Theatre of Hate were 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.
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). The first Theatre of Hate release was the "Original Sin" single in November 1980, which reached No. 5 on the UK Indie Chart." 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). 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 Jone 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".
In February 1982, Theatre of Hate released another live album, He Who Dares Wins: Live in Berlin, recorded in September 1981.
Billy Duffy left the band to join Death Cult in April 1983. Theatre of Hate continued for a short time before splitting up later that year. Demos for their unreleased second studio album were released as Ten Years After in 1993.
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.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 andSpear 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 Morrision 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. 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.
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