Skipping dinner in order to catch Berlin band Gurr supporting The Go! Team at Camden’s Electric Ballroom is certainly worth it (and Guinness is a meal in a glass anyway, right…?). Kicking off the night with their sweeping, grunge-infused ‘Gurrlcore’ sound, they charm the crowd with their energy-filled offerings and endearing between-song wit. With a mosh-inducing set of racing tracks including last year’s single ‘#1985’ – “Who here is over 30?… This one’s for you. We’re not yet 30, but we’re sure you can still be cool when you’re 30” (thanks guys) – they ooze a raucous musicality and buoyant joy. The perfect introduction to the night’s main act.
And then it’s time. The excitement I’ve been feeling over the last couple of weeks to finally catch The Go! Team (a band who’ve been successfully putting a smile on my face since their 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike) has reached its climax as the extensive band take to the stage.
Opening the set with the racing energy of ‘Flashlight Fight’ from 2007’s Proof Of Youth, front-woman Ninja takes a minute to greet the completely sold-out venue: “5 frickin’ albums! Who’s been with us since the beginning…? You must be old!” – the second reminder of my age of the night, but all is forgiven as she bounds with gusto into the swirling cacophony of recent single ‘Mayday’. And then onto perhaps the band’s most famous track, ‘Ladyflash’; reminded of the first time I fell in love with The Go! Team’s utterly joy-filled, musically rich splendour, I’m giddy with glee as brass melodies are blasted out alongside pumping beats and an immense, contagious energy.
Interweaving these intense, buoyant offerings with the honey-sweet pop sounds of the likes of ‘The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question?’ and ‘Chain Link Fence’, we’re treated to Kaori Tsuchida’s luscious vocals and twinkling musicality as we take a breather before the next hit of rapturous energy.
As the band continue to instrument-swap, the crowd can’t help but be swept up by their infectious, jubilant sound and join in at every opportunity. From the “Yeah!”s of ‘Grip Like a Vice’ to shouting out our star-signs throughout ‘Semicircle Song’, and even do-dooing along to the recorder melodies of ‘Get It Together’, this is very much an interactive performance, and – with Ninja’s sunny charisma at the helm – it’s impossible not to remain completely engaged in each and every moment of the ecstasy that is The Go! Team live.
The highlight of the night, however, comes in the form of Thunder, Lightning, Strike’s ‘Huddle Formation’. Splitting the huge crowd into two sides, Ninja leads the way as we all sing our hearts out to the chorus, as a wave of sparkling euphoria sweeps over the Electric Ballroom.
Jumping our way through the uptempo break-beats of ‘All The Way Live’ and the frenzied energy of ‘Keys To The City’, it’s impossible not to be left utterly blown away by the immense soaring joy The Go! Team leave in their wake as the set comes to a close.
Thankfully, this uplifting experience is not quite over as the band return to the stage for an encore of Semicircle’s ‘She’s Got Guns’ and Thunder Lightning Strike’s ‘The Power Is On’. Once again expressing her gratitude for us all being there tonight, Ninja signals the end of what has been one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I may have waited fourteen years to finally see The Go! Team live, but standing here tonight, the “cool” thirty-something that I now am, it seems the wait was worth it; I’m left speechless and immensely grateful for the performance I’ve just witnessed, brimming full of a euphoric bliss that only comes with seeing the most special of bands. Thank you The Go! Team for brightening up a dull February day and breathing a new lease of life into this ‘old’ gal.