Spear of Destiny (band)

Spear of Destiny is a British rock band, founded in 1982 by singer and songwriter Kirk Brandon (born 3 August 1956 in London) and bassist Stan Stammers (born 19 May 1961). It has had an ever-changing line-up through the years.[1]

Spear of Destiny
London 2012
London 2012
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresPost-punk, alternative rock, indie rock
Years active1982–present
LabelsS.S., Burning Rome, Epic, Virgin, Eastworld, Do-Little
Associated actsTheatre of Hate, Dead Men Walking, Crazy Pink Revolvers, Boy Boy Nova, Plastic Eaters, Stiff Little Fingers, Tom Robinson Band, Howard Devoto, Bush, The Pack
WebsiteKirk Brandon’s Website
Spear of Destiny on Myspace
Stan Stammers' Website
MembersCraig Adams
Kirk Brandon
Adrian Portas
Phil Martini
Steve Allan Jones
Past membersPete Barnacle
Steve Barnacle
Chris Bell
Stevie Blanchard
Chris Bostock
Mark Celvallos
Mickey Donnelly
Robin Goodridge
Lascelles James
Volker Janssen
John Boy Lennard
John McNutt
Marco Pirroni
Mick Proctor
Neil Pyzer
Luke Rendell
Art Smith
Alan St. Clair
Stan Stammers
Dolphin Taylor
Mark Thwaite
Graham Wilkinson
James Yardley
Mike Kelly

They have had 10 UK Singles Chart entries. Four reached the Top 50 but only one made the Top 20 - "Never Take Me Alive" (1987).[2]


Formed in 1982, the band's original line-up consisted of Kirk Brandon, Stan Stammers, Chris Bell and Lascelles James.[1] In late 1983, this line-up was superseded by Dolphin Taylor on drums, Alan St Clair on guitar, John Lennard on sax and Neil Pyzer on keyboards and additional saxophone. In 1984, John Lennard was replaced by Mickey Donnelly on saxophone.

Spear of Destiny recorded one session for John Peel (recorded 22 November 1982, transmitted on BBC Radio 1 on 29 November 1982).[citation needed]

"The band played a punk-influenced form of power rock, which often had an anthemic feel."[3]

Their second album, One Eyed Jacks was released in 1984.[1] It reached No. 22 in the UK Albums Chart[4] Spear of Destiny’s reputation in the mid-1980s depended to a greater extent on their live performances.[citation needed]

In 1985, their album, World Service reached the UK Top 20. Founder member Stan Stammers left in 1986.[1] In the wake of the release of the fourth album, Outland (1987) and its Top 15 hit "Never Take Me Alive", the band began achieving some chart success and staging sell-out concerts, including a support slot to U2 at Wembley Stadium. However, ill fortune struck on the eve of the band’s appearance at the Reading Festival, as Brandon developed reactive arthritis which obliged the band to put all their plans on hold for nearly a year.[5]

In addition to Brandon and Stammers, past members of the band in the 1980s included former Gillan drummer Pete Barnacle, former JoBoxers bassist Chris Bostock, former Adam and the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni, and former Tom Robinson Band and Stiff Little Fingers drummer Dolphin Taylor.[6]

Brandon was also a member of the supergroup Dead Men Walking.





  • Live at the Lyceum 22.12.85 (released 1993)
  • Radio One Live in Concert (1987, released 1994)
  • The Preacher (1983, released 2000)
  • Kings of London (2000, released 2001)
  • Live at the Colchester Arts Centre (2002)


  • S.O.D. - The Epic Years (1987) - UK No. 53
  • The Collection (1991)
  • Time of Our Lives: The Best Of (1995)
  • The Best of Spear of Destiny (1998)
  • The Best of Spear of Destiny (2005)
  • The Singles 1983-88 (2012)[4]


Title Release date Album UK Singles Chart[4]
"Flying Scotsman"/"The Man Who Tunes the Drums" February 1983 Grapes of Wrath 83
"The Wheel"/"The Hop" May 1983 Grapes of Wrath 59
"Prisoner of Love"/"Rosie" January 1984 One Eyed Jacks 59
"Liberator"/"Forbidden Planet" April 1984 One Eyed Jacks 67
"All My Love"/"Last Card" May 1985 World Service 61
"Come Back"/"Cole Younger" July 1985 World Service 55
"Mickey"/"Up All Night" (Original version) July 1985 World Service -
"Strangers in Our Town"/"Somewhere Out There" January 1987 Outland 49
"Never Take Me Alive"/"Land of Shame" March 1987 Outland 14
"Was That You?"/"Was That You?" (Live at the Hammersmith Odeon) July 1987 Outland 55
"The Traveller"/"Late Night Psycho" September 1987 Outland 44
"So in Love with You"/"March or Die" September 1988 The Price You Pay 36
"Radio Radio"/"Life Goes On" November 1988 The Price You Pay 78
"Black Country Girl"/"Babylon Talking" September 1992 Sod's Law -
"Uphill Backwards"/"Never Take Me Alive" (1999 version) 1999 Volunteers -

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 438/9. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  2. ^ "UK Singles - 1952-2019". Polyhex.com. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  3. ^ Joynson, V. (2001) Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk, Borderline Productions, Wolverhampton, p. 358;
  4. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 519. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Alternative Rock, Miller Freeman Books, San Francisco, p. 650;
  6. ^ Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p. 519 - 520;

External linksEdit