Live Review: Goat – Electric Brixton, London 22.04.2023

Don Blandford

Those inscrutable Swedish experimentalists Goat conclude their UK tour with this sold out London headline date celebrating their latest album Oh Death. Brixton is the setting for the latest episode of their most absorbing Scandi-drama.

Seven masked figures emerge through the will-o’-the-wisp. Only the addition of an ancient yew tree would add more pagan attitude to the scene.

The scared ones here in Brixton will have left a trail of breadcrumbs along the route to The Electric. The wisest ones will have packed a spell book and a poppet…just in case. There’s magic here.

Psyched-out funk quickly permeates the ether and Soon You Die begins with the Goat sprites overcoming the heavy groove with cries of “soon you die, don’t know why, but you have got time to go party…” – imagine incidental music for The Wicker Man remade with a blaxploitation vision.

The beat of the congas is compelling. The wah-wah is ever present. One mesmeric track moves into the next and the motley band of souls on stage are like forest dwellers moving unselfconsciously with the moonlight. The sound washes through and creates transcendental waves. This is Goat time here. We’re on their heady trip.

Into the bewitching hour and the tribal drums and flute of Let It Burn are deliciously intense. Time to gather the mushrooms, Goat graze high on this acid folk terrain. If the entranced crowd decided en masse to shed their shoes and dance barefoot like one of the masked singers it wouldn’t be a surprise. Fortunately, Goat use their power and influence for good of course. Digging deep into our primeval past, flirting with the funk of folklore. Adorned in their tribal masks they deliver a heady fusion brew. Close your eyes and it could be 1971 – all Afghan coats and corduroy flares.

The Burundi style drums pounding through Do The Dance recall the C30 C60 C90 era when a certain Malcolm McLaren began to bring elements of World Music into the mainstream. Then the voodoo ray burns deeply through Goathead and threatens to ignite The Electric.

Finally, Goat make to leave their mystic mountain. Time for us, the sorcerer’s apprentices, to go too. Now we’re all awakened like a newly anointed Titania – awestruck by the spell of psyche-rock that Goat have cast. Hypnotic and brilliant.

Previous Premiere: North Yorkshire's Manta Shares Vibrant & Personal New EP 'Roundabouts In Therapy'
Next Gallery: Hot Mulligan - Manchester Academy 3 26/04/23

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