In marked contrast to the rest of the UK where a cold snap has signalled an abrupt end to British Summer Time, it is incredibly hot and sweaty inside The Crescent tonight. The former working men’s club is absolutely packed. This evening’s show has been sold out for several weeks now having already been moved from the smaller capacity Fulford Arms due to such overwhelming demand.
Goat Girl’s star is undoubtedly on the rise. The South London foursome – Clottie Cream (guitar and vocals), Rosy Bones (drums), Naima Jelly (bass guitar), and L.E.D. (guitar) – first got together just over two years ago. Since that time they have signed to Rough Trade Records, released their debut album which then entered the Official Album Chart at no less than number 24 and are now haring up and down the length and breadth of this country playing to packed houses wherever they go.
And it seems only right that Goat Girl should be playing here only a matter of hours before the clocks go back. Their music does take you back in time. It transports you to the nascent nihilism, ennui and the politically-edged rebellion of punk, and some of its most immediate aftershocks, whilst simultaneously reminding you of the more idiosyncratic elements of alt-rock/pop-era Breeders or Pixies. The Goat Girl sound is dark, it is deep but it also contains a certain warmth and playful irreverence.
Goat Girl’s self-titled debut album contains 19 tracks. Tonight they perform, by my rough calculations, 17 songs. They rattle through them at such breakneck speed, though, it is difficult to keep an accurate count. The bulk of the set is drawn from their inaugural release with the songs all faithfully reproduced and appearing, broadly speaking, in much the same order as on the actual record. To that end the band play fairly safe and, if the truth be told, the set does take a few numbers before it properly warms up. But when it does – around the time of ‘The Man With No Heart Or Brain’ by my reckoning, about six songs in – it really does catch fire.
‘The Man’ – a song that undoubtedly helped to accelerate their ascendency following the band’s appearance on Later…with Jools Holland back in June – crackles and fizzes, packed to its gunwales with Goat Girl’s characteristic sense of frustration and defiance. ‘I Don’t Care’ (parts 1 and 2) are played back-to-back and temporarily slow things down with their vague nods towards some sort of disinterested country-noir, before ‘Scum’ and ‘Scream’ start to pick up the pace once more. Come the final strains of ‘Country Sleaze’ forty minutes has just upped and gone in the wink of a pre-Halloween eye. Goat Girl don’t bother coming back for an encore. And why would they? They have done more than enough already.
Photos: Simon Godley
More photos from this show can be found HERE