[live review] Gang of Four @ the Paradise


Jon King doing his gangly Frankenstein dance, Andy Gill’s signature clarion guitar wails leading into “To Hell with Poverty,” the ritual destruction of a pizza oven — yes, all par for the course. But routine is oh so sweet when delivered by these guys — their fucked up funk rhythms, the mix of scream, recitation, and even a bit of actual singing. King and Gill are the only original members of Gang of Four making this tour (behind estimable new album Content on Yep Roc). But bassist Thomas McNeice and drummer Mark Heaney provided the necessary oomph and dance-punk cross rhythms. And charter member Hugo Burnham (now a Gloucester, Mass resident and college teacher) even joined for an encore. There was nothing old or tired in the band’s delivery. Gill is beginning to look a bit like Henry Gibson, but he still performs jaw outthrust, digging into guitar and audience alike. Meanwhile, King played percussion on one tune by smashing that amplified pizza oven with a giant wooden club on the downbeat, just as he did several years ago at the better-sounding Avalon. (By the way, remind us to tell you how unhappy we are with the “new” Paradise some time.) “Thank you, you’ve been bloody sensational,” a sweaty King told the audience. No, thank YOU.



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