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Words: Sue Static - Photos: Kim Ski

U.K. post-punk stalwarts Gang of Four returned to Detroit on their 2019 tour to promote their
new album,” Happy Now” on February 16 at El Club in Detroit. The tour also celebrated their
40th Anniversary of the stellar debut album “Entertainment.” This was the second time back
with the current lineup and the show drew old fans as well as new who have never seen the
band before and now had a chance to experience their live musical assault.

They wasted no time bringing on their musical attack as they struck the opening chords of the
song “Anthrax” from the 1979 EP “Damaged Goods.” Guitarist Andy Gill proceeded to whip
his guitar onto the stage floor they launched into an epic 17-song set covering many early
songs from their catalog that had the audience in a frenzy. The new songs from their latest
releases, “Happy Now” and “Complicit” sounded right at home with the old classics. They
knew what the audience came to hear and delivered the damaged goods! The encores of “I
Found That Essence Rare” and “He'd Send In the Army” had singer John “Gaoler” Sterry
meet his match with a very unfortunate microwave oven that he attempted to smash into

The highly influential band made its debut in 1977 playing a mix of punk and funk with heavy
social and political themes. They are widely considered one of the leading bands of the late
1970s/early 1980s post-punk movement. Their debut album, “Entertainment” ranked as the
fifth greatest punk album and made it to Number 483 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums
of All Time, and is listed by Pitchfork Media as the 8th best album of the 1970s. David Fricke
of Rolling Stone described Gang of Four as "probably the best politically motivated band in
rock & roll." The mid-80s found the band digressing from their early sound into electronic
territory, but the darker themes remained.

The new album, “Happy Now” continues to explore this electronic fare, but still retains the
signature edgy guitar sound. It was released via Pledge Music and follows the April 2018
release of the EP “Complicit,” their latest recording since their return with the new
configuration of the band back in 2015.

For more information on the band, check out