The Go! Team
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If we can get the obvious thing out of the way first…
The Go! Team's second record, Proof Of Youth has been slammed a little bit for being too close a musical neighbour to its predecessor, Thunder Lightning Strike. It's an interesting accusation, because there are quite a few factors that unite the two records, but anyone who sees that as a negative (in this case, anyway) is a prick. Proof Of Youth is really good. End of.
Live, The Go! Team remain an intensely joyful experience. Thankfully refusing to compromise now that they're 'big' and all, the emphasis remains on obese songs that bounce off the walls. Basslines roll around like pigs, drums clatter about like Mo-Town went to hell and back with the spirit of James Brown burning The Go! Team's own Famous Flames, and every person in the room is a goof. New songs and old songs don't sound any different from each other, but they are bound by a universal code of fucking fun conduct that is, on its day (every day), irresistible.
It's interesting to note the clientele. Several bashful indies are dancing like they know how to shake their booties (as Ninja instructs them), and several Oasis-louts are wailing like they know how to sing (like Ninja instructs them). Between those oft-opposed camps comes a raft of older types who got into the music without realising quite how much energy is required to survive a Go! Team experience. The point is that this group can, through virtue of their energy and seemingly unstoppable 'good vibes', unite disparate people in the international language of getting drunk and dancing. The foot-of-the-bed philosopher in all of us can clearly see the immense appeal of this factor, surely.
Highlights are, undeniably, the climactic 'Ladyflash', and an encore that features the cartoonish antics of Ninja more than any other offering this evening. "DO IT!" she shrieks. We reply in kind. "ALRIGHT!" she shrieks again. Again, we’re only too happy to join in. "Now you know the chorus." She's done us. Now we, the audience, have no choice but to make her song sound as full as possible. Such simple and effective stagecraft coupled with staggeringly demented dancing (on and off stage) is the only ingredient we really need; the genius of the songs comes as a pleasant bonus. One feels that Ninja could front the LSO and still make people jig.
To those among you who think that this sort of evening is the preserve of those characterised by their own knowledge of their inability to dance and the resulting indulgence in trying (in itself an exercise in gaining cool points), you don't know what you're dealing with. To those among you who think that this sort of act is the preserve of the hipper-than majority rule of trans-Atlantic indie kudos, you also have very little idea of what you're witnessing this evening. The Go! Team are stars, and people are just beginning to realise it.
Photo: Simon Fernandez
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