Theatre Of Hate in session to close out the working week. Originally known as The Pack, Theatre Of Hate were a British punk rock band formed in 1978, comprising Kirk Brandon on vocals and guitar, Simon Werner (died 26 November 2010) on guitar, Jonathan Werner on bass, and Rab Fae Beith (later of UK Subs) on drums. Beith was eventually replaced by Jim Walker. The band released two singles in 1979, “”Heathen” and “King of Kings”, and the Kirk Brandon & The Pack of Lies EP in 1980, before splitting. Their posthumous releases were the Long Live the Past EP (1982); The Pack 1982 live album, recorded in 1979 and released on cassette only on Walker’s Donut Records label; and the collection Dead Ronin (2001).
This from their Wikipedia page:
In 1980, the Pack ended and Theatre of Hate were formed, with Luke Rendle on drums, Stan Stammers joining on bass, Steve Guthrie on guitar and John “Boy” Lennard on sax (the Werner brothers joined the Straps, who Stammers had previously played for). Inspired by Antonin Artaud’s book Theatre and its Double. The band took its name from the concept of the Theatre of Cruelty: “Artaud called for the emotional involvement of the audience. Singer Brandon borrowed the thespian term because he was trying to do the same.” The first Theatre of Hate release was the “Original Sin” single in November 1980, which reached No. 5 on the UK Indie Chart. It was followed by “Rebel Without a Brain” in April 1981, and “Nero” in July. They garnered much early attention as a live act and made their full-length debut in 1981 with the live album He Who Dares Wins (Live at the Warehouse Leeds), released on vinyl on their own Burning Rome label. Guthrie left the band shortly after the album’s release. Another live recording followed, Live at the Lyceum, issued on cassette, also in 1981.
In August 1981, Theatre of Hate entered the studio with producer Mick Jones of the Clash to record their first non-live album, Westworld, released on 19 February 1982 by Burning Rome. Shortly after the album was recorded, new guitarist Billy Duffy (formerly of the Nosebleeds) joined the band, and soon after that, drummer Rendle was replaced by Nigel Preston. The album reached No. 17 in the UK Albums Chart, and also spawned the Top 40 single “Do You Believe in the West World”.
Also in February 1982, in an effort to combat bootlegging of their concerts, Theatre of Hate released another live album, He Who Dares Wins, recorded in September 1981 in Berlin.
Theatre of Hate released a new single, “The Hop”, in May 1982, followed by the “Eastworld” single on 28 August. The band split in 1983. Revolution, a posthumous 1983 compilation album, spent three weeks in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 67.
Lest you think they broke up and went away in 1983, they reformed in 1991 and, with personnel changes, fits and starts, have been recording and gigging ever since.
A good opportunity to check them out. In the meantime, dive into this second (of three) sessions for the inimitable John Peel at BBC Radio 1.