GONG — Planet Gong: Live Floating Anarchy 1977 (review)

GONG — Planet Gong: Live Floating Anarchy 1977 album cover Live album · 1978 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Sean Trane
I was never sure where this album ever stood in the Gong history, but I always perceived it as the first step of Daevid Allen to reclaim his Planet Gong property, since this album was released in 77 within weeks or months of the Live Etc (but recorded in 73) and the album Expresso II would be the last one named that way before Moerlen's gang would use Pierre Moerlen's Gong. So most likely, Daevid achieved his goal and probably partly due to this album. Outside his beloved Gilly, there is no-one else from the Gong history, and this album is the link between Here And Now and the Planet. But if the album does not really touch Gong mythology, it sure as hell relates, refers, cites, quotes and breathes, eat & sleeps to it as much as it can. As the title indicates, the album is live and recorded on one night and the artwork suggest stealing the album instead of paying more than their announced price. Truth must be told that Daevid was robbed many times of his rights by unscrupulous labels and managers.

There is a big difference, though between this album and the GonG galaxy. Here, this album could almost be classified as punk, if it was not for the sheer virtuoso qualities of Sharpstring and Keith Da Missile and Co. Indeed, the group is over exuberant and their energy not always "englishly contained" and the punk sometimes seeps through the pores of the songs. But unmistakably Gilly's intros bring us back to the RGI, even plunging a bit into You for a minute or two. To this Gonghead, the flipside is certainly more interesting with two full-blown psyched-out but tight jams. Drummer Kifkif (so-so in French) and Keith (bassist) indeed make an incredible bed so the rest of the group can sail on view and float at will. The almost binary rhythms can indeed bring you to Hawkwind's better moments as well.

But obviously the "Anarchy" deal is not to let ugly Pistols pull the blanket to them, and Daevid and the GanG (I just had to do that one ;o)) pull it ridiculously easily to their advantage. Sure, this album is a bit of "bastard son" of the GonG oeuvre, but it has no problem making recognized its parenthood either
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