KIRK Brandon has never sat on the fence, either with his sometimes uncompromising music with Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny, or with his strident opinions on the state of music.
It’s been a quarter of a century since the release of Spear of Destiny’s celebrated album, Outlands and Beyond, and to mark the occasion the band come to Blackburn King George’s Hall as part of their nationwide tour next Friday.
“I’ve had a tough few years,” says Brandon.
“I had heart surgery last year and I feel very lucky to be here.
“It does put music into perspective a little bit.”
Brandon has also had to battle Reitter Syndrome, a condition where the joints swell and fill with liquid causing severe pain.
“There’s a one-in-60,000 chance of getting it - I didn’t walk for over a year and I practically had to learn to walk again.
“I’m OK at the moment, it is great to be playing our music live again. I feel very fortunate.”
Outland gave Spear of Destiny their highest singles chart success with Never Take Me Alive, a song full of fire and fury, and Brandon said: “The whole industry has changed.”
He added: “It’s now all based on the X Factor culture which is destructive towards music. I call it the humiliation game.
“If that is so-called popular entertainment, seeing people humiliated by Simon Cowell as he laughs his head off at the poor contestants, then it is a desperate state of affairs.”
Brandon rode the wave of punk with his first band, The Pack, later exploring his political ideas in Theatre of Hate and the classic pop themes of love and romance with Spear of Destiny.
“Our music has an edge, a threat,” he said. “When we play Legion, one of the first Theatre of Hate songs, it still sounds angry and relevant in these times.
“Some of those songs are very naive but I guess that’s part of their charm.
“What annoys me is when I see people treating music as a limp, corporate entity. The industry is so jaundiced and cynical at the moment, if I was doing it for them I wouldn’t have hung around.
“But somewhere, in a grotty club or a garage, there will be kids playing great music, who really mean what they are doing and want to be the next Clash.”
Renowned for an energy packed set that provokes intense passion in their devotees, Spear of Destiny’s leader said: “There’s an edge about that part of the world. I really don’t know why there’s a relationship with some of the cities and towns in the North with us, but we always get a great reception.
“Maybe it goes back to the start of my career, all those 250 years ago!”
- Spear of Destiny, King George’s Hall, Blackburn, Friday, November 30. Details from 0844 847 1664.