To me, The Go! Team has always been first and foremost a live band, creating music with the primary function of getting a crowd of people moving. But whilst new album The Scene Between is still undeniably The Go! Team, it seems to be operating at a slightly lower voltage than past efforts, moving towards the psychedelic indie-rock of bands like the The Flaming Lips. It’s a shift in style represented before the show even properly gets underway by a triptych of projections that looks either like cells viewed under a microscope or a multi coloured lava-lamp. It’s all very far-out and sixties, casting the band in a light of trippy purples and yellows once they arrive on stage.
Immediately it’s obvious the group hasn’t lost an ounce of energy or the unadulterated fun that makes their shows so enjoyable. The band are constantly swapping and introducing eccentric instruments to songs, which means it often feels a bit like watching an Arcade Fire gig if Arcade Fire wrote party songs indebted to crate-digging 90’s Hip-Hop. Melodicas are pulled out at various points and ‘Get it Together’ features not one, but two recorders being played. The almost toy-like quality to these instruments creates a naïve and carefree atmosphere to the show; the group is messing around and, more importantly, enjoying it.
Lead singer Ninja is without doubt the life and soul of the party, hyping up the crowd and giving herself such a serious workout during the show that whenever she isn’t singing she leaves the stage presumably to catch her breath. In her absence guitarist Angela Mac takes over vocals for a lot of the newer tracks, her voice more suited to the ethereal melodies on The Scene Between. Whilst she handles the role well, gleefully jumping around like a kid in a bouncy castle, Ninja’s charisma and exuberant energy is sorely missed when she is off stage and its no coincidence that the best sounding track from the new album, set closer ‘The Art of Getting By’ has Ninja on stage.
But ultimately it’s the older songs that do the most damage. The 70’s cop show funk of set opener ‘The Power is On’ and ‘Grip Like a Vice’, only give more heft by the band largely choosing to play the sampled parts of the tracks live, offering up plenty of opportunities for some wigging out on the guitars.
You would have to have a pretty bleak outlook not to be enamoured by this lot. The fact that some of their biggest hits such as ‘Ladyflash’ and ‘Doing It Right’ are absent and no one seems to really care, or probably even notice, goes to show just how enraptured they have everyone and what an absurdly feel good show it is.