Yup, that's right, Spear Of Destiny, Kirk Brandon's tilt at post-punk stadium anthemic rock, back for a "singles" tour! So Rich persuaded me to revisit the band I, amazingly, saw 5 times in the space of 8 months or so, back in 1985, for mainly single-sentence gig reviews. How times have changed!
Despite my knee playing up, I decided to strap it up, hit the painkillers and go. So Rich picked us up and dropped me outside the venue while he parked up, good man that he is! Hobbled in while the Subkicks were finishing off their high-octane modern punk set. Like All American Rejects, they were fast and tuneful and made me wish I'd caught more of them. The place was totally dead though! Got the drinks in, then we did our best to ignore EMF's horribly dated post-rave baggy techno-pop. The place was still pretty much deserted, and EMF are relatively local too!
Took a walk onto the floor for Spear's arrival at 9.30. I have never seen the Academy this empty... possibly 1/4 to 1/3 full. Wow. Welcome to the band no-one cares about anymore... Nevertheless, Kirk and co kicked off with a couple of rocking openers that got the sparse crowd going.
The set however degenerated into a mess of poor material and plodding interpretations, despite the best efforts of Kirk and his strident octave-straddling voice. My mind wandered and a couple of things occurred to me; firstly, I understand why I lost touch with SOD after their excellent "World Service" album; and secondly my favourite SOD numbers, by and large, weren't singles! Oops. The night wasn't a total wash though - the 2 encores, a passionate "Mickey" and a lengthy and powerful "Liberator" rescued matters somewhat. Despite this, I could see why I lost touch with SOD. Grabbed the oversized set-list (too big to scan) on the way out, only because no-one else wanted it! Sorry Kirk...