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Live / stage review

"Joyous kaleidoscopic soundscapes": The Go! Team at the Leadmill

What's the Leadmill like when no bad vibes are allowed? Tom Roper went to see The Go! Team to find out. 

17 March 2023 at
A stage is lit up with colourful lights, a band sing and an audience is in shadows

The Go! Team at the Leadmill

Tom Roper

The party never stops with The Go! Team. They’ve been making the world a funner, funkier place since their emergence from the blog scene almost two decades ago. On tour off the back of releasing two new albums, ‘Get Up Sequences’ (parts one and two), their energy and enthusiasm for an all-out good time is as unwavering as when they first started.

It takes a while for the group's sound to settle into the space of the Leadmill. What should be a triumphant, celebratory opening to the show in the form of ‘Let the Seasons Work’, is instead a slightly muffled start to the evening. With dual vocals, guitars, bass, brass, samples, percussion and two drum kits to contend with, perhaps it’s no surprise that a bit of fine tuning needs to happen before things level out.

Whatever small issues there are with the sound, it’s clear from the off that bad vibes are simply not acceptable at a Go! Team concert. Incorporating everything from shoegaze, indie and hip-hop to 70s TV themes, nursery rhymes and schoolyard chants, the group's kaleidoscopic soundscapes are joyous.

‘Semicircle Song’ is a perfect example of their infectious positivity. Full of handclaps, funky marching band beats and an interactive section where Ninja, the magnetic frontwoman of The Go! Team, asks people in the crowd for their star signs.

For ‘Huddle Formation’, she splits the audience in two to help out with the chorus as the seven-piece band smash their way through three minutes of playful chaos.

“Apparently we’re a band that has classics now” says Ninja, as she introduces ‘Ladyflash’, one of the group's stand out tracks from their debut album, ‘Thunder, Lightning, Strike’. Unbelievably, it’s been nineteen years since it came out. At the time of its release, it already sounded like a rare cut from a 70s soul record, so to feel nostalgic for a song that felt nostalgic when it was first released is slightly bewildering.

With boundless onstage energy, the band pogo, scissor kick, and cheerlead their way through the night, mixing tracks from across their career, they leave the Leadmill a sweatier, happier, more positive place than when they entered.

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