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REVIEW: The Go! Team @ Leadmill

Words: Mark Perkins 

There are few certainties in this life. Death and taxes are two of them, but that’s all a bit too depressing, so I’m adding one more. Whatever else happens in your day, you are certain to have the time of your life at a Go! Team gig. There are only two possible feelings at the end of their shows: you’ve never seen them before, and you’re astonished at how good it was; or you have seen them before, and you knew to expect a fantastic night.

Having seen them several times before, they, unsurprisingly for me, blew the roof off the Leadmill tonight. It’s been a good few years since main man Ian Parton came up with the sound of the Go! Team by sampling and compiling music on a laptop in his parent’s kitchen. The infectious blend of hip-hop and dance grooves, combined with a wall of sonic rhythms, ended up as the surprise hit of the mid-noughties, to the point where he had to recruit a band and teach them the music so they could play live.

Seven albums later, they’ve built up a catalogue of tunes that could easily have had the Leadmill audience dancing until dawn. There was the statutory requirement of several tunes from their latest album, such as ‘Divebomb’ and ‘Gemini’, but the night really belonged to their tried and tested hits. They finished off the night with an early favourite, ‘TORNADO’, which is a song that sums up the Go! Team sound with its chanted chorus, electrifying horn arrangements and irresistible hooks. I love it when the band change things around onstage, and several times throughout the set, band members swapped instruments. Sometimes, Ian Parton put down his guitar and pounded out the beat on the second of the two drum kits on stage, or they’d line up three guitarists to belt out the rhythms.

Whatever the combination, we knew we were expected to have a party and dance. The fun they all clearly have on stage is so infectious that you can’t help but be drawn into the feel-good world of the Go! Team.

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