Monday, 12 February 2018

The Go! Team - Leeds Wardrobe, February 10th

Credit: Annick Wolfers

One of the most welcome returns to the 2018 music scene must be cosmopolitan co-operative The Go! Team; their fifth long player, the kaleidoscopic and urbane ‘Semicircle’ providing a welcome ray of sunshine in these chilly times. With lead single ‘Mayday’ cartwheeling onto many radio playlists including 6music, the deserved praise has resulted in a slew of their current tour dates selling out fast, including tonight’s Wardrobe appearance by all accounts.


On arrival it’s standing room only, I’ve never seen the place so packed as Berliner siblings Laura and Andreya Lee together with their garage band Gurr prove a surprisingly worthy support and will no doubt be causing quite a stir at forthcoming summer festivals with fragile pop nuggets ‘Walnuts’ and ‘Moby Dick’ a safe bet to get under the skin of indie kids everywhere.

Excitement reaches fever pitch as Parton and his cohorts cram themselves onto the Wardrobe’s compact and bijou stage, including original members, guitarist Sam Dook and the ever-loquacious rapper Ninja; altogether five band members plus a two-piece brass section. Before you know it, the place is freaking out to the Motown percussion and sitar riff of ‘Mayday’, Ninja handing over a walkie talkie to an audience member, the song’s brass hook somewhat reminiscent of the Rocky theme.

Predictably the set draws heavily on the fine new album material, Maki assuming occasional lead vocal for the dreamy ‘The Answer’s No - Now What’s the Question’. We’re then treated to the swooping brass and handclap led ‘Hey’ followed by new album title track, the cheerleader anthem ‘Semicircle Song’, Ninja seeking out the star signs of a bunch of audience members.

Go! Team still seem more than happy to dive into their rich and diverse back catalogue including the anthemic ‘The Scene Between’. The audience are clearly at one with their heroes as everyone joins in singing back Ladyflash’s ‘Rock the Microphone’ chorus to a clearly delighted band, a feat repeated with the melody of ‘Everyone’s a VIP To Someone’, not forgetting the party animal call to arms ‘Grip Like A Vice’ going down a storm.

The main set concludes with ‘All the Way Live’ and its super infectious chorus followed by ‘Keys to the City’ before the septet return for the blaxploitation tinged ‘She’s Got Guns’; things finally drawn to an exhilarating close with ‘The Power is On’, the departing crowd still wanting more which is just the way it should be.

That was a real blast!

Words - Mike Price