Thursday evening saw British rock legend Kirk Brandon bring his band Spear of Destiny to the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds in support of their new album ‘Tontine’, whilst also marking the 35th anniversary of their iconic album ‘Grapes of Wrath’.
Celebrating the anniversary of a landmark album whilst simultaneously promoting a new one was certainly an exciting prospect for the band, and the atmosphere in the venue reflected that from the get-go. Packed with fans of all ages, the illustrious music career of founding member Kirk Brandon has clearly made a huge impact over the years, and rightly so.
Opening up with ‘Brighton’ from the new record proved to be a risky but ultimately wise choice, with the lively crowd engaging in an unexpected sing-along, something not often seen when a band with such a rich discography begins a set with a song so fresh. The classic Spear of Destiny sound was very much still present, coming across as both sinister and celestial.
Boasting a recently rejuvenated live line-up including Adrian Portas and Craig Adams of New Model Army/Sisters of Mercy fame, it is clear that the unstoppable machine that is Spear of Destiny shows no signs of slowing down and can still draw musicians of the highest calibre into its ranks. Despite his somewhat sombre nature, Kirk orchestrates a set brimming with confidence and intensity.
‘Flying Scotsman’ from ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is executed with a concentrated ferocity, taking a classic song to new heights, thanks to the stellar professionalism of the new line-up, and once again the crowd reacts accordingly, making it an early contender for song of the evening.
The band continued the set with a relentless energy, merging songs both old and new, allowing the new songs to speak for themselves and the excitable crowd elevating each chorus of the classics with glorious chanting.
Any band that can survive the ups and downs of the music industry for 30+ years deserves respect, and in this sense Spear of Destiny have always allowed room for experimentation and progression yet never compromised the core sound that made them so popular and influential in the first place. This I believe is key to the triumphant longevity of the band and it is extremely humbling seeing Kirk still enjoying playing live so much after all these years.
Briefly leaving the stage, the crowd soon chanted them back into action and an excellent three-song encore unravelled in the form of timeless anthem ‘The Wheel’, the explosive ‘King of Kings’ and their magnum opus ‘Liberator’, during which bodies from every angle frantically scattered and returned in a hypnotising motion, concluding the set with a climactic burst of life.
Be sure to check out this legendary band at the top of their game. You won’t be disappointed.
The Spear of Destiny UK tour continues in the following cities over the coming weeks:
24th Manchester – The Ruby Lounge
25th Newcastle – 02 Academy
26th Norwich – Waterfront
27th Bedford – Corn Exchange
30th Reading – Sub 89
31st Cardiff – The Globe
1st Leamington Spa – Zephyr Lounge
2nd Southampton – 1865
3rd Lewes – Con Club
The new record ‘Tontine’ is also available to order from here
Gary writes for Leeds Living on contemporary music, being an avid goer of gigs and a supporter of local talent.