By Adele Halsall
November 27, 2013
Never before had I heard of the Swedish psychedelic funk band that is Goat, until I spontaneously decided to give their recent live album a listen. I’m happy to say that I’m really glad I did – this has been one of those occasions where being the Yes Man has undoubtedly paid off, and I’m now left with a shiny new band I can continue to indulge in and tell all my friends about.
Goat’s live recording of their packed out show in Camden’s Electric Ballroom in London goes a long way to prove this band’s sure-fire impressive capabilities when it comes to entertaining a crowd, and somehow makes an ideal introduction to their music. This is interesting, because live albums rarely do this well. It’s just enough to say that the mesmerising stronghold of Goat’s trance-infused funk riffs can certainly be felt through the recording of this LP alone, and one only has to close their eyes to imagine what it would be like to have been there on that very night. With every cheer, woop and applause, and those captive periods of atmospheric suspense that precedes the likes of tracks ‘Diarabi’, ‘Goatman’ and ‘Goatlord’…this record makes you feel a part of it.
So called because of Goat’s tendency to view performances as ‘rituals’, Live Ballroom Ritual is very much a ceremonious celebration in itself – not least of all of the band’s rocket success, which they’d experienced prior to this recording – but also imaginably of what this band is capable of. Their songs carry an almost tribal, ritualistic aura about them – one only needs to listen to the echoing mantras that are left lingering by tracks such as ‘Let It Bleed’ and ‘Run To Your Mama’. Indeed, Goat claim to be heavily influenced by the traditional ancient voodoo practices of their heritage, and this is reflected by their debut album World Music.
Look to Goat’s visual live footage and you’ll see the reflections of these roots continued into their stage personas. Each member is disguised in animalistic, Aztec-like attire, obscuring their human faces and undoubtedly guaranteeing a vividly primal live experience for all who are lucky enough to be present.
Overall, Goat is a band I will most definitely be delving into from here onwards. If spaced-out, trance-like, crazy, catchy, chanting, in some ways erotically instinctive dance is your thing, you’ll love them. And if it isn’t…you’ll probably still love them.