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    1.500 a bloody lot of money for just one track. curious if they can really sell that...
    this is indeed a similar idea to the Neubauten supporter program (i was part of it), but that was much more fun. additionally to the special version of the record we could follow them rehearsing through webcam, and exchange comments with them on the unfinished tracks we had just heard. we would regularly meet the band in the backstage after concerts and have a chat with them. and we had the fantastic event at the Palast der Republik (before it was dismantled) where the first of the two nights was only for supporter and 100 of them even sang as choir with the band in two songs, plus at the end of the show we all could "jam" with the band drumming on special percussion tables prepared for the occasion by N.U. Unruh. 500 people drumming together and the band playing on top. A hell of a noise :-) We then proceeded all drumming together through the streets of Berlin to a bar where there was an all night party only for supporters with Alex Hacke as a DJ.
    Best supporter program i've ever seen. At least that year that ended with the Palast der Republik performance. And it did not cost much at all. Something like 30-35 Euro including the CD if i remember right.
    Would be great if Wire did something similar, finishing with a special gig for supporters only.
    Sorry, not Gang of Four related, but reading Fergus' post i just remembered about the Neubauten thing and how much more they would offer for the money compared with this GOF pledge.
    Some random comments:

    1. Ever since reading the chapter on Leeds in Rip It Up And Start Again, I have seriously considered buying a transistor-based amplifier, if only on principle.

    2. One of my closest friends is a Go4 fanatic. Felt the need to include a fragment of "Damaged Goods" into a rather mediocre student film he made recently... The soundtrack was (easily) the best part of the film ("A Mutual Friend" was in the opening credits, and strangely appropriate).

    3. I really love Einstürzende Neubauten. Who else has made such brilliant, semi-musical use of amplified metal springs and attending fans?

    Please, tell me. Now.
    1. Gang Of Four play the ICA next Wednesday the 9th of June, the day after Wire at The Garage (oh to be in London... *sigh*)

    2. a rather mediocre student film he made recently... Damning your mate with faint praise, eh...! At Home He's A Tourist recently spotted on the BBC2 adaptation of Martin Amis' novel Money. Funnily enough, the soundtrack was also the best part of this rather flaccid drama, with a woefully miscast Nick Frost in the lead role.

    3. Who else has made such brilliant, semi-musical use of amplified metal springs.. Test Dept. ? Not that it matters, but out of curiosity, I believe The Mothers Of Invention were the first band to use metal springs as percussion in the late 60s.
    oh to be in London (then) indeed.
    I thought Test Dept. were more inclined towards sheet metal and didgeridoos than they were to that whole Cage-ian "let's amplify weird things and play the tapes backward" thing that EN have so honed. (Merzbow too, come to think about it, although he lacked/lacks the amateur choir and remote sense of melody.) That said, they're great. Didn't think of Zappa, though. Interesting.

    Regarding damning with faint praise: Yeah, one of my other fellows was heavily invested in the film initially, and was horribly disappointed by the final result. As he put it, it was like a mumblecore film, but with far, far less plot cohesion.
    Test Dept did use a fair bit of sheet metal alright, along with barrels, springs & various horns and bugles but no didgeridoos to the best of my knowledge.

    Also, following EN's work from the start, as far as running tapes backwards etc. is concerned, I've not seen them do much in the way of post-production on their songs. The early work was more of a brutalist theatre, with the records as documents (i.e. very straight ahead production). In recent years their approach has been refined into very conventional, and, for the most part, to my mind anyway, less engaging songs. They're alright I suppose, but the original spark has long gone (I think it was extinguished after Mufti left in the mid 90s). I'd never associate them with Cage, even in the broadest sense.

    What the bloody hell is mumblecore ? Sounds awful. Is it where you can't make out the dialogue because the actors diction is crap ?

    By the way, isn't this a Gang Of Four thread ?
    Though Fergus is right, one last parting shot on bands bashing shings while using tapes: 23 Skidoo on The Culling Is Coming (One side gamelan music, one side live tape manipulation, one side a mix of the two, again live). Also very good.
    One last last off topic thing :)
    Me too an old time E.N. follower, and fully agree with Fergus. The peak (in negative sense) was for me when a few years ago i saw them live in Hannover and Blixa got very angry because of apparent sound problem, that noone in the audience had even noticed IMO. He spent half the concert going off stage to shout at the sound engineer instead of singing. When i asked the guys of the band what that was supposed to be, they told me: "well, you know, Blixa is a perfectionist". I wondered whether this was the same band that recorded Kollaps and Zeichnugnen des Patienten O.T. or whether they were trying to be some kind of Pink Floyd, meaning the ones without Syd Barret.
    "...some kind of Pink Floyd, meaning the ones without Syd Barret." which is clearly the better of the 2!!!! (that subject could prob have a forum of its own, but prob not much interest on here!)
    Back on topic, it appears that the Gang Of Four's ICA show has been cancelled... to be rescheduled apparently, but I only know this as a result of reading a disgruntled fan comment on the Pledge/Gang Of Four site. No official word or info from the band themselves, which strikes me as a bit poor to say the least, and nothing on the ICA's site.
    Iit's prob somat to do with the price! was it not £75 a ticket? & you get to have a chat with the band & see some art work! I'd've paid £25 to see the Go4 at the ica, but owt else? am i bothered?
    I wouldn't say they shifted many tickets at that price... strewth ! I think the band are taking the 'exclusives' thing down the wrong road... only ends up pushing people away in the end...

    I hope they keep down the price of gigs..
    (A brief series of replies: Ever heard the comp Kalte Sterne? Lots of weird post-production. 23 Skidoo are very interesting indeed. David Coulter played didgeridoo [semi-anonymously] during plenty of Test Dept.'s live actions. Mumblecore is a form of extreme cinema verité, usually quite lo-fi, with many markedly awkward or quiet scenes.)
    >>I hope they keep down the price of gigs.. <<

    That one hit the spot!
    Heh heh... cheers Mark (I was wondering if anyone would notice ).
    i just read that Gang of Four will be playing in August at the Ypsigrock festival, near my hometown. the festival is for free as far as i remember so in this case the price really couldn't be lower..
    don't know yet whether i can manage to be there. i hope so. the festival is very small but the place is wonderful.
    I couldn't resist this, from Jon King's blog - it's cracker:


    "We are in Portugal, 1979, co-headlining a tour with the hopeless Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel . Essence Rare has almost done well in this newly post-fascist state. Steve had had a big hit with the execrable " Judy Teen" , with his ersatz take on the Thin Man's Bromley slur, the creepy petit bourgeois who wrote, with other reactionaries, an open letter to EMI demanding the Sex Pistols get chucked off the label. Which EMI did , to Mclaren's oily delight.

    We're back of the bullring we're due to play in, in our half of a corrugated iron shack that masquerades as dressing rooms. One half : me, Gill, Dave & hugo. In the other , The Gimp & his hapless sidemen. A lonely jenny grumbles away to share a dribble of juice for the feeble lights. We're shooting the breeze, tuning up, when the lights go dead. Complete darkness. Steve's half of the shed is now brilliantly lit! The runt's cut our power so he can see better!
    So Dave bashes his chair BANG! BANG! BANG!over and over and over against the thin metal divider on the other side of which Harley sits in blazing brightness. His head must have bounced off the wall like a tennis ball. Our light's restored & in lurches Steve's coke-addled TM , a big fat sweaty fuck of a man, white legs and gut ringfencing his touristische shorts, who screams " THIS NEVER HAPPENS ON MY TOURS! " Dave turns, gently puts down the chair and swallow dives, a perfect 10, into the long table laden with cold cuts & junkfood; the table collapses, shit's sprayed everywhere. Dave gets up, sticky with sliced salami and mayo , to stab his finger in the TM chest & say "THIS is what happens if you turn off our lights!"

    Brilliant & mysterious.

    It is Dave's finest hour."

    Steve Harley & GO4 on the same bill ?? Surreal. Though not as surreal as Einsturzende Neubauten and - wait for it - (cue Jimmy Saville voice) SHOWADDYWADDY !! I kid you not. A witness to the fact reported that the Teddy boys stole the show...
    Oh dear. Faintly amusing, but really rather pathetic (on all sides).

    It's really quite sad to keep reading their rants, sorry blogs - why do they think themseleves so righteous? I'll still get their lp when it's released in January, and, despite their politics being still, probably, right-on, they're becoming somewhat tiresome. And they way they treat their fans (anyone else 'pledge'?), is quite despicable.

    As for Judy Teen being execrable, well maybe in Mr King's eyes. From my pov, pre-Come Up And See Me Cockney Rebel, were (hmm, inspirational may be too strong a word), an eye-opener as to what 'pop' could be, mixing bits of glam with prog (sound familiar?) - examples of which i would cite Judy Teen &, particularly, Sebastian. Contempories of Roxy Music, they ploughed a similar furrow.

    If only they'd stick to making music & agitating - they were (still are?) good at that!
    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeNov 18th 2010)
    anyone know of or recall any footage of Gang of Four playing in support of Songs of the Free? For reason that's my favorite of their albums. But have only come across one lo-quality clip on Youtube.
    First spotted this ad the other day in a state of mild shock and mixed emotions whilst the kids were watching TV... "That's Gang Of Four's music !" I blurted out to general indifference.

    What are the Gang Of Four up to ? An anti consumerist song that opens with the words The problem of leisure, what to do for pleasure (omitted in the ad of course) used here to sell Xbox 360 ?? When the V/O says It's not about winning or losing, it's about how you play the game... oh yeah ? GO4 certainly are playing the game... sell out out maintain the interest. Yeah. Looks that way alright.

    I like this comment from Icebat on the youtube clip:

    Jon and Andy: I'm going to kick you in the shins really hard for this.