It is a truth universally acknowledged that Gang of Four's first LP, Entertainment, is one of the greatest albums of all time. Less well known is the fact that - for about 18 months in 1979/80 - Andy Gill of Gang of Four was the greatest guitarist of all time. Clang, cherrrinnggggg, spakkk takk, chiiing, tkk, tkk, tk tk tk tk, cheroouuuuaaanggg!!
A few years back I went with a mate to a Raincoats reunion gig at the T&C2 and, late on, encountered a-little-the-worse-for-wear Andy Gill in the toilets. My default position would be to never talk to your heroes because, apart from the odd West Indian cricketer I have never really met any of my heroes - but I too was a bit drunk and started wittering on about how as an earnest teen I’d learned to play the guitar just like him. He looked at me sadly as I said all this and just sighed “thanks” then carried on with his slash. Of course, I didn’t tell him that once you start to play the guitar like Andy bloody Gill you can’t play anything except Gang of Four type songs and you have to go back years later and learn some proper chords at some point.
But, even now, the urge to put my hand over the strings to dampen them and go kliiing, sperkkka choonggg spakk takk tkk tk tkk cheroouuuaaanggg is too strong and many an Irish traditional singalong has been ruined by my Andy Gill style guitar accompaniment.
Chakk chakkkk chakkaaa chaaaannggg!