Amid an upcoming UK tour, which includes the famous Royal Albert Hall in London, Killing Joke soured into Colchester Arts Centre to play a special warm-up show in front of a sold-out crowd at the Arts Centre. And my god, did they deliver!
Killing Joke – Sonny Eriksson
Colchester Arts Centre, Essex. 07 March 2023
Words and Photography: Lawrence Potter
The doors opened just past 7 pm, and the crowd couldn’t get into the building quickly enough as it was a bitterly cold evening in Essex. As everyone flocked into the beautiful converted church, which would play host to one of rock royalties, it was kind of fitting that, just hours before, King Charles actually made a visit to Colchester. What are the chances, huh?
After about an hour’s wait, our support act of the evening made his way onto the stage. Sonny Eriksson, whose music is self-described as ‘cyberbilly’, has created a unique take on classic rockabilly, which works surprisingly well. Sonny had the crowd bobbing up and down to the entire set. This was certainly a stark contrast to which I’ve grown accustomed at live events, but I take no shame in saying I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and it served nicely as an entertaining start to the evening.
Straight after Sonny exits the stage, ominous music begins to play, and an overall atmosphere fills the arts centre as we are but moments away from what promises to be a musical experience like no other. The lights dim, and onto the stage walks heavy rock legends, Killing Joke.
The band started with Requiem, from their self-titled debut album, which led straight into Wardance. Killing Joke delved right into their extensive back catalogue for this show, and at no point did they let up. To name but a few more, Tension, The Wait, Follow The Leader and Who Told You How. The crowd, full of the older generation and the younger, was going absolutely nuts in unity.
This was my first time attending a Killing Joke show, and my god, it was like nothing I have ever experienced. There’s a certain energy and feel that is hard to put into words. Jaz Coleman is an absolutely superb frontman. With his non-stop intensity and powerful stage presence, you can’t help but feel part of the music.
Coleman is backed up by a fantastic band who doesn’t skip a beat the whole show. Geordie Walker on guitar, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover on bass, Paul Ferguson on drums and on keyboards is Roi Robertson.
A jaw-dropping show from start to finish, and it’s clear to see why Killing Joke are up there with some of the best live acts you can possibly dream of seeing.
And going by this show, I can honestly say the people in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday are in for one hell of a treat! If you can still find tickets for the concert, yours truly highly recommends it.