Exploding onto the stage with the blistering ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O’, it’s clear straight from kick-off that The Go! Team are ready to make The Academy audience dance. The entire band display an unwavering energy throughout tonight’s set, giddily jumping around stage but all the while maintaining a very tight standard of musical performance. The manner in which the Brighton sextet swap around instruments between each song never ceases to impress – two drum kits, a multitude of guitars, keyboards, synths, xylophones, tambourines, a whole range of melodicas and even a typewriter at one point. It’s all in an evening’s work for The Go! Team.
Lead vocalist Ninja is the kind of performer who makes you want to be in a band – on stage, she always looks like she’s having the most fun imaginable. Her vocals are consistently strong; she hardly misses a beat, all whilst bouncing around with her trademark form of aerobic dancing. The only let-up is recent single ‘Buy Nothing Day’, which features Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on lead vocals on the studio version. It just doesn’t work as well with Ninja taking the lead and as a result the standout track of the album becomes the weak point of the live set. But, for the most part, the new material really comes to life in the live setting, which is lucky for those in attendance, considering that over half of tonight’s setlist consists of songs taken from Rolling Blackouts. To listen to, the album may not have offered anything startlingly new or daring from The Go! Team but, when performed live, it’s given a totally new lease of life.
Obviously the likes of the guest vocalists and African Gospel Choirs have had to be scaled-back for the live show but ‘Voice Yr Choice’ and ‘Back Like 8 Track’ are major highlights, and the banjo-laden instrumental ‘Yosemite Theme’ is a real treat. There’s plenty on offer to please the old guard of The Go! Team faithful, too – ‘Huddle Formation’, ‘Bottle Rocket’, and ‘Ladyflash’ take on the role of crowd-pleasers quite brilliantly. By the encore, there is hardly a person in sight who isn’t throwing shapes along with Ninja & Co. The Go! Team brought their infectious energy to The Academy – and left in their wake a very sweaty crowd.
Photos by Damien McGlynn
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