British new wave band led by charismatic vocalist Kirk Brandon.

Theatre of Hate formed in September 1981 with Brandon, guitarist Billy Duffy, bassist Stan Stammers, the late Nigel Preston on drums and John Lennard on saxophone. The original lineup didn't last long and members came and went until they disbanded in September 1982.

Despite lasting only a year, TOH was a springboard that provided valuable experience and room to experiment for several of its members who would proceed to gain fame and fortune elsewhere. They released a single album called Do You Believe in the West World which was quite successful and a very decent sample of the early British post-punk/pre-goth scene. Their second album was a live act containing mostly the same tracks as the studio one and was entitled He Who Dares Wins, recorded in Dublin.

After the band split up Brandon and Stammers continued to make themselves a name as Spear of Destiny, one of the classic acts of the 1980s, while Preston and Duffy teamed up with Ian Astbury, whom TOH had already toured with once, as The Cult.

ToH, that being Brandon and Stammers again, resurrected itself around 1994 and released another one-two punch of a studio and a live album. You can accuse people of not moving on but the 1996 Retribution album is remarkable in the continuity of the sound and quality that characterised their work in 1982. If this is what artistic stagnation sounds like, I'll have some more and keepitcomingthankyou. A third album with the name Aria of the Devil was released in 1997, compiled from recordings that had been sitting in someone's cellar for fifteen years. That's third if you don't count a 1993 release called Ten Years After and which featured leftovers from 1983-ish.

The band got together for a 25th-anniversary reunion in 2007. A new album under the ToH name is due out late in 2008. Their cast is now basically the 1983 line-up with Craig Adams replacing Stammers, who now lives in the US. It will be interesting, if nothing else.

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