The Go! Team

The Scene BetweenThe Scene Between
Junior KickstartThunder, Lightning, Strike
Everyone's A V.I.P. To SomeoneThunder, Lightning, Strike
I Never Needed It Now So MuchProof Of Youth
Patricia's Moving PictureProof Of Youth
Buy Nothing DayRolling Blackouts
Yosemite ThemeRolling Blackouts
BlowtorchThe Scene Between
Feelgood By NumbersThunder, Lightning, Strike
The Answer's No - Now What's The Question?Semicircle

The Go! Team photo 1



The Go! Team playlist


Contributor: John Hartley

You are lying in bed, convalescing. It is late summer. You’ve just had somebody – you don’t know who, but you’ve a good idea because they sort of introduced themselves to you a couple of hours previously – cut your knee open and use some sharp instrument or other to trim the cartilage you tore in your left knee whilst running against the wind brought by Storm Angus. You are wryly amused by the fact that your physical health was compromised by efforts to improve your mental health, and you recall the last time you were convalescing.

The last time you were convalescing was the winter of 2015. You were depressed, exhausted and unable to do anything more than get out of bed to make a cup of tea sometimes. Everybody around you wished you well and tried to help you. It worked. One of your Twitter friends asks if you play online Scrabble. You don’t, but it sounds like something to keep your brain ticking over, so you start. In the chat function one day your friend announces there is a new song by The Go! Team. You give it a listen. It is called The Scene Between. It is quite spectacularly uplifting, and you listen to it several times. It never fails to put an extra spring in your strides of recuperation. Thank you, John.

Listening to it, you hadn’t realised just how positive an impact The Go! Team’s music could have. When you first heard them, they were just a four-song section of a multi-band compilation CD, sent to you by another friend, because home-taping kills music. You really take to Junior Kickstart, amused by the title, the memories it brings back of childhood black and white televisual experiences, and recollections of the end of Half Man Half Biscuit’s take on the religious poem Footprints. You also take the opportunity to introduce Everyone’s A V.I.P. To Someone as the theme music to your school’s PSHE lessons. In an attempt to give additional cues to students with severe learning difficulties, every subject has its own piece of introductory music; what better sentiment for PSHE than that song title. We are all important, even if we don’t feel it sometimes. You’d let all four songs blast out from your classroom in the morning before school started, as you got things ready for the day’s lessons and tried to avoid being given still more responsibility by your new boss. You later discover that all four songs on the illegally-copied CD are taken from the ‘illegal’ version of The Go! Team’s debut album, so-called because it was released without sample clearance. You will later buy the ‘legal’ version of the album, with two added tracks, because you really like what you hear. Thank you, Jon.

For your birthday, or maybe Fathers’ Day, you are given the Go! Team’s second album. The cover is very eclectic, a mix of primitive cut and paste and amateur doodling on some graph paper. It strikes you as being an accurate pictorial representation of the music you are listening to. Amongst the chaotic ensemble of drums, second drums, guitars, wonky piano, breathless hi tempo vocals and all-round Hi-NRG you take particular pleasure in I Never Needed It Now So Much, with its title that doesn’t make sense but simultaneously makes complete sense, just like the music. Patricia’s Moving Picture meanwhile achieves that rarest of things: it makes you want to dance. Not publicly of course; that ship sailed when you were twelve and were dancing on the concrete table at the party you held to celebrate painting Ben Gowland’s cellar and that girl loudly pointed her finger at you and laughed.

When Jon sends you a copy of Rolling Blackouts, the Go! Team’s third album, you have just moved into a new home. You hear Buy Nothing Day, and as the Conservative Party bring a crushing end to your hopes for a lefter-wing future, you revel in the anti-capitalist sentiment of the title and indeed the lyrics within. You too won’t start a revolution, not nationally or globally at least, but you are determined to give it a whirl in your own world. When Black Friday becomes a thing over in the UK, you will declare that your very own Buy Nothing Day, your own little protest at rampant consumerism and the cynical way it gets its claws into you.

Less cynical is Yosemite Theme, whose brass takes you immediately back to mid-1980s Sunday afternoons, and Bonanza and The High Chaparral. It is a breezy, bouncy uplifting track, a pure celebration of everything that is good in the world, only without words until the very end refrain involving fronts, backs and the seaside.

So there you are, lying in bed, convalescing. You are listening to The Scene Between and it is helping you begin to feel that everything in the world might not be as bleak, as exhausting, as just … so … too much as you had perhaps felt six weeks earlier. You reflect that although it was not the cause, a final nail in the proverbial coffin of your wellbeing was being told that the blog you write for is going to stop. The editor has already declared himself sick of ‘indie landfill’, so you describe yourself as the ‘indie landfill correspondent’. The editor declares he is much more interested in dance music. You tell him you like the Go! Team.

Lying in bed, convalescing, it is hard not to feel at least a tiny bit uplifted by the sheer exuberance and energy of the Go! Team. You take a particular shine to Blowtorch, the way the guitars drive up and down, and how the bridge takes you on a completely unexpected detour. You get a little carried away and declare on social media that it is the best instrumental break you have ever heard. When someone says they will have to give a listen you realise you have over-egged it a bit. But only a bit … After all, it is a song that makes you feel good.

You return to the debut album after a while – a legal copy of the ‘legal’ version – and rediscover the joy of Feelgood By Numbers. It is so obviously influenced by the Vince Guaraldi Trio that it can only be a tribute. Of course, you don’t know the Vince Guaraldi Trio by name, just as the music from ‘Peanuts featuring Charlie Brown’ animations. You grew up reading Peanuts, and though your mum nicknamed you Pigpen, you saw much more of Charlie Brown in yourself, whilst wishing you were as at ease with yourself as Snoopy. Doesn’t everybody, though? You later hear a new single, Semicircle, and feel underwhelmed. You hear the Go! Team have a new album. You consequently resist buying it.

You are lying in bed, convalescing. You stretch your leg into a new position for minimum discomfort. You are listening to Radio 2. Why are you listening to Radio 2? The last time you listened to Radio 2 was either for the football scores or on a Sunday morning in the newsagents’ car as you dropped off the paper rounds you had marked up for those paper boys (and girls) who couldn’t manage the great hulking bags of Sunday supplements. That was a long time ago. Maybe it’s because Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie are on. They are chatting to a bloke about his new record, how he went to America to record it and was overwhelmed by the response his songs got, because he’s usually very downbeat and was surprised to see how uplifted people felt by his music. They play a song. It gets you in the stomach. You know, you just know, that you’ve been hooked again: The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question?. Possibly ‘Am I right to not need the Go! Team in my life?’.



The Go! Team photo 2






The Go! Team official website

The Go! Team bandcamp

Memphis Industries: The Go! Team page

The Go! Team – short documentary (YouTube)

The Go! Team biography (AllMusic)

John Hartley has written several posts for the Toppermost site. He is the author of “Capturing The Wry”, a memoir of the early stages in his quest to write the perfect pop song. He tweets as @Johny Nocash and the music he creates can be found at Broken Down Records.

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