Writer Matt Forrest
It would be fair to say that we had a reprieve from the hot, muggy, sweaty weather this weekend, however those in attendance at the Ruby Lounge may be forgiven for thinking that nothing had changed as Theatre of Hate, are in town and turning the place into an inferno! Tonight the Ruby Lounge was something akin to a leisure-centre steam room, albeit one you could sweat out the weekend’s alcohol consumption and top it up at the same time!
Fair play to front-man Kirk Brandon, who surely must win the award for the hardest working man in music today. Having just finished a series of dates with Spear of Destiny, he has marched straight into a tour with Theatre of Hate and add into that a few solo shows that will see him on the road till December…..judging by the performance tonight it’s a wonder that there’s anything left of him. This is a performance of raw energy-filled passion. Sporting a rather fine Mickey Mouse t-shirt, he’s in fine voice and looking in incredible shape for a 61 year-old.
The band arrive on to stage and launch into the anthemic Original Sin, which brings out the first of many, not sing-a-longs, more shout-a-longs: this is followed up by Judgement Hymn, which opens with a full on dirty saxophone solo from John ‘Boy’ Lennard. From there on in we are treated to a barn storming set anchored by Stan Stammers thunderous baseline, at its peak in the high octane 63.
The band have been promoting the 2016 album Kinshi for quite some time now but they managed to mix the set with tracks from the album and classic hits. Each song was greeted like a returning hero by the baying faithful: all things considered, both band and crowd are on good form for a Sunday, without a thought or care for the Monday morning hangover.
The band encore with The Klan and the Do You Believe In The Westworld, which brings out the largest cheer and caps off a blistering evening of punk, that’s more polished than raw.
As Brandon is on the road for quite some time, he’d be well worth catching. Regardless of what guise you see him in, you’ll be guaranteed a full-throttle performance which may just inspire you to raise some hell!
Theatre of Hate tour dates and information can be found here.