Live Reviews

GOAT w/ Japanese Television – Manchester Club Academy: Live Review

GOAT bring Oh Death to Manchester with Japanese Television in tow. Expect transcendental feelings.

Oh Death, by GOAT, (our review here) was one of our albums of the year in 2022. It was their first full length album in a few years and brought renewed fire and vigour. Their tour this time around sees them hitting up smaller venues, but Manchester is way sold out. Originally slated for Gorilla, the gig was moved rather last minute to Club Academy, in the basement of the Student Union in Manchester.

Opening up the show are Japanese Television; the self labelled number 1 space surf band in the UK. Their driving sound certainly rides the waves with plenty of blistering drumming and psychedelic guitars. Throw in a rolling organ and a good dose of bands like Wooden Shjips and White Manna and you’re getting near the mark. Their recently released remix EP features dance royalty in Gabe Guernsey and Justin Robertson (amongst others) which shows they have some serious admirers out there. The crowd in Manchester lapped up their support slot that warmed the venue superbly.

With the Club Academy now a sweat box and people still arriving, GOAT stride on stage in their famed outfits and masks, accompanied by the deep spoken word introduction of Remind Yourself. With instruments loaded, the band pile into Soon You Die; the first track from Oh Death. From the opening clunk of sound, the band showcase a crisp sound that could easily be lost or muddy in the compact surroundings of the venue. Vocalists join the band in flamboyant fashion and the song is extended with a blistering up-tempo jam. As far as show starters go, this is a fiery one, full of gusto.

At every opportunity henceforth, the extravagantly dressed vocal leaders of the Swedish collective goad the front rows of the packed crowd with tambourines and hypnotically mystic dance moves. The tempo is unrelenting as they blast through Goatfuzz. As the name implies, the riffs are fuzzed up and there is wah-wah for days from the two guitarists who share lead and rhythm duties.

Early doors (and throughout), the crowd revel in the energy being purported from the stage. Much of this energy comes from the intense rhythms generated by the drums. Fill My Mouth is started by a lone drum line before the vocalists set forth in offering the crowd the piped melody. The explosion of light that this song blossoms into is truly glorious. To close the song, all the band take up percussion and segue seamlessly into It’s Time For Fun. It certainly is.

Whilst supporting Oh Death, GOAT are also enjoying celebrating ten years (now eleven) of their debut record; World Music. A run of songs to close out the main set is definitely a crowd pleasing move. Disco Fever, Goatman and Golden Dawn all sound completely new and fresh. Run To Your Mama is the bands perennial hit and closes out the show in grand fashion.

For the retrospective look at the brilliant World Music, it is cuts from the bands new album that make a mark on this writer. Blow Your Horns is a spectacular song full of Eastern flavour and a heavy dose of NWOBHM in its twin guitar furore at the end (think Iron Maiden circa ’81). Under No Nation fizzes with unparalleled verve amongst its afro tinged, disco like groove. This is music for the sun.

GOAT are a rare beast on the live circuit. They possess a mystique and induce a clamour to see them. They are a band that always sell out venues and deliver blistering shows. It is probably a cliché to talk about this being a ritualistic, transcendental experience, but it really is. GOAT really hit the mark. On this night in Manchester, they delivered a great spectacle to the congregation. Long may GOAT rule.

The band have two more dates left in the UK; Brighton and London over this weekend.

GOAT: Bandcamp / Facebook

Japanese Television: Facebook

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