”Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
He got an ice pick
That made his ears burn”
There is an old saying that you should never meet your heroes, and that piece of advice could also easily apply to going to see them play live. It’s for that reason I have never felt compelled to see either Jagger or Plant hobble around a stage propped up by Viagra and prescription painkillers gyrating their geriatric groins in grannies faces.
Thankfully yesterday evening I forgot that everyone, even those in late 70s post-punk bands, age. They may have gotten older (well at least the half of the band that are still playing) and from the look of the crowd, so have most of their fans, but to be fair to them they can still put on pretty good show. A band that has inspired acts as influential as Nirvana to Bloc Party from Rage Against the Machine to The Rapture, could still give a lot of modern bands a few lessons on how to Entertain a crowd (chortle).
Most of the gig was dominated by material from the band’s brand new album Concept. It’s been 16 years in the making and has received some rather impressive reviews from more reputable publications than this. The album is a little bit like a brief history of GoF, from the classic post punk riffs of ‘Never Pay for the Farm’ and ‘You Don’t Have To Be Mad’, to the new wave inspired ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘I Party All The Time’.
Gang of Four – You Don’t Have To Be Mad
The results are mixed. You can’t help but feel as though they’ve thrown together half finished songs from over the years mixed in with the odd B-side gem. Something for every fan I guess.
Gang of Four – Never Pay for the Farm
But what I, my friends and I’m pretty sure everyone in the venue wanted was some classic Gang of Four… and they delivered marvelously. I think there was a consensus that whatever you thought of the new material, they were able to kick out the classics like Thatcher was still in government and young people were still struggling with the modern world. In many ways both of those things are true, and similarly Gang of Four can still play music and write lyrics that channel the frustrations of the many; the country is shit and the PM’s a dick!
Gang of Four – Damaged Goods