what was coming your way.
Then in 1985 arguably the best performance ever on The Tube was aired. Killing Joke performed their new single Love Like Blood. I’d heard of the band but never actually heard them. The band had been around for a while. Nightime was to be the bands most accesible LP. The strongest track from the album was clearly this track.
Killing Joke circa 1985 looked like a bastardised Spandau Ballet or U2 from Hell – this is a good thing. The band embraced the 80’s. You could say this is the bands finest moment, many may disagree.
As a 15-year-old the band looked edgy – mad even. Jaz Coleman looked like a scary bloke but somehow the look and more importantly the sound was in 1985 the sound of “right now”. Killing Joke nailed it. Nailed what, i’m not sure, but it worked and you connected.
Love Like Blood is a very powerful record. Controlled. Moody. Evocative. Driven. Who cared about U2 or Spandau Ballet anyway, these bands were cantered by and made to look very weak by the racehorse in peak form Killing Joke were circa 1985.
One live televised performance and you wanted the single, the album and to check out their earlier material. The single did well in the charts and is probably the bands biggest ever seller.
I’m not a huge fan of Killing Joke – but that Friday evening in 1985 just hit the absolute right spot. With time the track has not lost any of its brooding power. True, now it looks dated, but who cares about that? If anything it adds to it – the crowd look like the scene from Robocop when he goes into a night club – and it still sounds fantastic…