Birmingham's HMV Institute on Monday 20th September has just been added to the list of UK Gong dates this year. A bit of a late surprise, but a very pleasant one. It's over 30 years since the band have played what used to be known as the Digbeth Civic Hall. So most pleasingly a heart of England gig joins the three other favourite locations in hosting the Gong/Space Ritual extravaganza. Just click on the image above to order tickets (yes I know Birmingham not listed there yet).
It's 10 years since Gong played Glasgow, a city justifiably renown for hosting some of the most vibrant gigs - must be the water. Manchester Gong gigs are always very hearty affairs, it's almost a second home. Last year's gig sold out 3 months in advance so to avoid any disappointment this year the Gong/Space Ritual event will be in the larger of the Academy venues. Finally the Forum, home of the Gong 25th party in '94 and many other memorable capital city Gong extravaganzas over the years. What the Bataclan in Paris has always been to Gong the Forum has clearly become in London.
This will be the UK's first chance to experience Ian East, newest recruit to the cause in the ever revolving Gong whirligig. He was amazing on the European tour last year and is a very humorously creative sax and flute player ideally suited to Gong's particular quirks. For any of you prone to fret - please don't, saxist extrordinaire, Theo Travis has not vanished, nor has Dr Howlett, they are just very busy chaps and are rightly surfing their own personal waves for now. Also on board this season is Dave Sturt on bass. He too slotted perfectly into last year's European (and a couple of the UK Festivals), and then took it further. Everything bubbles along in a way we all find most stimulating and pleasurable. We trust that you will find it likewise.
Gong's Italian dates in July have now been finalised. Joining the Rome gig on Thursday 8th is one in Asti, between Turin and Genoa, on the Monday 5th and Imola, near Bologna, on Tuesday 6th. All three are in stunning locations, a Park, a Piazza and the grounds of a Renaissance Castle.
And….we are possibly not quite finished with the Gong gig schedule for 2010. There is a chance that a futher European gig may appear in the September schedule.