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THEATRE OF HATE – He Who Dares Wins: 5CD Box Set

THEATRE OF HATE – He Who Dares Wins: 5CD Box Set

TOH-He-Who-DaresFormed from the ashes of punk band The Pack, Theatre of Hate blazed their own trail through the post-punk netherworld of the early 1980s with a string of indie hits and an unparalleled reputation as a formidable live act.

The band are fronted by blonde-quiffed singer/guitarist Kirk Brandon, joined by bassist Stan Stammers, guitarist Steve Guthrie, saxophonist John ‘Boy’ Lennard and drummer Luke Rendle.

After several acclaimed 45s and a live album ‘He Who Dares Wins’ (my first ever vinyl purchase on the back of seeing the band live at Loughborough Town Hall – I was hooked on this band from day one), Theatre of Hate recorded their debut studio album with legendary Clash guitarist Mick Jones producing. The resulting LP, ‘Westworld’ was issued in February 1982 and reached number 17 in the UK charts, promoted by a Top of the Pops performance of the single ‘Do You Believe in the Westworld’.

Theatre of Hate continued to enjoy success throughout 1982 with new guitarist Billy Duffy in tow, releasing a second live album (‘He Who Dares Wins: Live in Berlin’) and more singles. However, sessions for a second album, ‘Aria of the Devil’, were eventually abandoned and the band soon broke up. Kirk eventually re-emerging with Spear of Destiny.

For some years now Kirk has fronted a new-look Theatre of Hate who unveiled their first studio album since ‘Westworld’ entitled ‘Kinshi’ last October.

Unavailable for many years on CD, the two ‘He Who Dares Wins’ albums from 1981 have finally been treated to a deluxe edition. Alongside the original albums, which have both been remastered, are the two reunion shows issued under the ‘He Who Dares Wins’ banner and a bonus disc featuring a previously unissued live concert from the ‘Westworld’ tour.

Housed in a clam shell box, the package also boasts within a booklet a raft of illustrations and fresh sleeve-notes penned by Mojo’s Pat Gilbert drawn from interviews with the bands members.

I was lucky enough to catch Theatre of Hate support Stiff Little Fingers earlier this year and it’s safe to say that either band could have been the headliners. Kirk and his merry men have always provided an energetic show and they always show full commitment to the cause. I was also fortunate enough to see them live at Loughborough Town Hall before the ‘He Who Dares Wins’ album was released as well as following them at a couple of shows on the ‘Westworld’ tour.

A brilliant live band and captured perfectly in this lovely little box set. I’ve already played all five discs through once and currently making my way through again.

Do yourself a favour and grab a copy at Cherry Red Records

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