I have been told about two events involving Gang of Four next month. ((Thanks for the tip-off Peter!)) Both sound good, but would involve travelling up to London midweek, and spending more than I would be willing to spend for such things.First up is History’s not made by great men on June 7th, which is described as:
Gang Of Four’s Jon King and Andy Gill will be talking with John Niven, the highly acclaimed author of â€˜Kill Your Friendsâ€™. These music industry legends will also be taking questions from the audience. Very limited numbers. Drinks are provided. Purchasers will also receive complimentary access to unique content at the band’s Pledge Music campaign page.
Sounds like fun – but at Â£28.25 (plus extorionate Ticketmaster booking fees no doubt) a bit much to just hear them talk.Â I don’t even know if they are any good at talking!
Two days later they do actually play at an ‘exhibition and performance‘ at the ICA where fans are promised:
Gang Of Four present a one-off live performance and exhibition of art and artefacts. The band will mingle amongst fans and unveil a series of large-scale prints, some based on cult album artwork, some brand new from the artwork surrounding the release of the new record. These will sit alongside career-spanning photographs by some of musicâ€™s most celebrated photographers, and historical band artefacts. There will also be a listening facility for fans to hear the bandâ€™s first ever gig recently found on cassette. The band will then play a full set, including songs from their new album ‘Content’. Complimentary drinks and souvenir laminate provided. Purchasers will also receive free access to unique content at the band’s Pledge Music campaign.
I like the idea of seeing them play a full live set, and don’t even mind hearing ‘a bit of new’ – I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of some new music from them.Â Hearing the recording of their first ever gig would be interesting too, though I’m sure that will be available to download before too long.
I don’t like the idea of paying Â£61.75 for all that though.Â Not even with a ‘souvenir laminate’ thrown in.Â It all reminds me of those offers I keep getting on email for ‘an evening with Eric Clapton’ or something like that, which is aimed squarely at those with money to burn who want a concert to be a luxury experience.Â I prefer it to be a sweaty and loud experience with watered-down lager in plastic pint glasses.
What would the Gang of Four from 1979 think of it all?Â I seem to remember them being an extremely dogmatic Marxist bunch of musicians.Â Back then they would, I am sure, have mingled with fans before the show, or after, or both without huge sums of money changing hands.Â A few (Spizz and Manu Chao spring to mind) still do.
The Pledge Music concept sounds fascinating though, and a bit more in keeping with their roots.
I know I will regret not going, but with a new Tory government likely to have a direct impact on the business of my employers and then put VAT up to 20% I should probably try and put a bit aside now just in case.