Goat/Teeth of The Sea

Electric Ballroom, London - 27 June 2013

"A balaclava-wearing, bare-bellied, tom-tom player sat front of stage for the entire set"

[Goat live photo][Goat live photo]
Goat were originally booked for the Scala, but due to the almost universal critical acclaim for their debut album World Music the venue was upscaled to the Electric Ballroom, which then sold out too.

If you are unfamiliar, they sound like they dropped through a hole in the sky from the height of Sixties psychedelia warped through Seventies Prog. Even the production sounds from another era.

Expecting a crowd, the venue was remarkably empty at the beginning of Teeth Of The Sea's set. A shame for those who missed it, as the scattering of people in attendance were treated to a highly accomplished set of full on progressive space rock. Long, building, rhythmic tracks given time for their tendrils to explore the room with budding synth and effects, before flowering into bursts of intricate guitar.

They were a wonderfully unexpected treat to be repeated at the earliest opportunity.

Anticipation grew and the room filled out for Goat's entrance. Various masked and berobed band members filed onstage taking their appointed spots for the rituals to commence. As with the attention to detail on their album, the lighting, costumes and stage all invoked a sense of something not of 2013. The predominant golds and reds combined with a little dry ice and stark white lights pointed at the audience, gave a shimmer and haze to the performance, but also creating many shadows to reflect the darker tinges to the music. As soon as the tribalistic rhythms started the vocal duo darted around the whole stage whilst the rest of the band remained static. This continued for the whole performance, underworld nymphs in Eastern masks and other ethnic clothing intent on getting the party started.

Complementing the standard drum kit, a balaclava-wearing, bare-bellied, tom-tom player sat prominently front of stage for the entirety of the set. Providing the dominant underpinning sound. His sparse costume with what appeared to be bones woven into it and the intimidating headwear also complimented the darker aspects of the music.

DiarabiGolden Dawn and Disco Fever all flew by in a heady fuzz, stomp and flail, the ritualistic rhythms and wah wah glide perforated by often quite harsh vocal stabs, pushing the urgency of the rhythmns still further. Rather than reaching crescendos, most of the tracks keep a constant pounding flow interrupted briefly between tracks, the peak only really coming at the end of the whole set. Which, after most of the album being played came with Det Som Aldrig Förändras/Diarabi.

No respite, as the encore closely followed with the pacey The Sun The Moon, invoking one of the singers to run on the spot for most of the track. Then it was truly over. Audience left sweating and wanting more. 8/10