Tonight Goat Girl‘s stage is decked-out with woolly home-made goats’ heads setting the mood giving the venue a definite surreal and theatrical ambience, as if we are thrust into a chapter from a Haruki Murakami novel. Lottie’s slurring drawl comes across like a scene from a film starring Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo, a kind of noir realism, while rootsy blues, country and at times medieval elements bring a session-like feel to the show.
Joining the slew of recent political bands Goat Girl are understated and deadpan in their approach, self-possessed, confident, while sharp and spikey in their message. The four-piece are joined by keys, violin and percussion to accompany the sombre, yet raucous and buoyant set, while the understated aesthetic brings extra impact. Lottie doesn’t talk much, if at all, through the performance, as her songs adopt a noir-like drawl, delivering stories and ideas to evoke “unspoken truths that we as humans feel”.
Their set is light hearted yet serious, sounds emerge twisting and winding to tracks like ‘Cracker Drool’, moving into more avant-garde and experimental territory with tracks like ‘The Man With No Brain Or Heart,’ comic and echoing, while ‘Is It Me Or Mighty Despair’ clunks like clockwork. ‘Throw Me Bone’is poetic and thought provoking, with mosh pits breaking out to ‘The Man’ as they up the anti with this wilder unleashed yet structured sound. ‘Lay Down’ delivers a more sombre feel, while ‘I Don’t Care’, cracks into an uplifting dance and the layers of sound and texture recall the vibe of Velvet Underground in ‘Scream’. They bring you snippets of life as they aim to look through the perspective of the lunatics, lovers, liars and dreamers in society, sharing the unspoken truths.
‘Country Sleaze’is the perfect ending, as girls ascend onto each other’s shoulders across the audience, in a kind of feminine mosh pit and you realise that the song sums up the definition of their sound as textures are woven together in a gothic storytelling style. You get the feeling that somehow Goat Girl reach out beyond their immediate circumstance, as music becomes a new force for opinion, with this visionary storytelling appeal.
Tonight’s show is bohemian, uplifting and unstructured curation delivering the session-like appeal of the album, it is almost like gathering to hear a live playback, making the whole night very special. Their debut album was written through their eyes and the eyes of others, giving us a feeling of the freeform expression of a jazz club, although cultivated and textured in different layers of a sound discovered rather than found.