Gang Of Four - Montague Arms

Given that this is their first gig in twenty five years, you'd expect Gang Of Four to be somewhat rusty and you'd be right. At least, for the first couple of songs anyway. What's more surprising than the early lack of chemistry is the fact that Gang Of Four have probably never sounded so contemporary - so they've been dropped from the lips of every band attempting to capture some sort of punk philosphy lately but none of the upstarts come close to matching the sheer intensity that Gang Of Four excude. By the time we get to 'At Home He's A Tourist' things have risen to a plataue of funk punk brilliance that few could hope to match. They make it look effortless - age cannot weary them it seems. Jon King, whether he's thrashing a fridge with a hammer or reacting to the cutting chords by giving a passable impression of epilepsy, is effortlessly cool and intense. Before long, the small stage is an electric arena as the chemistry between the band intensifies and sucks us into its maelstrom. No new material is evident but with songs as strong as 'Brain Damage' and 'We Live As We Dream, Alone' they don't need any. As well as sounding contemporary, the themes are as relevent now as they've ever been; possibly more so. After all, the consumerist, conformist society we live in has progressed further than anyone could have possibly dreamed in the heady days of the late 70's - who then could imagine Johnny Rotten embracing the concept of reality TV? Gang Of Four sound angry, pissed off and totally in control and god bless them for it.

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