The Gotobeds are in town and you had better believe it. What they deliver here is fast. It is furious. It lasts for eleven rapid-fire songs, forty minutes dead, and is fabulous fun. This is their first ever tour on this side of the pond and the four men from Pennsylvania’s Steel City are making damn sure that it counts. New York sucks, apparently, but on this evidence alone Pittsburgh most definitely rocks.
Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin are here to showcase their third long player, Debt Begins at 30. Released back in May on Sub Pop it is a beast of a record. Take it out on the road and the beast is let off the leash. But just to make us wait a little longer The Gotobeds launch tonight’s show in Leeds – the middle leg of what are only three dates in the UK – with a couple of prime cuts from their 2014 debut album Poor People Are Revolting.
First ‘Affection’ and then ‘Fast Trash’ soften us up a little before The Gotobeds go in for the kill with ‘Calquer The Hound’, the opening song from the new album. In a live setting it becomes a brutal onslaught on the senses, brought to the boil with overclocked riffs and undoubted bad intent. By the time that the four men reach the triple whammy of the new record’s blistering title track, ‘On Loan’ and ‘2:15’ the quartet are on fire, a sensation made all the more vivid by the bright, burning, unflinching red light in which they are bathed for the entire duration of this performance.
Taking their name from that of Wire’s drummer Robert ‘Gotobed’ Grey there are undoubted elements of post-punk creativity in The Gotobeds’ sound, but the noise they create in concert owes much more to the central elements of garage and hardcore rock. That said, on the penultimate ‘Bleached Midnight’, TFP peels off a glorious, bullet-train solo of which Captain Speed Fingers himself, Alvin Lee of 70’s blues rock stalwarts and Woodstock legends Ten Years After would have been mightily proud.
By the time the band reach ‘Ipso Facto (It’s All Happening)’ it is all happening. Bass guitarist Gavin Jensen is on the dance floor, cordoning himself into a triangle made from crowd safety barriers; TFP is atop the drum riser squeezing sparks out of a guitar burst that isn’t a million miles away from Hendrix’s ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and The Gotobeds are about to set off for their final UK show at The Islington in London with a mighty big spring in their step.
Photos: Simon Godley
More photos from this show are HERE