Gang of Four shows the TLA What Happens Next

Gang of Four | Photo by Chris Sikich |
Gang of Four | Photo by Chris Sikich |
Wednesday night at TLA, the singular punk oddities Gang of Four played the second night of their US tour in support of their eighth LP, What Happens Next. It is an aptly titled record as there is only one original member in the band, Andy Gill, after lead vocalist Jon King left the band in 2013. When mixed with songs from throughout their career that began in 1977, the new album’s material fit in place quite well. And the crowd that filled in nicely after a sparse beginning was quite rapturous in their applause for Gang of Four.
Opening with the first track of Next, “Where the Nightingale Sings,” is certainly a jarring intro to the live Gang of Four in 2015. But new lead vocalist, John “Gaoler” Sterry came out of the darkness to deliver a cryptic body movement mash-up: introvert one moment, wanting to crash into Gill and bassist Thomas McNeice the next. The movements of the band were often like a choreographed avant-garde dance piece from the early 1980’s, with the band members switching spots with deadpan looks throughout the night. Issues with the multiple mic stands added to the bizarre visuals, with one of the band’s techs going onto stage quite frequently to fix the stands while not interrupting any of the band members’ flow.
The classic Gang of Four songs, like “Anthrax” and “I Love a Man in Uniform,” among many others, still wear their punk politics on their sleeves with brilliant effect. Gill’s guitar and McNeice’s bass crisscrossed the venue, while drummer Jonny Finnegan hammered away to punctuate the unique angst visions.
Whatever happens next with Gang of Four, their version of now is a great live show.


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