Joke not funny any more, or ever, but that’s no bad thing

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JOKES tend to fall into three categories.

There are those that are never funny and you’d never want to hear again, such as the few gags featured in the recent BBC4 series Twenty Twelve.

There are those are funny once but don’t stand up to repetition unless told exceedingly well, like the one about the dwarf piano-player.

And there are those that remain funny no matter how many times you hear them, such as the one about the holidaymaker stuffing a sausage down his swimming trunks in a misguided attempt to boost his pulling power.

Killing Joke, awkward devils that they are, don’t sit comfortably in any of those categories, having been almost always worth a listen over the course of their 34-year on-and-off career despite rarely, if ever, splitting sides or tickling ribs.

The post-punk noise merchants, formed in London back in 1978, are still going strong, despite taking six years off from 1996, and are back on the road, calling in at Newcastle’s O2 Academy this week.

The five-piece act, still including original members Jaz Coleman and Geordie Walker, are touring to promote their forthcoming album, MMXII, out next month.

It is unlikely to make much of an impression on the album charts, Killing Joke having failed to make it into the top 20 since 1994’s Pandemonium, but is certain to be a far more attractive proposition than the aforesaid Hugh Bonneville comedy series of much the same name.

The band’s sole hit single of note remains Love Like Blood, a No 16 in 1985, but it is only one of a multitude of memorable moments they’ve conjured up over their years.

Killing Joke can be seen at the academy, in Westgate Road, on Tuesday, March 13. The Icarus Line and the Crying Spell will be supporting. For tickets, priced £19.50, go to www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk

DARIN HUTSON