On a surprisingly hot May day, The Go! Team offered sweltering entertainment alongside The Sticks and Kid Carpet — a gig that ended with raptuous demand for an encore that the Team themselves were overwhelmed by.
First up though, The Stick’s, whom The Go! Team brought down the road with them from Brighton. The band are essentially an old primitive style fifties garage band with a two-piece line-up, both members alternating between guitar and drums — which are just a floor-tom, snare and cymbal played with sticks whilst standing up. The music had elements of garage-punk, fifties rock, surf and slide and there was some good songs, not sounding as empty as they easily could in this setup. Both members sang at points, mostly in a higher pitched almost whiny way though which sounded fitting to their sources and also a bit Celebration or Yeah Yeah Yeahs but slightly detracted from the strength of the music, though often both sang oohs, aahs and yeah!s which made it come together nicely. The band’s announcement that it was their biggest show sounded ironic as the crowd was lacking in number early on but more turned up throughout and the set went down well.
Kid Carpet, a purveyor of toy music, had brought his casio keyboards, a guitar-drum combo and the sounds of a Furby to entertain us. He started with an instrumental that laid down heavy bass with seemingly random noises from one of his keybords and I was hoping he would continue to bring a danceable beat to the tinkerings of the playthings. Sadly he went on to overlay his music with ironic songs about signing on and other assorted things that didn’t really do anything for me. It was rather like watching a screaming teenager venting his anger after being told he could not watch Neighbours anymore. Still, he did give his voice a rest long enough to play a vibrant remix of Van Halen’s “Jump”, mashing up the beats and vocals to make a glitchy masterpiece. While the student crowd may have liked him maybe he should leave the vocal sheet at home next time and concentrate on the tunes themselves — it is much more fun watching Kid Carpet rock out on toy guitar than scream about his angst. On with the main act.
The irresistably energetic front-girl Ninja acts as the perfect mistress of ceremonies.
The Go! Team headlined the New Bands Tent at Glastonbury last year and have been making a few headlines for themselves on the back of their debut Thunder Lightning Strike. Tonight they showed while they are so highly regarded with a set that had favourites together with a couple of new tracks. One of these was a dreamy instrumental, however, when they unleash their full hectic side the gig becomes on a fun-filled flight of ass shaking. The irresistably energetic front-girl Ninja acts as the perfect mistress of ceremonies — jumping about the stage she got the crowd chanting and taking part in the more energetic tracks like “Bottle Rocket” — she is the life and soul of the live band.
It was a great showcase for the band’s varied style that got some people jumping in delirious fashion. Mimicking Ninja’s call backs earlier in the show, the crowd demanded an encore with a chant of “G-O-T-E-A-M”. Ninja duly continued when the band returned to stage, asking “Can we use that on the new album?”. I think the Southmapton fans will be the first at the shop door if they do. Finisher “Ladyflash” enabled an emphatic rock out for all in the room as arms once again raised to the roof. Go The Go! Team!
Perhaps the one complaint to have about the band is that though there are six of them on stage (playing guitars, drums, keybords and other instruments) there is no live brass section. Maybe this is asking a bit too much for a small tour, but it would make the impact of tracks such as “Junior Kickstart” so much more powerful if it wasn’t just a pre-recording. Perhaps one to consider for any festival appearances they make this year.