Four reasons to go see: Gang of Four
- Doug Johnstone
- 3 September 2009
Post-punk, political legends come to Edinburgh
1 They’re post-punk legends Widely regarded as one of the leading lights of the post-punk movement which emerged in the late 70s, the Leeds foursome mixed the visceral energy of punk with elements of disco, funk, dub and reggae before anyone else thought it was even halfway to a good idea, basically.
2 They’re political The band weren’t content to make people shout and shake their asses, but wanted to make them think as well. Cue songs about oppression, the situation in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, social injustice and plenty more besides.
3 They’re influential Without Gang of Four we wouldn’t have the likes of (deep breath) Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, The Rapture, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, REM, Rage Against the Machine and any number of the current crop of indie dance outfits.
4 They’re outspoken Now celebrating the 30-year anniversary of their seminal debut album Entertainment!, the band are as outspoken as ever. ‘There seems to be an incredible reluctance to rock the boat now,’ says singer Jon King. ‘For a lot of so-called leftfield music, the radicalism is often only in being either obscure or loud or both. But loudness and pretentious cleverness can’t be the point. We censor ourselves or get self-righteous about peripheral issues because it’s convenient to do so and we can let ourselves off the big lies we sleep with every night.’
HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Sep; ABC1, Glasgow, Sat 19 Sep.