Ah, the sweet fresh air of a gig. Good for the heart. Good for the soul. Good for the lungs. Even here at this post-industrial quasi-Stasi bunker in which you half expect to stumble across some KGB Colonel interrogating a chair-bound enemy of the state across the face with a leather glove, you’ve got to love the smoke free atmosphere.
Actually, fuck that. We want a cigarette. And after support act The Sticks baffled and bored in unequal measures, the lure of nicotine was too much to bear. Almost. But frankly, wondering how the very, very multi-legged Go! Team were going to fit on that very, very tiny stage was always going to be worthy of a long wait.
So they came, they squashed on and they played their songs which all sort of sound like the theme tune to some long lost ’80s children’s TV show. One where a browbeaten geeky teenager makes friends with a magic dog, and he gets the girl, loses the spots and makes all his dreams come true. They even got the crowd dancing.
Took a while, mind you. After the first couple of tracks it seemed like it wouldn’t be the issues around trying to fit two drum kits, a bassist, a harmonica, some keyboards, a guitarist and a hyperactive frontwoman into a space which would be cosy for two turntables and a microphone that would kill them, it would be the fact that the sound just couldn’t cope with all this action, taking The Go! Team’s multicoloured samba and squashing it into a grey, buzzing splat.
But around Huddle Formation, it burst into rainbowed life. Suddenly, where before there was noise, now there was Ninja’s schoolyard chants skipping over effervescent synths and playing chicken with incessantly funky basslines. Crash that into the old-skool aceness of new single Grip Like A Vice and you could remember how hard it is to keep from smiling when The Go! Team hit stride, or how impossible it is to keep your hands from the sky during Ladyflash.
If you’re looking for a band to put the fun into functional Cold War architecture, The Go! Team remain a pretty safe bet. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that, watching, it feels a bit like mainlining cola bottles. Or speedballing sherbet. Or kitty flipping candyfloss and Lucozade with pure honey chasers: a tremendous, giddy rush, but one which leave you feeling slightly unfulfilled soon after.
Although, as hollow self-destructive vices go, at least you can still do it in an enclosed space. And it won’t even restrict the blood flow to anything.