Gig review: The Go! Team at The Wardrobe, Leeds
The Go! Team have been championing positivity and big, brassy pop songs ever since their 2004 debut Thunder, Lightening, Strike.
They’re qualities that are much needed in today’s political climate and throughout much of this 18-song set the Brighton outfit are the perfect tonic.
The opening blast of ‘Flashlight Fight’, on which frontwoman Ninja lets rip with some old school rapping, and recent single ‘Mayday’, with its insistent Morse code beeps and retro soul, are pure shots of adrenaline. Ninja hops and jabs her way through the tracks like a featherweight boxer, while the live trombone and trumpet add vim to the already crowded stage.
At their strongest when hybridising the past with hip-hop beats, ‘Everyone’s A V.I.P. To Someone’ could be the soundtrack to a futuristic country and western film. Fusing banjo and harmonica - which band architect Ian Parton plays before running over to the drum kit - the instrumental wouldn’t be misplaced on Lemon Jelly’s Lost Horizons.
There are nonetheless dips in their party atmosphere.
This is particularly obvious on ‘The Answer’s No - Now What’s the Question?’ and ‘Chain Link Fence’, taken from current album Semicircle. Sung by guitarist Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak, both are pleasant enough revisions to Saint Etienne’s 60s girl group goes dance template. But while Ninja has got the swagger to give the songs an edge, her co-vocalist brings only a rather stale sweetness.
They close with the blistering chants and brass of ‘The Power Is On’, proving that this mustiness is a crack rather than fatal break in the band’s circle.