25th Birthday Party London, The Forum

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On October 8 and 9, 1994, Gong celebrated its 25th anniversary with a massive festival at The Forum in London. In addition to Gong, sets were played over the two days by Kevin Ayers, Tim Blake, "Shapeshifter" Gong, Here & Now, Fluvius, Shortwave, Planet Gong, Kangaroo Moon, and the Invisible Opera Company of Tibet. This classic Gong lineup, which hadn't played together since 1977, consisted of Daevid, Gilli, Didier, Tim Blake, Mike Howlett, Pip Pyle, Steffi Sharpstrings, and Shyamal Maitra; no particular era of Gong is most represented here, but rather a mix of personalities from throughout the band's history. Judging by this two-CD set commemorating the event, it was an amazingly energetic two days, as the Gong repertoire was infused with new life, sounding fresh and current, with new variations and tunes inserted throughout. As a psychedelic and alternative rock institution, Gong proves here that it still has the vitality and ability to entertain a new generation of fans.

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