ORGAN THING: A new Gong live album reviewed, the last time the classic line-up flew together, Live At The Gong Family Unconventional Gathering…

Gong – Live At The Gong Family Unconventional Gathering (G Wave) – They were innocent, they were far from innocent,  if you were lucky enough to be at a gig when they really took off they were glorious, when your ariels were tuned in, when they really got on it. When they really connected it all up they were brilliant and this, the last time the classic line-up took us down the oily way, down the here and now, the last time they gathered. It was for The Gong Family Unconvention at the Melkweg club in Amsterdam in November 2006, “a unique 3-day event in which all the surviving original members of this legendary psychedelic band came together and, after performing their own individual sets, performed once again as Gong”. Oily Way makes you glow in a way so few bands could, it has the feel of The Pond (if you know what we mean). A live album then, the last time that Gong played with the full “classic” line-up (minus just Pierre Moerlen on drums, who died the year before), brilliantly captured and just ;et loose (or issued or maybe re-issued) again – Gong “Live At The Gong Family Unconventional Gathering” 15th Anniversary DVD Reissue and First Time Release on DBL CD. Sure, some of it, when you’re not in the right frame of mind, might sound like hippy nonsense, when you are tuned i then this is classic floating anarchy, proper punk rock and you surely have to be hard-hearted to not smile with Gilli Smyth. There’s some excellent progressive jazz here, some freaked-out beauty, something that flew high above any fashion or scene. A proper Gong gig was a joyous thing, a riot of musical colour, joyful is the word and of course the entry price of the CD is worth it just for the always very fine (and particularly excellent here) Master Builder.

Gong were a free spirit, they were floating anarchy in the truest sense, the already converted will want to know little more than is this a good live album or a dubious cash-in recording? This is a good one, this is joyfully recommended, has it really never been released other than in DVD form before? This is anexcellent live album, well recorded, well mixed, well played. There they are in all their glory. There’s some beautifully sublime playing, if you’re already follower your going to be more that happy with it, that version of Master Builder really is excellent, pretty much all of it is, it feels like a proper celebration, a fitting record of a special band. And yes I know, although most of the original members, including leader Daevid Allen, have now left us, there is a still a version of Gong flying around (with the approval and the blessing of the Gong family) , I must admit I haven’t paid that much attention beyond the the passing of Daevid Allen. Those 70’s Gong albums are treasured, as are the gigs stored in memory banks, this is a damn fine and rather recommended live album. (sw)   


The line-up for this unique and special performance:

Daevid Allen – Guitar, Voice
Gilli Smyth – Voice, Space Whisper
Steve Hillage – Guitar
Didier Malherbe – Flute, Soprano Sax, Duduk
Theo Travis – Tenor Sax
Tim Blake – Synthesiser, Voice
Miquette Giraudy – Synthesiser
Mike Howlett – Bass
Chris Taylor – Drums

1. You Can’t Kill Me (from the album ‘Camembert Electrique’)
2. Radio Gnome Invisible (from the album ‘Flying Teapot’)
3. Tomorrow Afternoon (I Am Your Fantasy) (from ‘Camembert Electrique’)
4. Dynamite / I Am Your Animal (from ‘Camembert Electrique’)
5. Flute Salad (from the album ‘Angel’s Egg’)
6. Oily Way (from ‘Angel’s Egg’)  
7. Outer Temple (from ‘Angel’s Egg’)
8. Inner Temple (from ‘Angel’s Egg’)
9. Zero The Hero and the Witch’s Spell (from ‘Flying Teapot’)
10. I Am Your Pussy (from ‘Flying Teapot’)
11. Tropical Fish (from ‘Camembert Electrique’)
12. Selene (from ‘Camembert Electrique’)
13. I Never Glid Before (from ‘Angel’s Egg’)
14. Prostitute Poem (from ‘Angel’s Egg’)
15. Magdalene (from the album ‘Zero To Infinity’)
16. A Sprinkling of Clouds (from the album ‘You’)
17. She Is the Great Goddess (Magick Mother Invocation) (from ‘You’)
18. Master Builder (from ‘You’)
18. The Isle of Everywhere (from ‘You’)
18. You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever (from ‘You’)

Release date on Fri Nov 5th – the 15th Anniversary of the Gong performance.

Released by G-Wave Records through UK distributors SRD. Digital release via Ingrooves (North and South America) and Orchard (UK & rest of world).


To pre-order:

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