At home he’s a tourist

Last days I often heard music from the late 70s/early 80s influenced by punk and New Wave. One of my favorite bands are Gang Of Four.

That’s what Wiki knows about them:
Gang of Four are an English post-punk group from Leeds. Original personnel were singer Jon King, guitarist Andy Gill, bass guitarist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham. They were fully active from 1977 to 1983, and then re-emerged twice in the 1990s with King and Gill. In 2004, the original line-up reunited but in November 2006 Allen was replaced on bass by Thomas McNeice and Burnham on drums by Mark Heaney. Singer Jon King departed some time during 2012.

They play a stripped-down mix of punk rock, funk music and dub reggae, with an emphasis on the social and political ills of society. Gang of Four are widely considered one of the leading bands of the late 1970s/early 1980s post-punk movement. Their later albums (Songs of the Free and Hard) found them softening some of their more jarring qualities, and drifting towards dance-punk and disco. 
Gill and King, the primary creative forces in the band, brought together an eclectic array of influences, ranging from the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School of social criticism to the increasingly clear trans-Atlantic punk consensus. Gang of Four was named by a member of the Mekons when while driving around with Gill and King he came upon a newspaper article on the intra-Party coup against China’s “Gang of Four”.

Gill’s guitar sound had a forebear in the playing of Wilko Johnson, the guitarist with Dr. Feelgood.Gill’s staccato, aggressive style has proved an enduring influence in turn. Paul Morley described the band’s music as “a kind of demented funk, incredibly white but also, because of political commitment and defiant sloganeering, very dark, and ultimately as close to the depraved edge of the blues and Hendrix.” Critic Greil Marcus found his first viewing of the group’s performance so shattering that he left after their set rather than risk having the impact of the deeply political Gang of Four’s songs dampened by the pop-punk of the Buzzcocks.

I’ve ever loved their political statements and their combination of leading aggressive guitars and bringing the Funk into New Wave. A good example is their single ‘I love a man in uniform’ which was banned in British radio during the Falkland war in 1982.

The real gang of four in China is still another dark side of Chinese communism. But that is another story to be told.

Gang Of Four – I love a man in a uniform
Gang of Four – The history of the world
Gang of Four – At home he’s a tourist


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