After a lengthy absence from London venues, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see The Go! Team absolutely explode onto the stage at Heaven on Tuesday night. Launching straight into the assertive T.O.R.N.A.D.O, a new drum-and-horn-heavy track, the genre defying pop-funk-rock-hip-hop six piece seemed hell bent on shaking a few bricks loose from the venue's arches.
The opening set the tone for most of the hour and a quarter set, during which the band combined guitars, drums, an amazing array of samples, keyboards and – at one point – a harmonica solo to electric effect.
Clad in a bright pink crop top, bonkers front woman Ninja was an appropriate focal point for the substantial sound. Her antics certainly elicited more jumping and dancing from the crowd than you'd usually expect on a Tuesday night.
And played live, the dominant characteristic of each track seemed even more exaggerated than Ninja's dancing. Songs that seem ‘a bit bassy’ on record transformed into deep, throaty rumbles of overwhelming power. Airier, bouncier numbers like Bottle Rocket seemed to float free over the audience, working their way in to every corner of the venue. And the undulating sirens, monochromatic strobes and chaotic, messy bass of Flashlight Fight suggested the apocalypse was just round the corner.
In presence of such an overwhelming sound, vocals took a clear second place. Even Ninja’s forceful personality couldn’t make the lyrics understandable – and maybe that’s kind of the point, because you get the feeling they’re not particularly profound anyway.
With a ton of raw energy on the stage, this gig was all about carnival fun and catchy songs. Yet with their clever blend of instruments and samples, there's more to The Go! Team than first apparent. Expect to see more of them this summer.