Brighton’s very own The Go! Team didn’t just bring the party to their adoring fans at their upgraded Concorde 2 show, they somehow managed to turn an evening of enough chaos and eccentricities to derail many other gigs into a crazy success. In a venue that was packed to the rafters even for the early supports, the crowd had turned up for just one thing: to have a good time. Indeed that is what they got on a night where convention, rules and pretty much everything else went out of the window.
There’s something uplifting about hearing the news The Go! Team are back in action. In a musical age where yes, there’s a lot of fantastic and innovative music to get your teeth into, not a great deal of it is much fun. Not fun in the upbeat, cultural mash-up style of this Brighton band. A band who, in the words of founder and musical director Ian Parton, was built upon his desire to mix up all his favourites, without having much of an idea as to where it may end up. Noisy Sonic Youth guitars, double Dutch chants, Charlie Brown piano and car chase horn music were some of those unlikely building blocks. Oh, and female vocals. He’s never had anything else except for one appearance by Chuck D. In his words: “Just purely personal taste really, everything from loving Phil Spector, Roxanne Shante, Riot Grrrl… there’s something about the curviness of the melodies, I can’t even put my finger on it. Yeah… love the cute versus nasty dynamic.”
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.
Opening with the sound of a ring pull on a can of fizz, The Go! Team aim to paint a picture of those hazy, thirst-quenching, summer days. And, like their previous three albums, they’ve succeeded. Parton follows up the ring pull fizz with the classic introductory drumsticks beating together to get the band in gear, before we are greeted with the agreeable adrenaline rush of My Bloody Valentine style dirty grooves and the exuberance of early Beach Boys on lead track What D’You Say?
Following the releases of Rolling Blackouts in 2011, Ian Parton, founder and the main creative force behind The Go! Team, speculated that it may be the last album. Of course, in the heat of the moment things often get said that aren’t quite meant, and lo and behold, The Go! Team are back with a new album, The Scene Between, and it seems a new impetus, as Parton sets about organising their first lives shows for a couple of years.
It’s the fourth album for this one-of-a-kind band, an idea that germinated itself within the mind of Parton, culminating in the release of the debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, back in 2004, an album that was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, thrusting Ian and co. into the limelight… “Yeah, it was super lo-fi,” says Ian, who has been based in Brighton for 20 years. “It was literally recorded in my Mum and Dad’s kitchen, three mics on the drum kit, just thrown together. Quite painstaking, but quite spontaneous sounding, and deliberately really lo-fi. The ambitions weren’t grand at all. It definitely steamrollered, everything that came from it, supporting the Flaming Lips, Kevin Shields (of My Bloody Valentine) remixing it, Chuck D on a song, all these things I couldn’t have dreamed of. Travelling the world; China, Brazil, Australia, blah, blah.”