Gong - Rejoice! I’m Dead! album review

First album by psychedelic vets since death of Daevid Allen

Gong Rejoice! I’m Dead! album cover

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Co-founder of Gong Daevid Allen passed away in 2015, and many probably thought that with him went the sprite-ly spirit of the international yet somehow profoundly English Gong.

Guitarist/singer and recent addition to the group Kavus Torabi, however, had other ideas. He and Gong carried on with Allen’s blessing from his sick bed, and this album is a collective effort involving Torabi, Fabio Golfetti, Dave Sturt, Ian East and Cheb Nettles.

This is a fine album which continues to plough the Gong furrow with seasoned aplomb; Rejoice!, with its clipped, sanguine phrases and spacey interludes, could have been recorded one sunny day in 1970. Kapital, Model Village and the Floyd-esque Visions revive an idealism long thought extinct, while Allen himself seems to feature, ghost-like, on the snatch of rehearsal tape around which Beatrix is built. Overall the album is a fitting salute to a fallen hero.

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.