Playing the last date of their 28-date European tour, Gong arrived in London for a two-hour show promoting the release of their new live album release ‘Pulsing Signals’. The band lineup is formed of co-founding member Daevid Allen’s reincarnation of the band with 2009’s Dave Sturt (bass), 2012’s Ian East (saxophone) and Fabio Golfetti (guitar) and 2014’s Kavus Torabi (vocals, guitar) and Cheb Nettles (drums).

Gong began their show on 2019’s ‘The Universe Also Collapses’ with Forever Occurring’, spinning a tapestry of jazz with ebbing and flowing guitar and cymbal crashes. They then performed ‘Kaptial’ from their 2016 album ‘Rejoice I’m Dead!’ – a dark noise rock track that contained Golfetti’s distorted slide guitar effects played with a metal rod.

They moved to more stripped down, funky bass and drum driven tracks, playing ‘My Sawtooth Wake’ with its altering states of soothing consciousness and chaotic jumbles.

The band went off for an encore, leaving an audio-visual intermission continuing in their absence to maintain the built energy in the room: the “temple of sound” and “self-transforming liquid architecture” that Torabi said they and the audience had created together. They then returned onstage and performed sonic hymn ‘Rejoice!’.

Gong ended their set on the continuous rocky riff mantra of ‘Master Builder’ from the ‘You’ album from their best works, the ‘Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy’, ending the show on ‘Tropical Fish/Selene’, from their second studio album ‘Camembert Électrique’. Although not earlier members of the band, the current lineup were able to whip up a psychedelic, trippy spiritual high through their playing (not even produced by many established bands) that matches the expectations of the music they’ve inherited that it seems appropriate that, and with Daevid Allen’s blessing, they continue under the Gong name.

28/03/22: Gong @ The Garage, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.