Gang of Four - Heaven, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Gang of Four - Heaven, London

by Louise Harlow Rating: Release Date:

The most exquisite export ever to sally forth from the inauspicious loins of the University of Leeds, Gang of Four have always been, are and always will be, all about the groove. Never in any danger of allowing the ever-present political preoccupations to get in the way of a barrelling juggernaut hook, their live date under the arches of Villiers Street proved that post-punk more than likely was the best thing ever to happen to punk.

A spasmodic Jon King roams the stage in itinerant drifter fashion, ranging from mic to mic resplendent in David Byrne-approved plus-sized tailoring and sans shirt, channelling Bryan Ferry at the helm of Talking Heads. Behind him Andy Gill dispenses guitar cuts as seditious and barbed as the day he cornered the market on 'eff me that's dirty' amp set ups 30 years ago. Alternating between the freight-train jams of 'Not Great Men', 'Return the Gift' and 'I Love a Man in Uniform', tracks from 2011's Content sit impressively well with their older siblings, both in terms of hip swivel instigation and a terrifyingly zealous live delivery.

As always with Gof4, humour shrugs off any implication of self-importance - Gill and King trade guitar missiles during an extended version of 'Anthrax' ("I really must renew my life insurance"), indulge in two encores ("we thought we'd come and do you a couple more ballads") and, crucially, manage to give over the duration of 'He'd Send in the Army' to King's favourite party piece, built essentially around beating the shit out of a microwave with a big stick. Magical.

So as we howl through the demented clarion yelp of 'To Hell with Poverty' (£4 beers held aloft with not a trace of irony), let tonight be reminder to us all why this was the band that first convinced us that a guilty bang really is much better than love will ever be, and that politically-engaged musical notaries need not start and end with bloody Bono.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Gang of Four - Heaven, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Omni - Multi-Task
  • 09/18/2017
  • By Jim Harris