Flea, Gary Numan, Tom Morello Honor Andy Gill and Gang Of Four - Noise11.com
Gang Of Four

Gang Of Four

Flea, Gary Numan, Tom Morello Honor Andy Gill and Gang Of Four

by Paul Cashmere @paulcashmere on April 22, 2021

in News

A tribute to Andy Gill and Gang of Four features appearances from Flea, Gary Numan, Tom Morello, La Roux and a stack more of Andy’s contemporaries.

Gang of Four cofounder Andy Gill died on 1 February 2020.

The album ‘The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four’ was pieced together by Massive Attack co-founder Robert Del Naja (aka 3D).

Robert says: “I first met Andy in a hotel bar in Glasgow and gushed drunkenly about the importance of the Entertainment album for an hour. He’d recorded the conversation and played it back through my hotel room door later that night. In fact, the Mezzanine album project was named ‘Damaged Goods’ until I fell out of the hotel lift and into the minibar. Gang of Four were a foundation stone for us, even though we never successfully sampled or covered a single track of theirs. Years later, when we hosted them at Meltdown I mentioned this fact to Andy after the show and he said “That’s because you’re crap”… Provocative but true. So I got the Anthrax beetle tattooed on my back-‘Love, leisure, work and war’

The Tom Morello and Serj Tankian ‘Natural’s Not In It’ was one of the first previews we heard.

Helmet’s ‘In The Ditch’ is the latest sample of the album. Page Hamilton from Helmet explains: “My old pal Henry Rollins reissued Entertainment! and Solid Gold back in the 90’s and asked me to do liner notes for Solid Gold. I don’t remember what I wrote but I know it was glowing, corny and fanboy. Their songs, feel, energy, inventiveness made an indelible imprint on my musical soul. All of our peers that formed bands in the late 80’s were influenced by Go4. I chose ‘In the Ditch’ for this tribute cause it’s a great song even though it was challenging (thank you to my band!). It feels improvised and random at times but holds together as a composition. The guitar part feels like spontaneous scratchy funk, the angular bass and drum groove grooves hard but sounds like there’s a spoke missing. The vocal is somehow beautiful but scary, urgent and dangerous. There’s no room for limp dick, mail-it-in, non-musical moments in any of these songs. How the hell did they put this together? We could only try to capture the intensity of the original. This band changed me. Thank you Andy, Dave, Hugo & Jon.”

Andy Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer says: “Helmet has recorded a superb version of “In the Ditch”, such a powerful song for these paranoid times. Andy and the other members of the original line-up came of age during an era of Public Information Films issued by the UK Government in case of nuclear attack. Even then it was clear that the instructions given in these films, such as taking shelter under tables or diving into ditches, were designed not to save lives but to quieten public nerves. It was propaganda, and as such grist to Gang of Four’s preoccupations. How eerily relevant the lyrics seem, recalling Prepper ideologies and also the claustrophobia of our locked-down world. Of course I also stumble over the lyrics about ‘beyond the cares of the world’ and ‘six feet under’, things that apply to Andy metaphorically if not, in the second case, literally. His ashes are at home with me, high on a shelf where he can observe, with pleasure, preparations for this wonderful album.”

‘The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four’ will be released on June 4, 2021

The complete track listing is as follows:
The Problem of Leisure: CD One
Vinyl One, Side A
1. IDLES – Damaged Goods (UK)
2. Tom Morello & Serj Tankian – Natural’s Not in It (USA)
3. Helmet – In the Ditch (USA)
4. 3D* x Gang of Four feat. Nova Twins – Where the Nightingale Sings (Redux) (UK)
5. Hotei – To Hell With Poverty (Japan)

Vinyl One, Side B
1. Gary Numan – Love Like Anthrax (UK)
2. Gail Ann Dorsey – We Live as We Dream, Alone (USA)
3. Herbert Grönemeyer feat. Alex Silva – I Love a Man in a Uniform (Germany)
4. LoneLady – Not Great Men (UK)
5. JJ Sterry – 5.45 (UK)

The Problem of Leisure: CD Two
Vinyl Two, Side C
1. La Roux – Damaged Goods (UK)
2. Everything Everything – Natural’s Not in It (UK)
3. Dado Villa-Lobos – Return the Gift (Brazil)
4. The Dandy Warhols – What We All Want (USA)
5. Warpaint – Paralysed (USA)

Vinyl Two, Side D
1. Flea & John Frusciante – Not Great Men (USA)
2. The Sounds – I Love a Man in a Uniform (Sweden)
3. Hardcore Raver in Tears – Last Mile** (China)
4. Killing Joke x Gang of Four – Forever Starts Now (Killing Joke Dub) (UK)
5. Sekar Melati – Not Great Men (live version) (Japan)

* 3D is the remix and production name of Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack ** “Last Mile” is the new title for this cover of “Broken Talk”, reflecting new lyrics sung in Mandarin by Hardcore Raver in Tears.

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