GOAT – Japanese Television – The Mill Birmingham – 16th April 2023
The fantastic Goat are bringing their ‘twisted psychedelic funk’ to Birmingham and as if that’s not enough, they’ve sold the place out. People are asking for tickets on my Facebook feed, people are wanting to be at this one. Fighting Boredom are there, read what we thought below.
The Mill is filling up nicely when Japanese Television take the stage. They immediately launch into a psychedelic spiral that takes in improvised jazz, krautrock repetition and cool strobes. Oh yes, and a synth laying down a weird up and down noise over the top of it all. The drums are way down in the layers but they still drive it forwards. The band psych out and just carry on, they are well into this vibe.
Then there’s a psych tinged jazz twist that oozes noir cool, music to groove in a black Cadillac on your way to Vegas, they ram in a touch of funk and then shake out a long glorious groove.
They have funky, post punky vibes with wonderful squealy organ sounds that spiral on and on. Shimmering synths and guitars along side skittering drums and a deep bass rhythm, a slow low sad feeling song. They find the groove in their tracks and they stay with it, a great opening set and perfect for tonight.
Goat are a revelation. They come on to an absolutely rammed room. All masked and in various stages of strange dress. They immediately launch into a funky punky groove and the two singers burst onstage in a bundle of energy wearing the most ludicrous head dresses I’ve seen for a long time. Both waving tambourines they sing together over one the best soul funk rhythms I’ve ever heard. It just goes on and on, the singers dance like there’s no tomorrow and most of the crowd do too. The choppy soul guitar is spot on too. They go on to a punky glam feel and the sound turns darker just before the soul funk creep back in and it is a glorious fuzzy sound. They swerve nicely into seventies space rock with wah wah guitar and it’s like the Jimi Hendrix Experience has hitched a ride on the Funkadelic tour bus, really, it’s that good. They pause dramatically then slam back into the groove. Then repeat a few times just to see if we have got the message, it appears so as they carry on, the band standing playing and the singers whirling like dervishes.
Afrobeat now, the singers are wreaking out completely as the band drives on, it’s a relentlessly groovy beat and the dancing has reached lunatic levels. This music is just astounding, you can’t fit it into a box or genre, it’s just Goat which is why the Mill is rammed to the rafters.
They just carry on, at one point they abandon their instruments and just play percussion, at another the sound is led by recorders. There’s funky drummer beats, Earth, Wind and Fire funked out soul and Eddie Cochran Rock’n’Roll in the middle of the glorious noise coming from the stage. Anything you can think of that will make you dance is thrown into the mix and when they reach the pinnacle of the tracks they create an even bigger freak out and extend that until they decide to move on. A formula, but an absolutely winning one, if it’s not broke don’t try and fix it. The groove goes on and on and on.
Goat have played, up to now, the best gig of the year, bloody marvelous.
All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.