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Music

Gang of Four forced to cancel Toronto show after tour bus catches fire

Post-punk legends Gang of Four were forced to cancel their show in Toronto, Canada last Friday after their tour bus suddenly caught fire. The band are currently in the middle of a lengthy North American tour, and for Toronto fans of the band, this was the news they didn’t expect to hear. 

The dynamic quartet were scheduled to play at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern but took to social media to break the unfortunate news that their bus had caught fire. As part of the post, Gang of Four posted pictures of the firefighters extinguishing the fire. No further details are known about the incident, but from the image, it didn’t look overly serious.  

Luckily for Gang of Four and fans, they resumed their tour on Saturday night (March 6th) at the Crystal Ballroom in Somerville, Massachusetts. 

The current tour is the first since the death of guitarist and founding member Andy Gill in February 2020. Taking to the road after such a tragedy, Gang of Four now have a fresh lineup.

Founding members Jon King and Hugo Burnham are there, but for this run, bassist Dave Allen has opted out for undisclosed personal reasons. In a statement made last year as the tour was announced, the band were keen to stress that Allen “remains an essential and vital part of the band”. 

Replacing Allen is the former Gang of Four member Sara Lee. The new configuration has also seen former Slint member David Pajo join the band on guitar. At the time the tour was announced, Pajo confirmed the news with “tremendous excitement, humility [and] gratitude” that he was invited to play with his “lifelong heroes” Gang of Four. 

The current tour is concentrating on material from the early days of Gang of Four, paying much attention to the songs released between 1977 and 1981, those that feature on the 77-81 boxset. This includes tracks from classic albums such as Entertainment! and Solid Gold. For longtime fans of the band, the tour will be a brilliant chance to catch the band playing their most influential material, augmented by such a stellar lineup.

We hope their tour continues in the smoothest of ways.