Gang of Four (l-r) Gill, King, Allen, Burnham
Allen (l) and Burnham (r) in happier times, May 5th 2005 backstage at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom (pic: Jamie Francis)
GANG OF FOUR MINUS TWO
The original and best-loved line-up of famed post-punk icons Gang of Four reunited in 2005 to great acclaim and success – unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham are moving on, although singer Jon King and guitar-player Andy Gill will continue, focusing on writing and recording new music as Gang of Four. Burnham last performed with the band at All Tomorrows Parties in the UK in December 2006, while Allen played a few shows alongside drummer Mark Heaney in 2007, and recently worked on new material with King and Gill.
Allen says, “At the beginning of April, I decided that I could no longer continue to be a member of Gang of Four. My ability to give 100% to the band is limited and I feel that if I can’t do so, then I shouldn’t continue. As I expand my research and thinking about contemporary music distribution on Pampelmoose.com, and as I focus on online technology and social networking at Nemo Design here in Portland, I find myself conflicted about how the band’s new music should be released. To retain any credibility for Pampelmoose.com about what the future of music distribution will look like, I have to move on and not hold back Jon and Andy’s music plans. I have had a side project for a while now with John Askew of Tracker and Menomena’s drummer Danny Seim called Faux Hoax (pronounced Folks), and I look forward to fun times finding ways to get our music into peoples hands in unique ways.”
Burnham writes, “It was a great couple of years of intermittently reminding people old and new, far and wide just how powerful the original four of us were together. Age only increased our power and focus onstage, and it was a rare pleasure to work with the original band once again. Being in a band requires handling the business side of it too, and that became boring and the constant travel became debilitating. I am soon to start my Doctorate, as well as broadening my teaching at more than one college here in Massachusetts, so my free time has become increasingly limited, making it difficult to be involved with them going forward. Musically, I am recording and writing with members of Boston noise-merchants, The Bags and I have also been doing some recording lately with Mike Watt. I wish Jon and Andy luck with their new musical endeavours; I am sure they will be interesting.”