Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Bassist and producer Dave Allen has been an influential part of the rock scene since the '80s. Although calling his label World Domination might be overstating the case, he certainly developed a solid fan base through his playing with the popular Gang of Four, and went on to be an important part of the somewhat more groovy Shriekback. The former band got together in 1977 when Allen and fellow bandmates Jon King, Andy Gill, and Hugo Burnham were still students at Leeds University. Over the next six years, Gang of Four would create some of the favorite music of the post-punk generation, and Allen was in on a good deal of it, leaving in 1982 for Shriekback, a band with more of a beat and less of a political mission.
Barry Andrews, a vocalist and keyboardist who had previously been with XTC, and guitarist Carl Marsh were among the bassist's collaborators in this new band. Shriekback had a chart single with "Hand on My Heart" in the gloomy political climate of 1984. Keyboardist Steve Halliwell became part of Shriekback's expanded touring band, and continued creating music with Allen on projects such as the Sky Cries Mary. In the '90s, Allen set up his World Domination imprint and can certainly be said to be a hands-on-the-frets producer, almost always featuring himself on some bass parts on recordings such as Third State by Pinpoint. The Elastic Purejoy projects -- so far, two albums including the intricate Clutter of Pop -- are Allen's most personal recordings to date.