Saturday, September 17, 2005

(Review) The Go Team - Thunder, Lightning Strike

Memphis Industries who are quite an eclectic little label releasing all manner of music have put out this rather succinct, but feelgood gem from the mysterious Go Team.

I caught them on Jools Holland and there seemed to be about Eight folks on stage, fronted by a cute, sassy young black girl brewing up a light n' breezy blend of funk and Hip Hop and that is what you get on this album.

It's almost as if the cast of Sesame Street had been involved to give it this wonderfully naive kind of air. With tracks like 'Panther Dash', which I think is a wonderful title, 'LadyFlash', Friendship Update' and Feelgood by Numbers' there is obviously very little in the way of angst-ridden feelings being dealt with. In fact 'Feel good by Numbers' is the kind of groovy, electric piano jazz 'Felt' used to be so good at making, whereas 'The Power is on' is more funk-lite, with the girl toasting in the background with trumpet and harmonica lending an interesting counterpoint to the vocals.

A recorder is involved on 'Get it together', with simple jangly gtr and the kind of skipping drum beat that flows throughout the album and is part of what gives it such an easy air of summer fun and sprinklers in the garden. There's a bit of scratching at the end which brings to mind the early hip hop sound before it became so street and gangster orientated. 'Junior Kickstart' sounds like an out-take for the soundtrack to Hawaii 5-0, trumpet and harmonica again leading the way. In fact harmonica is a surprisingly prevalent instrument. 'Bottle Rocket' sounds like the kind of thing Malcolm McLaren was trying to popularise with Double Dutch, and again harmonica is smeared all over it, but the crazy thing is, that it works.

There's some lovely subtle country piano on 'Friendship Update' and honestly, on 'Huddle Formation' you can almost see the Sesame Street kids doing some kind of funky dance moves outside of Maria's place, all hand claps and smiles. Just to confuse everyone , the album closer 'Everyone's a VIP to someone' has a banjo loop, harmonica, trumpet, flute and wispy violin in the background all lending a slightly Waltons-ish air to the kick-drum funk rhythm.

After a few listens, it all makes such perfect sense you wonder why everybody isn't doing it as you catch yourself beaming in the mirror and thoughts of Huckleberry Finn living in the Bronx with Bert 'n' Ernie appear.

This album will make you feel great and put a smile on your face, what's more you could play it at parties and everybody would dance. I don't know much about funk or Hip-Hop, but this is lovely and strange.

By Mr Olivetti

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