Gang Of Four are back in Melbourne town celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their debut album, Entertainment!
This is the first time I got to see new vocalist John "Gaoler" Sterry in action I was mighty impressed. He has a very similar vocal style to the original singer, Jon King but with much more youthful exuberance. Thomas McNeice who toured last time for Soundwave 2011 and their epic sideshow at the Corner Hotel, provided the thumpin' bass rhythms. Lurking in the smoke behind the drumkit, Tobias Humble provided the backbone to the post-punk funk.
I really wanted to see Andy Gill, the sole remaining member of the original band. At 63, it was dazzling to see him laying down his unique jagged guitar style. One of my all time favourite import singles back in the day was “At Home He's A Tourist”. The abrasive guitar sound of that seven inch vinyl single, totally did my head in. After that purchase, I got Fast Product - The First Year Plan, which had the first Gang Of Four EP plus early recordings by The Human League, The Mekons and Scars. Plus other Gang Of Four singles and of course their iconic albums.
We got most of the hits tonight from “Love Like Anthrax”, “I Found That Essence Rare”, “Paralysed”, “Damaged Goods” and Gaoler bashing the crap out of an LG Microwave with a chunky lump of wood during “He’d Send in the Army”.
They dropped the only song from the setlist from their latest album Happy Now and ended with a blazing version of “To Hell With Poverty”. We didn't get "I Love A Man In Uniform" or “Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time” tonight but I am not complaining.
As the band lineup on stage to take their bows, Andy quips "Where did you get that Vegemite Hat from? I really want one!". It's a unexpected funny comment to end an amazing evening with the Gang Of Four. Now that's ENTERTAINMENT!
Photography by CarbieWarbie