Gang Of Four @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 5/11/2019

Incredible show from English post punk band the Gang Of Four who made it to Adelaide after rescheduling earlier in the year. There might have been a few different line ups over the years but the current line up is top shelf. Friends in the know have said that these guys are well worth a look and their classic album Entertainment! is considered to be an essential.

It was a loyal and parochial crowd that assembled at Lion Arts Factory to see the legendary Andy Gill lead his band featuring Thomas McNeice, John “Gaoler” Sterry and Tobias Humble. At the merch desk it was interesting to see a sign say Love Like Anthrax guitar for sale $100 (cash). That took on meaning during during Love Like Anthrax. Andy Gill took to the stage in a haze of red light looking a little lost and confused. Carrying the guitar precariously it didn’t take long for Gill to start throwing the guitar at the ground in all sorts of directions. As the intensity of the song started to build that guitar had seen better days making for a pretty unique souvenir from the show for someone willing to pony up one hundred bucks for it.

Gill didn’t say a lot but when he did it was gold. After Return To Gift and Not Great Men Gill said Adelaide reminds him of home if it was sunny and full of nice people but it isn’t. Whilst there wasn’t any surprises with the first part of the set with Entertainment! in its entirety (minus Contract) it was played in a different order which seemed to hang together really well. 5.45 was stellar and it was interesting to hear Paralysed next off their second album Solid Gold. Another Gill pearler saying “a little bit of light entertainment there” referring to the heavy content of the previous song.

There’s so many great songs from this but there was a massive reaction to Damaged Goods. Wow! At Home He’s A Tourist and I Found That Essence Rare were absolute gems. The Gang Of Four sound is really something and as Gill eluded to in an interview with Hi Fi Way “everything is in it’s place”. After taking a quick break to “powder their noses”.

Lead singer John “Goaler” Sterry was awesome to watch as he moved between the three microphones set up on stage. The remainder of the set was a good representation of something old and something new. Keeping the flow moving there was no real break between songs with Why Theory? and I Love A Man In Uniform going down a treat. Isle Of Dogs was about London and there was still time for another big one before the encore in What We All Want couple from Solid Gold.

Returning for an encore Gill made a cryptic reference to “seventeen orders for Adelaide floaters, any more?” A microwave was brought out and this time John took a bat to smash the absolute bejesus out of it with an axe handle during He’d Send In The Army. With a quick quip to say tonight had been brought you by Panasonic it was an absolute barnstorming finish with To Hell With Poverty. This is an incredible show not to be missed, East Coast you’ve been told!

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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