Spear Of Destiny
Spear of Destiny is a British rock band, founded in 1983 by singer and songwriter Kirk Brandon (born 3 August 1956 in London) and bassist Stan Stammers (born 19 May 1961). It has had an ever-changing line-up through the years.
Formed by Kirk Brandon and Stan Stammers after the demise of 'Theatre Of Hate' with an original line-up that includes Chris Bell and Lascelles James for the 1983 album 'The Grapes of Wrath'. There have been many changes in the musical style and in the musicians that make up the group, with only Kirk Brandon being the constant member. Others who have been in the lineup include, Mickey Donnelly, Neil Pyzer, Alan St. Clair, Dolphin Taylor for the albums of 'One Eyed Jacks' and 'World Service'. Pete Barnacle, Steve Barnacle, Marco Perron (Marco Pirroni) and Volker Janssen for the album 'Outland'. The final album of the 80's "The Price You Pay" had Kirk Brandon in Guitar and Voices, Pete Barnacle in Drums, Volker Janssen in Keyboards and Chris Bostock in Basses.
Formed in 1983, the band's original line-up consisted of Kirk Brandon, Stan Stammers, Chris Bell and Lascelles James. In late 1983 this line-up was superseded by Dolphin Taylor on drums, Alan St Clair on guitar, John Lennard on sax and Neil Pyzer on keyboards and additional saxophone. In 1984 John Lennard was replaced by Mickey Donnelly on Saxophone.
Spear of Destiny recorded one session for John Peel (recorded 22 November 1982, transmitted on BBC Radio 1 on 29 November 1982).
"The band played a punk-influenced form of power rock, which often had an anthemic feel."
Their second album, One Eyed Jacks was released in 1984. It reached No. 22 in the UK Albums Chart Spear of Destiny’s reputation in the mid-1980s depended to a greater extent on their live performances.
In 1985, their album, World Service reached the UK Top 20. Founder member Stan Stammers left in 1986. In the wake of the release of the fourth album, Outland (1987) and its Top 15 hit "Never Take Me Alive", the band began achieving some chart success and staging sell-out concerts, including a support slot to U2 at Wembley Stadium. However, ill fortune struck on the eve of the band’s appearance at the Reading Festival, as Brandon contracted Reiter disease which obliged the band to put all their plans on hold for nearly a year.
Spear of Destiny have had 10 UK Singles Chart entries. Four reached the Top 50 but only one made the Top 20 - "Never Take Me Alive" (1987).
In addition to Brandon and Stammers, past members of the band in the 1980s included former Gillan drummer Pete Barnacle, former JoBoxers bassist Chris Bostock, former Adam and the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni, and former Tom Robinson Band and Stiff Little Fingers drummer Dolphin Taylor.
Brandon is also a member of the supergroup, Dead Men Walking.
THEATRE OF HATE/SPEAR OF DESTINY
Theatre of Hate was a post-punk / goth-rock band formed in Clapham, Great Britain in 1980, directed by Kirk Brandon (ex-Stigmata and The Caine), from the ashes of the punk band The Pack, formed in 1978 by Kirk Brandon (vocals, guitars), Simon Werner (guitar), Jonathan Werner (bass), and Rab Fae Beith (drums, ex-the Wall), later replaced by Jim Walker (ex-PIL), which was characterised by a raw sound that sometimes resembles Warsaw (pre-Joy Division), and they published on the Rough Trade label two singles, Brave new soldiers and King of kings, and an EP, Long live the past, which would appear after the band split, All were issued on the cd comp with The complete singles of the Pack/Theatre of Hate, released by Anagram Records in 1995, and more recently the small label Almafame released the CD Dead Ronin, containing all the songs written by Brandon and The Pack in this period, and two unpublished live videos.
After their second Peel session, in August 1981, Theatre of Hate entered the studio with producer Mick Jones to record their first studio album (and participate as a second guitarist), Westworld, released in February 1982. Shortly after the album was recorded, the new guitarist Billy Duffy (from The Nosebleeds) joined the band, and then the drummer Luke Rendle was replaced by Nigel Preston. The album reached number 17 in the list of albums of the United Kingdom and also generated the single Top 40 Do you believe in the Westworld ?, and included other good songs, like Judgment hymn, Love is a ghost and Conqueror.
In February of 1982, Theatre of Hate published another album in direct, He who dares wins: Live in Berlin, recorded in September of 1981.
Billy Duffy later left the band to join Ian Astbury in Death Cult. Theatre of Hate continued for a short time before splitting up later that year, after releasing the singles The Hop and Eastworld. A second studio album, Aria of the devil, was recorded, and was not published until 1998, as well as other unpublished demos of these recordings that were released as Ten years after in 1993. Brandon took over Spear of Destiny with the Bass player Stan Stammers. The album compilation Revolution was launched after the breakup of the group, spending three weeks on the British charts, reaching the number 67. Nigel Preston joined his former bandmate Billy Duffy as a drummer for The Cult, participating in his 1984 album Dreamtime.
Theatre of Hate reformed in 1991 for the Return to 8 tour, with a lineup that included the members of the original band Brandon, Stammers and Lennard, with the addition of Pete Barnacle on drums and the guitarist of Spear of Destiny / The Mission, Mark Gemini Thwaite. A live recording of the London Astoria show with this lineup, Theatre of Hate Act 4, was later released on CD by Plastic Head Records.
In 1994, the group consisting of Brandon, Stammers, John McNutt and Art Smith entered the Mix-O-Lydian studios of Boonton, New Jersey, with Brad Morrision, to record a new album under the name of Theatre of Hate. Retribution was not published until the beginning of 1996 in the United States and the United Kingdom. Love is a ghost, published by Receiver Records in 1999, is a direct from the era that offers one of the best moments of his short career.
Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Westworld, Theatre of Hate was reformed on a one-week tour that culminated in the Islington Academy in April 2007. The album was reissued, with the addition of new songs. Of the original lineup, only Stammers was unavailable, due to the conflict of schedules and family commitments in the United States, where he resided, being replaced by Craig Adams, former bassist with,The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission,and briefly the Cult, joining Brandon, Guthrie, Lennard and Rendle for the meeting.
In May 2012, the original Theater of Hate lineup composed by Kirk Brandon, Stan Stammers and John Lennard, augmented by Adrian Portas on guitar and Mike Kelly on drums, gathered for three concerts to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Westworld, celebrated in Bristol, London and Crewe.
Less than three years since forming, Los Angeles post-punk phenom The Wraith has just completed its debut full-length, Gloom Ballet, with Puscifer guitarist/producer Mat Mitchell at his North Hollywood studio.
“Mat was literally our first choice, but we never imagined it’d actually happen,” enthused imposing frontman Davey Bales. “He’s taken The Wraith somewhere that’ll surprise a lot of people – us included!”
Infused with ‘80s UK post-punk (Death Cult, Killing Joke, Chameleons) and SoCal deathrock (T.S.O.L., Samhain), The Wraith was founded by Bales, formerly of revered Virginia peace-punkers Lost Tribe, and guitarist Kaz Alvis shortly after they separately washed up in L.A. Their irresistibly distinctive sound - skeletal basslines and tribal beats propelling Alvis’ textured swathes beneath Bales’ poetic, anguished bark – immediately gained a following, with homemade demo “Comatic Romance” rapidly racking-up thousands of YouTube views.
Convulsive, chaotic West Coast shows honed the songs that became The Wraith’s lauded debut EP, “Shadow Flag”, last year. A couple of videos and line-up changes later – the band’s now completed by Belgian drummer Jef Pauly and Brit bassist Paul Rogers –, their evocative songwriting and pure-punk authenticity earned the ear of Mitchell (who’s also produced/remixed The Flaming Lips, Tones on Tail, Meat Puppets, King Crimson and more).
“The Wraith is a flashback to many of the bands that inspired me to start making music,” said Mitchell. “Given the opportunity to work on an album with them, how could I turn it down?”
The 11-song Gloom Ballet and accompanying videos will be released worldwide later this year.
“This entire EP touches so many different corners of post-punk and related genres … Shadow Flag is a must-have.” – CVLT Nation
“Shadow Flag … viciously comes alive, onstage and off-.” – LA Weekly
“The Wraith pull everything from U2 to Fire Dances-era Killing Joke into an indelibly catchy four-song burst … Shadow Flag is a great spin.” – Bandcamp Daily Blog