The Go! Team played Koko in Camden last night with support from 13 year olds Smoosh and mad Aussies The Grates, who were both enjoyable. It was good to hear some new Go! Team material, and nice to see a band who aren't afraid to play instrumental tracks live. I love the way they basically play mix-and-match with the band members - even mid-song. You'll suddenly realise the keyboardist is now playing bass and there are suddenly two drummers again. A particular highlight was having two of them play the same keyboard as the only accompanyment to drummer Ky's singing. Ladyflash was the obvious choice as a finale and the whole crowd was exhorted to dance. We left with smiles on our faces.
To fill that out a bit (it's what I just mailed in to Vic's show on 6music as a review) Smoosh are two american teenage girls - one on keyboards and the other on drums, and making a much fuller sound than I'd have thought was possible. The keyboardist does most of the singing, but it was nice to hear some good harmonies too. They made good use of silence and I really liked them - though I think part of that is the "aww bless" factor. Still I couldn't do it now, never mind when I was their age. The Grates really were completely batty though. Again quite pared down they were drums, guitar, a singer and a parttime keyboard player. The singer was in a bright orange dress and white and black striped knee high socks and leapt about the stage like a 5 year old on too much sugar. As usual I can't think how in the least to describe what they sounded like.
And like I say the Go! Team were ace, though I did think the sound mix was a bit off at the beginning, which was a shame as it almost completely masked the xylophone and recorders in the first track, and left the vocals a bit quiet too. They had a big screen across the back of the stage with odd bits of video playing during various songs - I particularly liked the opening one of assorted old computer games and the one with the double dutch skipping in. They looked like they were having fun anyway, which to me is pretty important in a band. They kept the audience involved, including singing along to one of the new tracks - and the new stuff was good and not completely eclipsed by the more familiar material. It was lovely to see them do a full set instead of the short one we saw at the XFM gig in December, because it did mean they could do a much wider range of things instead of just the singles. Which needless to say were great. And I don't care if I'm rubbish at reviewing, I had fun and hopefully that comes across.
Tom was good company - I'd never have bothered to go on my own either, so huge thanks to him there. Oh yeah and it's a lovely venue. Obviously an old theatre with several tiers of balcony and boxes at the back and sides - all red paint and gold leaf, but updated with some modern lighting, a sleek bar and the world's biggest disco ball. I really liked it. And it was good being actually on the barrier, slightly off to one side. It didn't get too much of a crush though, which was probably just as well. Got back to Kings Cross at 11:35, which is about the worst possible time - half an hour wait before the slow train home even sets off. It was 2am by the time I got in, having had to scrape the frost from my bike saddle at the station. I looked it up and it was -4 °C. Brr. Oddly enough today I am tired.