Andy Gill busting on Dave Allen, 2015:
Gang of Four Have Been Taking the Piss Out of Pop Culture Since 1979:
"His main point is that he doesn't think musicians should get paid," says Andy Gill, laying into his ex-bandmate turned digital music guru Dave Allen, now an artist relations specialist at iTunes. "He thinks music should be free. And when you actually push him on that, he comes up with things like, 'Earn some money on ringtones.' Literally." Sniggers ripple across Andy's new band members. "So what better person to work for Apple, having come from Gang of Four," he concludes of his ex-comrade, "although so briefly."
To be fair to Dave Allen, that last "briefly" dig at him lands slightly off the mark. The bassist, who quit suddenly during a 1981 US tour, played on both Entertainment! and Solid Gold, the two Gang of Four records the world at large cares about.
The press response was predictably confused: 'XTC meets G4NG' should mean herky-jerky agitprop or a bleak industrial take on the Beatles, surely? Not this understated, deeply arty, bottom-heavy and lyrically inscrutable piece of weirdness, edging -with 'here comes my handclap' -into avant-garde difficulty.
An hilarious flame-war took place in the NME between Dave and Andy Gill (shades of me and Andy Partridge). Dave had accused the G4NG -in one of the recent articles, and in response to the inevitable 'why did you leave?' question, of lacking ideological commitment.
When 'Tench' came out, of course, Gill retaliated: 'Dave dares to raise the banner of ideology then releases an album about a fish' he fumed. The Two Headed, Revisionist Running-Tench that he clearly was.