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Knights of the New Crusade

Band: Knights of the New Crusade
Venue: Dirty Water Club
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2006

Review by David Kerekes

A sword is stabbed into the stage floor, where it shines and sways gently on its tip: "It’s a real sword but it’s also a metaphor," announces first knight Michael Lucas.

Knights of the New Crusade are touring Europe, spreading the Word and promoting their new album Knight Beat: A Challenge to the Cowards of Christendom. (Their first was called My God is Alive! Sorry about Yours!) Songs have titles like E Is For Evil (about Ecstasy and the perils of "underground raves"), Whore Of Babylon and My Way Is The Highway, and their message is loud if not always clear: You will go to Hell for straying from the path but repent at any time for anything bad that you may have done and all is forgiven. Simple.

Image Knights

Photo copyright Asimina Giagoudaki, 2006

The Knights were probably praying on their way to the Dirty Water tonight. Flying in from Dublin, a hold up at Customs, getting lost in traffic in central London and their van suffering a blow out meant that they arrived at the venue shortly after 11pm with no chance of a soundcheck, indeed little chance of anything at all. Consummate professionals, they walk onto the stage, plug in their instruments and start to preach.

The band wants to save your soul in a manner that is garage punk. The format is suitably raucous and instrumentation is cut back to basic bass, drum, guitar and vocals; no extraneous baggage. They dress in thrift store (read eBay) outfits comprising chainmail headgear and home made tunics.

The real sword that vocalist Lucas brandishes during the set attracts one or two drunken souls, who try to reach out and make a grab for the blade as it swings overhead. Even after he highlights the potential dangers of doing so (courtesy his own bandaged fingers), one audience member is compelled to try and climb up on stage. The image of Lucas with the palm of his hand stationed firmly atop the girl’s head, holding her at bay but possibly casting out demons at the same time, is priceless and would have made a great album sleeve if anyone had the providence — or a camera — to take a snap.

Image Knights

Photo copyright Asimina Giagoudaki, 2006

Between each number Lucas (who garage freaks may recognise from sundry other garage and surf outfits) delivers a parable and jaundiced soliloquy in order to illuminate the sinners in attendance on what each song — and the Knights — are about. Lucas knows his scriptures, is articulate and has the gift of the gab, the latter two points proving something of a giveaway, and most rational people would quickly deduce that perhaps this crusade is more about selling records and having a good time than it is preaching the Gospel. As for the rest of you, a damning article in the parish newsletter may set you straight.

However, confusion may arise with the recent article in Maximum RocknRoll, which lambastes the band "for trying to sneak a Christian message into music." (The interview is reprinted on the Knights’ website.)

"Our music may be garbage, but everything on this world is garbage compared to God."

Christians Rock! Kind of. When they have swords.

[Thanks to P.J. and the Knights of the New Crusade]

christian  , rock  , knights of the new crusade  , dirty water  , michael lucas  ,
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