The Roundhouse, London on Fri 3rd Oct 2014

I remember the first time seeing Goat stumbling across them at Primavera a few years ago by total chance. They stole the entire weekend and are an act whose live shows are regarded as otherworldly. They are probably one of a select few bands in the modern day that have been able to release a live album on the back of one LP.

Part of the vibe around their live sets is down to their mystique that is intrinsically intertwined with their music itself. I'm not usually one who enjoys a band that works of the back of their shtick (the uniformed indie at the turn of the century whereby bands in matching outfits looking sullen was a thing) but Goat do it differently. There is proper depth to the narrative they are trying to create, its magnificent and unsettling and you have no problems suspending belief for it. Think of Twin Peaks meets True Detective with Treme running a mardi gras parade through it and you'll get the kind of shtick I'm talking about.

They are dressed in full cult regalia, a balaclava playing percussionist, a burka clad guitarist, creepily animal inspired headdresses on the co-front women all adds to the vibe. They kick things off with manic dancing and a sonic jam layered in reverb before moving onto their first proper breakthrough track.

'Let It Bleed' a standard indie strum is accentuated by intense percussion and world music little lifts that meld together perfectly to create some of the most danceable guitar based music you are ever likely to hear. It becomes slower and more regressed than on record, but this is all playing into the live setting and is delivered masterfully.

Although their music is frenetic they show they are equally adept at slower more cumbersome numbers. 'Goatlord' is about the creepiest piece of music you are likely to hear, discordant guitars and ominous lyrics collide in a beautiful bout of darkness.

At the half way point there is time for the two front woman to go for a costume change before coming back on too delivering a blistering version of 'Goatman' with warped fuzzy psyched out guitar laced with a percussive backdrop sounding like what you'd expect a Wicker Man type ritual would sound like in 2014.

'Run To Your Mama' you can't tell if its some kind of female empowerment led song or an actual threat. The drums on this are militant, relentless and give off an entrancing vibe.

There is real musical virtuosity from the guys behind the masks as it's a hard skill to jam out for long periods and know exactly the right time to reign it in which they do perfectly throughout the gig. To give you an idea they are a band with two relatively short albums and the gig goes for 90 minutes and to be able to nail those 90 minutes and still leave the crowd wanting more is a feat that can only be achieved by incredibly nuanced professionals. This is my third time seeing Goat, they've nailed it on each occasion, this may be the best and I'm now dedicating my life to the church of Goat and all it entails.

article by: Paul Mullin

published: 06/10/2014 08:42


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