Live Review: Gang of Four @ Black Cat — 3/9/22

Gang of Four perform at Black Cat on March 9, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Before he died in 2020, guitarist Andy Gill undertook several tours of the United States with a Gang of Four lineup that included no other original members. Since 2012, that version of the band appeared several times in DC, performing songs from two newly recorded albums as well as legacy Gang of Four selections.

With Gill’s passing, the other original members have reunited to tour behind a remastered box set, Gang of Four: 77-81, released last year by Matador Records. Original frontman Jon King and company recently burned through the Black Cat in a scorching show that gave powerful new life to the band’s post-punk classics first recorded in that period.

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Preview: Gang of Four @ Black Cat, 3/9/22

Gang of Four (Photo art courtesy of Matador Records)

Last year, Matador Records released GANG OF FOUR: 77-81, a stunning, limited edition box set curated by Jon King, Hugo Burnham, and Dave Allen gathering Gang of Four’s indelible early work. This followed the death the year previous of Gang of Four’s influential guitarist, Andy Gill.

Gang of Four now reunite to celebrate their legacy with a US tour that includes a stop at Black Cat on Wednesday, March 9.

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Snapshots: Gang of Four @ U Street Music Hall — 2/21/19

Gof4_DS304406-10 Gang of Four performs at U Street Music Hall on Feb. 21, 2019. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

As is well documented on this blog, Guitarist Andy Gill is going strong with the Gang of Four. The trio slammed into U Street Music Hall Thursday, playing classics and new tunes to an eager audience.

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Snapshots: Parklife DC More Best Pictures of 2016

Savages @ 930 Club 26 Savages at 9:30 Club on March 27, 2016 (See the full blog)

As we wrap up 2016 here at Parklife DC, we looked back on our best concert photos of the year, where reviewed our 10 (actually 11) favorite photos on our blog.

But while Paivi and Kristie considerably brightened up our blog with their pictures, Theresa C. Sanchez and myself also have been out there photographing some concerts. So now we are rounding up the best of the rest to present some cool photos that Theresa and I captured over the year as well.

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Snapshots: Gang of Four @ 9:30 Club — 10/8/16

Gang of Four at the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. 10/8/16
John “Gaoler” Sterry sings in Gang of Four (as Andy Gill plays behind him) at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Photo by Theresa Sanchez)

#FBF – it’s internet slang for what some “kids” today refer to as “Flashback Friday” and is a way for people of all walks of life and interest to transport themselves back in time in an audio/visual manner.

#GoF is another acronym of sorts for a British punk band that was ahead of their time with regards to politic activism and social criticism in the late 1970s. You’d be hard-pressed to find many of rock music’s classic bands — R.E.M., the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, and Nirvana to name a few — who haven’t called them an influence over the years. 2016 couldn’t be a more appropriate time then to tour given the contentious political climate and one of them most memorable elections underway in most recent history.

The latest version of the band visited the 9:30 Club on Oct. 8 to open for The Faint. (Read our Parklife DC review of The Faint that night — ed.)  While the band has had many iterations since officially forming in 1977, they managed to retain guitarist Andy Gill is the sole original member.

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Don’t Miss: Gang of Four @ 9:30 Club, 10/8/16

Gang of Four (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)

Gang of Four founder and guitarist Andy Gill recruited a new vocalist a while back, and John “Gaoler” Sterry took up duties as the frontman of Gang of Four on the road.

A few years ago, Gang of Four released a new album with Gaoler on vocals, and now they have dropped a live album, Live… In The Moment, which appeared Sept. 9 via Metropolis Records.

Now Andy, Gaoler, bassist Thomas McNiece, and drummer Jonny Finnigan are on the road again, opening for Omaha synthpop band The Faint, and they all stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Listen to “England’s in My Bones” by Gang of Four (feat. Alison Mossheart) from their Gaoler-fronted album What Happens Next on Soundcloud:

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Gang of Four and The Faint kick off their tour tonight at the famous First Avenue, and that very strong bill will hit DC soon. Gaoler gives the act a different feel with slightly goth overtimes, but he does a great job with songs new and old. “Gaoler’s sweetly husky voice carries you through the song and it seems completely natural,” I said of his performance of “I Parade Myself” after the band last visited the 9:30 Club on March 2015.

Tickets are available online. Don’t sleep on this one, as this bill will sell out!

Gang of Four
Opening for The Faint
9:30 Club
Saturday, Oct. 8
Doors @6pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: The Faint @ 9:30 Club, 10/8/16

THEFAINT2016photo credit- Bill Sitzmann
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

Synthpop quartet The Faint released a new song this year, and it’s pretty damn good… one of their better singles in quite a few years, I daresay!

The single will also see inclusion on an upcoming retrospective release by The Faint — CAPSULE: 1999-2016, due Sept. 30 via their longtime label Saddle Creek. To celebrate the release, The Faint are going on tour, and they stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Listen to “Young and Realistic,” the catchy new single by The Faint, on Soundcloud:

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The CAPSULE compilation arrives 17 years after the first release by The Faint — 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade. The band rapidly matured and by 2001 released what many consider their masterpiece, Danse Macabre. The upcoming “greatest hits” includes contributions from albums Blank-Wave Arcade, Danse Macabre, Wet From Birth, Fasciinatiion, and Doom Abuse as well as “Young and Realistic” — and two brand new songs “Skylab1979” and “ESP.”

To me, the interesting thing about The Faint is that they almost always hit the perfect mark for what I consider “dark wave.” The Faint are a new wave band, but they eschew a lot of the sunny optimism of most new wave bands to drum up spikey dirges warning of difficult choices ahead. However, they never quite fall into the gloomy despair or overly distorted sound of modern industrial bands, saving them from easy categorization. And The Faint frontman Todd Fink is a joy to behold on synthesizer. (Seriously, it’s hard to find someone who can play synth with half as much energy!)

Opening for The Faint are Andy Gill’s new-look Gang of Four and Brooklyn dark-waver Travis Egedy, better known as Pictureplane. Don’t miss this action-packed bill!

Tickets are available online.

The Faint
w/ Gang of Four, Pictureplane
9:30 Club
Saturday, Oct. 8
Doors @6pm
All ages

Music Park: Gang of Four @ 9:30 Club — 3/3/15

John Sterry, Andy Gill and Thomas McNeice of Gang of Four (Photo by Leo Cackett)

When Andy Gill, guitarist and cofounder of the seminal post-punk band Gang of Four, was very young, he wanted to be a drummer, he said in a chat with Annie Clark of St. Vincent recently for the Talkhouse podcast.

“I do think of things in grooves and rhythms and pulses, and I very much think in those terms. I don’t really think in terms of grandiose melodic constructions,” Gill said when discussing his approach to playing guitar.

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In performance, Gill uses his guitar much like he uses his voice: He’s direct and sparing when communicating with it. At the 9:30 Club Tuesday night, Gill brought the latest incarnation of Gang of Four on tour to play the very new album What Happens Next, and in so doing demonstrated the power in his approach to songcraft.

First, it has to be said, this is a different incarnation of Gang of Four, in which Gill is the only original member remaining. Vocalist John “Gaoler” Sterry has taken over for Jon King — and as a result it’s a different show. But Gill gave the band’s songs a remarkable level of consistency, which the audience warmly embraced. The two-thirds full room approached the new lineup cautiously but applauded very enthusiastically by the end of the performance.

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