The world seems a little brighter and feels like it’s spinning a little faster thanks to the release of The Go! Team’s new album Get Up Sequences Part Two, which follows in the same high-energy block party footsteps of its sister album Get Up Sequences Part One (and we were only just getting over the hangover from that one). This is their seventh album in a career has spanned eighteen years and sounds as fresh and exciting as if it were their first album.
If you are not familiar with The Go! Team then imagine the most upbeat marching band you can and surround it with a revolving cast of singers and rappers. On this album alone there’s Star Feminine Band, an all-girl group from West Africa, the Indian Bollywood playback singer Neha Hatwar, Kokubo Chisato from J-Pop indie band Lucie Too, 19-year-old Detroit rapper IndigoYaj, Hilarie Bratset (ex-Apples in Stereo), Brooklyn rapper Nitty Scott, alongside awesome Go! Team regular Ninja. If you worried that this could mean the album is ramshackle then think again. Band leader Ian Parton marshals everything into a cohesive, fizzing neon potion that proclaims ‘DRINK ME’.
The album is peppered with tracks like ‘Look Away, Look Away’, ‘Divebomb’, and ‘Stay and Ask Me In a Different Way’ which crackle with so much electricity you imagine Nikolai Tesla would have had The Go! Team on repeat on his gramophone. There’s the bounce of Nitty Scott’s outstanding vocals on ‘Whammy-O’ which also has the joy of Sarah Hayes’ flute which swirls around the vocals like fireflies and The Go! Team also know how to weave a nursery-rhyme feel into tracks like ‘The Me Frequency’, ‘Going Nowhere’ and ‘Gemini’. One of the standouts is ‘Getting To Know (All The Ways We’re Wrong For Each Other)’. It’s pure Motown from its Supremes, Miracles, Marvelettes opening featuring Niadzi Muzira to the fuzzed up Jackson 5 feel of the riffs and Adam Znaidi’s bass and vibraphone playing is exceptional.
Ian Parton says the album might be an “anti-Brexit reflex. A rejection of flag-waving and inward-facing. But this is no Coke ad, some Valium vision of joining hands on a hillside. The Go! Team has always been about knowing what’s happening but focusing on the good shit. It’s about where you let your attention settle.”
The mistake a lot of artists make is in thinking that a serious message needs a serious track and as much as I love Peter Gabriel’s ‘Biko’ I’ll reach for ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ by the Specials AKA every time. The Go! Team harness the power of positivity to send their message promoting activism and getting involved out into the world wearing neon colours. If The Go! Team were out canvassing people would not be slamming the door in their face, they would be out in the dancing with them.
Get Up Sequences Part Two has the feel of reactor with all the lights flashing and needles bouncing in the red but without going into meltdown. The Go! Team create a controlled explosion of instruments and voices like the splashy energy of a swimming pool full of kids on a sunny day or the sound of a video arcade at full capacity. When I grow up, I want to run away and join The Go! Team.
The Go! Team are on tour. Tickets on sale HERE.
3rd March,Cambridge, Junction
4th March,Southampton, Engine Rooms
5th March,Margate, Dreamland
9th March,Reading, Sub 89
10th March,Birmingham, The Mill
11th March,Newcastle, Boiler Shop
12th March,Bristol, The Fleece
16th March,Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
17th March,Sheffield, Leadmill
18th March,Edinburgh, Liquid Room
19th March,Glasgow, SWG3
25th March,Manchester, Gorilla
26h March,Leeds, Brudenell
30th March, London, Lafayette
31st March,London, Lafayette SOLD OUT
1st April, Brighton, Chalk
Review by Paul F Cook