The first time I heard this Brighton based six piece was one of those joyously unexpected moments in life that happen roughly once every fifteen light years. I was driving along, minding my own business, when all of a sudden an excitable adolescent yelp leapt from the speakers: “FIVE! SIX! FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT!”
And for the next three minutes and eleven seconds it was like being sprayed squarely in the face with a vigorously shaken bottle of pink champagne. On a white knuckle roller-coaster in Disneyland. This was “Huddle Formation”, a record in such a giddy hurry it’s intro speed-skated straight past the traditional “One Two Three Four”, almost breaking its neck in its rush to get going. Like being jabbed directly in the heart with a syringe full of pure adrenaline, “Huddle Formation” remains one of the most thrillingly exuberant tunes to hit these jaded ears since I wet my five year old pants with excitement when The Banana Splits Theme tune first burst out of my Saturday morning TV screen.
... it remains one of the most thrillingly exuberant tunes to hit these jaded ears since I wet my five year old pants with excitement when The Banana Splits Theme tune first burst out of my Saturday morning TV screen.
The very next day I bought the album “Thunder Lightning Strike” and fell completely head over heels in love. Not, I hasten to add, the deep mature love you reserve for grown up stuff like relationships and marriages. No, this was LOVE, as in L-U-V, as in fizzy Love Hearts that turn your mouth all different colours, as in red-faced glances from the back of the classroom, as in RUSS LOVES GO! TEAM TRUE LOVE 4 EVA scrawled round the back of the bike sheds. The type of love that makes three minutes last as long as six weeks summer holidays. Ridiculous as it sounds, I had a crush on a pop group. I even considered asking my mate to write them a fan letter asking if they’d go out with me.
“Thunder Lightning Strike” was a sonic cats cradle of a record, every track crammed full of a million hooks, angles, riffs and refrains, each repeated play revealing previously unheard gems that lodged in the brain and twinkled like space dust on the tongue. Songs like “Ladyflash” sounded like the last fifteen good ideas anyone had ever had all rolled into one. The more churlish may argue that this was probably because they indeed were cut 'n’ pasted together from the samples of about fifteen other good songs that somebody else had already written. But it was all done with such a wreckless joy and giddy invention that you could hardly notice the joins. Old skool hip-hop collided with fizzy nu-pop, white noise guitars screeched over brassy northern soul. Tracks like “We Just Won’t Be Defeated” and “Bottle Rocket” made the listener feel ten feet tall and utterly invincible. The sweeping cinematic “Everyone’s A VIP To Someone”, was as gorgeously inclusive and open-hearted as it’s title. The follow up, “Proof Of Youth” was even better, with a guest appearances from Chuck D thrown in for jolly good measure.
In January, The Go! Team have a new long-playing record out, “Rolling Blackouts”. I advise you to save up all your pocket money and run to the record shop without delay.
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