Theatre of Hate

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Theatre of Hate
Theatre of Hate.jpg
Theatre of Hate (2015)
Background information
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Post-punk, gothic rock
Years active 1980–1983, 1991, 1993–1995, 2005–present
Labels Burning Rome Records
Mau Mau/Demon Records
Original Masters/Snapper Music
Associated acts The Pack, Spear of Destiny, Dead Men Walking, Kirk Brandon's 10:51, Plastic Eaters, The Cult, Crazy Pink Revolvers, The Straps, Crisis, Epileptics
Members Kirk Brandon
Stan Stammers
John Lennard
Mike Kelly
Adrian Portas
Past members Billy Duffy
Steve Guthrie
Nigel Preston
Luke Rendle
Craig Adams
Pete Barnacle
Volker Janssen
John McNutt
Art Smith
Mark Thwaite

Theatre of Hate are a post-punk band formed in Britain in 1980.

Led by singer-songwriter and ex-member of punk band The Pack, Kirk Brandon, the original group also consisted of guitarist Steve Guthrie, bassist Stan Stammers (The Straps/Epileptics), saxophonist John Lennard and drummer Luke Rendle from Crisis/The Straps.

The Pack[edit]

The Pack were a British punk rock band formed in 1978. Comprising Kirk Brandon (vocals, guitar), Simon Werner (died 26 Nov 2010) (guitar), Jonathan Werner (bass), and Rab Fae Beith (later of UK Subs) (drums). Beith was eventually replaced by Jim Walker (drums).[1] The band released two singles in 1979, before a change of name to Theatre of Hate.



Singles and EPs[edit]

Title Release date Album UK chart position UK Indie Chart position
"Brave New Soldiers"/"Heathen" 1979 - - -
"King of Kings"/"Number 12" November 1979 - - -
Kirk Brandon & The Pack of Lies EP 1980 - - -
Long Live the Past E.P. April 1982 - - No. 12[2]

Theatre of Hate[edit]

In 1980, The Pack evolved into Theatre of Hate, with Luke Rendle replacing Walker on drums, Stan Stammers joining on bass, Steve Guthrie on guitar and John "Boy" Lennard on sax (the Werners joined The Straps, who Stan Stammers had previously played for).[3] The first Theatre of Hate release was the "Original Sin" single in November 1980, which reached No. 5 on the UK Indie Chart.[2]" Theatre of Hate garnered much early attention as a live act and made their album debut in 1981 with the concert LP He Who Dares Wins (Live at the Warehouse Leeds).[1] Steve Guthrie left the band shortly after the album's release. Another concert recording followed, Live at the Lyceum.

In August 1981, Theatre of Hate entered the studio with producer Mick Jones of The Clash to record their first non-live album debut, Westworld, released on February 19, 1982. Shortly after the album was recorded, new guitarist Billy Duffy (formerly of The Nosebleeds) joined the band, and soon after that, drummer Luke 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".[1]

In February 1982, Theatre of Hate released another live album, He Who Dares Wins: Live in Berlin, recorded in September 1981.

Demos for their unreleased second studio album were released as Ten Years After in 1993.[1]

Brandon went on to front Spear of Destiny with bassist Stan Stammers. A post break-up compilation album Revolution spent three weeks in the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 67.[4] Nigel Preston joined his former bandmate Billy Duffy as drummer for The Cult, playing on their 1984 album Dreamtime.

Theatre of Hate reformed in 1991 for the Return to 8 tour, which included original band members Brandon, Stammers and Lennard, with the addition of Pete Barnacle on drums and Spear of Destiny/The Mission guitarist Mark Thwaite. A live recording of the London Astoria show featuring this lineup, Theatre of Hate Act 4, was later released on CD by Plastic Head Records.

In 1994, the current lineup since 1993 consisting of Brandon, Stammers, John McNutt and Art Smith went into Mix-O-Lydian Studio in Boonton, New Jersey with Brad Morrison to record a new album under the Theatre of Hate banner. Retribution was not released until early 1996 in both the U.S. and UK. To coincide with Westworld's 25th anniversary, Theatre of Hate reformed for a week-long tour culminating at the Carling Academy Islington on 29 April 2007. Of the original lineup, only Stammers was unavailable, due to conflicting schedules and family commitments in the U.S. where he now lives.[5] Replacing him was Craig Adams, former bassist with The Cult, The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission, joining Brandon, Guthrie, Lennard, and Rendle for the reunion.

In May 2012, Theatre of Hate's original lineup consisting of Kirk Brandon, Stan Stammers and John Lennard (augmented by Adrian Portas on guitar and Mike Kelly on drums) reunited for three Westworld 30th anniversary concerts, held in Bristol, London and Crewe.

An excerpt from "Do You Believe In The Westworld"

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  • He Who Dares Wins (Live at the Warehouse Leeds) (1981) (UK Indie No. 1)[2]
  • Live at the Lyceum (1981)
  • He Who Dares Wins: Live in Berlin (1982) (UK Indie No. 3)[2]
  • Original Sin Live (1982, released 1985) (UK Indie No. 12)[2]
  • Love Is a Ghost (live 14/6/1981) (2000)


  • Revolution (1984) (UK No. 67, UK Indie No. 1)[2]
  • The Complete Singles Collection (1995)
  • Theatre of Hate Act 1 (1998) (combines Revolution and Live in Sweden)
  • Theatre of Hate Act 2 (1998) (combines Ten years After and He Who Dares Wins)
  • Theatre of Hate Act 3 (1998) (combines Retribution and Bingley Hall)
  • Theatre of Hate Act 4 (1998) (combines The Sessions and Live at the Astoria)
  • Theatre of Hate Act 5 (1998) (combines The Singles and He Who Dares Wins)
  • The Best of Theatre of Hate (2000)


Title Release date Album UK Singles Chart position[6] UK Indie Chart position[2]
"Original Sin"/"Legion" November 1980 - - 5
"Rebel Without a Brain"/"My Own Invention" April 1981 - - 3
"Nero"/"Incinerator" July 1981 - - 2
"Do You Believe in the West World"/"Propaganda" January 1982 Westworld 40 1
"The Hop"/"Conquistador" May 1982 - 70 -
"Eastworld"/"Assegai" November 1982 - - 3
"Americanos" unreleased - - -

Reference work[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Spear of Destiny", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4. 
  3. ^ Beech, Mark (1996). The A-Z of Names in Rock – and the Amazing Stories Behind Them. Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-059-3. 
  4. ^ Theatre of Hate, Chart Stats
  5. ^ "Message from Stan about the Theatre of Hate reunion". 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 555. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]