Venue: The Forum< Kentish Town, London
Date: 15th June 2008
Ticket Price: £19.50
Ever since I bought Flying Teapot from Virgin Records in Eldon Square, Newcastle many many (banana) moons ago, Gong are probably the band I have loved longest and best! I can’t remember if I got into Gong because of Steve Hillage or if I got into Steve Hillage because of Gong! Either way the chance to see Gong with Hillage was something I was very very very very excited about!
I’d seen Gong two or three times before with various line ups but over the previous couple of years there had been a number of high profile reunions and I hadn’t been able to go to any of them. The line up tonight was Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mike Howlett on bass, Theo Travis on sax , Chris Taylor drums, and of course for only the second time in the UK since 1975 – Steve Hillage & Miquette Giraudy!
I got there early before the doors opened which meant I was able to get right down the front. While I was waiting I spotted someone with a Grateful Dead t-shirt just behind me who I was sure was someone I knew from one of my online communities (it was) but I was too shy to say hi! This was probably the first big gig I’d been to since the smoking ban was introduced and it dawned on me that as well as cigarettes it meant that you couldn’t smoke dope at a gig anymore but I was amused by the lengths some of the people around me were going to to do so!
As I said it had been a while since I’d seen Gong and Daevid and Gilli looked really old (they were 70 and 75 respectively) – I said gilli looked like your Granny on acid! It was a shame that Bloomdido Bad De Grasse himself (Didiier Malherbe) wasn’t with the band but Theo Travis did a good job on the sax and flute.
It was probably only the second time I’d seen Hillage and Smyth since the last time I’d seen the Steve Hillage Band in 1979 – it was strange seeing him with short hair and he reminded me of someone I went to school with! It was definitely one of the highlights of the night when as an interlude Hillage played Light in the Sky from Motorvation Radio!
The set list was great – taken mostly from Camembert Electrique and the Radio Gnome Trilogy and I’ll never forget the sight of Daevid wearing a giant gnome suit for the latter half of the show!
Sadly this would be the last time I saw the band but was probably the best of all the times I did see them!
Castle in the Clouds
Fohat Digs Holes in Space
Sold to the Highest Buddha
You Can’t Kill Me
Zero The Hero & The Witch’s Spell
I Am Your Animal
I Am Your Fantasy
Wise Man In Your Heart
Light in the Sky
I Never Glid Before
She Made the World
The Isle of Everywhere
Get It Inner
You Never Blow Yr Trip Forever