Gang of Four
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Gang of Four is one of the most radical, and radically important, rock groups of the last 30 years.
“More than anything, Gang of Four were about visceral, high energy, maximum impact rock’n’roll. They made you dance and they made you sweat just as they made you think. That exclamation mark at the end of the title of their 1979 debut album Entertainment! – incidentally, one of the greatest debut albums ever made; in fact, one of the greatest long-playing records, period – was no accident or sleight of design. Economic, emotional, political, musical – and yet it remains as true, as resonant, as relevant, as universally applicable three decades on as it was the day it was released.”
Formed in Leeds in 1976, Gang of Four first performed in May 1977. All the big bands that followed, the Chili Peppers, INXS, R.E.M., U2, have spoken of their debt to Gang of Four but in more recent years, the band’s influence has become almost universal with the emergence of post-punk influenced bands such as the Rapture, Radio 4, Futureheads, Nine Inch Nails, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. The band is led by guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Andy Gill, widely acclaimed as an innovator and much copied around the world. Gill also produced most of Gang of Four's output, including the 2006 album Return The Gift and 2011’s critically acclaimed album Content. Gill has also produced albums for many other artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jesus Lizard, the Stranglers, the Futureheads, Michael Hutchence and Bono, Therapy?, Regurgitator and Killing Joke. His most recent production work was in Beijing in December 2012, recording Chinese rock band AV Okubo.
“Bands occasionally get described as being 'ahead of their time'. Usually it means nothing; mere hack hyperbole employed to describe the latest fledgling bunch of chancers. In Gang Of Four’s case, it’s a stone-cold, empirical fact.”
“Tight and rambunctious”, “precise but deliberately human”: Gang of Four’s rhythm section, featuring Thomas McNeice on bass, has won acclaim over years and across continents as the engine of the band’s compelling live performances. Singer John Gaoler has been described as “captivating,” with an “uncommon voice”, and has been working with Gang of Four for the last two years, recording new material and performing at sold out gigs in China, Japan and all over Europe. Gang of Four are currently working on a new album which will be released in 2014.
“In recent years, the biggest bands in the world have proclaimed their debt to Gang Of Four—the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Rage Against the Machine, U2 — but now everybody sounds like Gang Of Four. From Franz Ferdinand to Kaiser Chiefs to Bloc Party to Futureheads, today’s pop tyros are making cerebral, angular rock music that has GO4’s influence and imprint all over it. Mojo's Editor in Chief: 'Sometimes I think the whole world's gone a bit Gang of Four'.”