Indie act The Go! Team are back on the Scene
Brighton indie act The Go! Team are back with their first album and tour for four years. Main man Ian Parton talks to Brian Campbell
THE biography page of The Go! Teams official Facebook account includes an appropriate description of their sound. It simply says `Genre: Defying. The band formed in Brighton and have released four acclaimed albums since 2004. They mix indie-rock with samples, chants, distorted guitars, brass and hip-hop.
Multi-instrumentalist Ian Parton is the bands songwriter and he admits he wanted to shake things up with new album The Scene Between.
I thought The Go! Team sound had been reduced to a 'list where youd read the same thing over and over: Double-Dutch chants plus car chase horns plus blah blah blah... he says.
I didnt want to carry on doing that. I wanted to concentrate on the melodic side of things, which is a side I think was often overlooked with The Go! Team. I had written songs like Buy Nothing Day and Ready To Go Steady (on the 2011 album Rolling Blackouts) and wanted to nail an album of stuff like that; almost classic pop.
The current Go! Team line-up features Parton, rapper Ninja and guitarist Sam Dook but Jamie Bell, Kaori Tsuchida and Chi Fukami Taylor have been replaced.
We have three new girls: Maki, Cheryl and Simone, plus me and Ninja and Sam, says Parton. So its half old and half new and the live set will be a mix of all four albums.
So was there a definite parting of ways with the previous members after the last album came out?
It wasnt an argumentative thing. Jamie and Kaori are a couple and theyve had two babies, so touring was impossible for them. Wed been doing it for eight years and it was apparent that we just couldnt carry on with the same set-up.
I never really announced it as 'The Go! Team have split up and I did flirt with the idea of doing a completely different project.
He says he wouldnt have done the new album without the dynamo that is Ninja, who the NME voted as one of the coolest people in music when The Go! Team arrived on the scene a decade ago.
Its brilliant to have her back. Shes such a focal point. Theres more variety in the live show now. We used to bombard people for an hour but now theres more light and shade.
The Go! Team have always been an excellent live act and Parton says hes looking forward to playing Belfast and Dublin next weekend.
Weve played Dublin more than Belfast but there does seem to be a real Irish connection. I dont know why that is. The gigs so far have been great. Its been three years [since the last tour], but as soon as you get back on stage its like time has stood still; its weird.
At a Belfast gig at the Belsonic festival in 2008, the band blew headline act The Zutons out of the water. But Parton says he prefers headline gigs to festival shows.
I think club gigs suit us better. I prefer being in control of the whole thing the volume and the sweatiness and choosing the music thats on before you play.
The band are known for penning great opening tracks on their albums What DYou Say? on The Scene Between is another excellent tune.
We are known for our all-out brass assault with our openers but this time its much more melodic, says Parton.
He says he was happy to have the London African Gospel Choir on the album.
I had them on one song on the last album too. I always have this fear of people over-singing and doing vibrato and all of that stuff. I thought a regular gospel choir would be vibrato-ing all over the place, that American thing. African singing is a lot straighter and more to the note.
With The Art of Getting By I wanted to create a new genre: space gospel.
:: The Go! Team play The Limelight in Belfast on Friday June 19 at 7pm. Tickets (16) availably from Katys Bar or via LimelightBelfast.com.