One of the most fiercely imaginative bands in the capital today, Brixton combo Goat Girl have had quite the year. A handful of joyous singles came out at the top end of the year, before their simply sublime debut dropped. It is this debut album that acts as their hymn sheet as they tonight sanctify their status as one of the finest emerging cult bands in the country with a blistering sold out headline show at the 100 Club.
Proceedings are opened by harmonic folk provocateur Naima Bock. One quarter of the headline act, it’s easy to link the Bock sound to the woozier sounds that ever so often haunt Goat Girl’s debut. Whilst she’s only recently embarked on her solo project, Bock is already so effective at spinning simple melodies into something far more eerie, and simple harmonies into something transcendent.
Quirk-pop duo Audiobooks follow suit quickly and throw down the gauntlet with an exceptionally energised set. Singer Evangeline Ling circles the stage over and over, blurting out stories of curious relationships and cryptic characters, all whilst throwing her ushanka off, putting it back on and repeating the process. Closing with storming renditions of ‘Hot Salt’ and ‘Dance Your Life Away’, the duo proved only what we all know; that they’re a truly unique group that deserve all the attention that the release of debut album ‘Now (in a minute)’ has granted them.
Before Goat Girl take to the stage, Jarvis Cocker, the very well dressed man responsible for ‘Common People’, ‘Babies’ and ‘This Is Hardcore’ took to the decks to play a hand-selected collection of bangers and brawlers, from WHAM! to the Fat White Family. Of course, it went down a treat to see a national treasure awkwardly dancing to the songs he’d selected.
Goat Girl walk on to ‘Salty Sounds’, the piano-led instrumental intro to their self titled debut album, before vocalist Clottie Cream launches the group into a raw and bloodthirsty version of ‘Burn the Stake’. The thing that is most striking about Goat Girl is that they’re a proper gang. During early set highlight ‘Viper Fish’, all four Goats lurched over to provide harmonic backing vocals most sinister before the song’s all encompassing brazen riff took the 100 Club to another place entirely.
This is potentially the biggest show of the band’s career to date, and confidence radiates. Goat Girl are unphased by the spectacle. Clottie Cream’s eyes are closed for the most part of ‘I Don’t Care Pt. 1’ and ‘I Don’t Care Pt. 2’, a mission statement if ever there was one, as the band take opportunity after every song to quietly thank the audience cordially before thundering into another depraved country-garage anthem.
Strangely, though, although this show feels like a triumphant celebration of the band’s debut, surely an album of the year contender for all, it’s when they play the non-album singles that the band are really in their groove. A guttural version of ‘Crow Cries’, a Western Gothic banger that sounds like Bauhaus on a road trip through the dustbowl, and a simply venomous run out of ‘Scum’ are the highlights. The band play a scorching hot version of ‘Country Sleaze’, their debut single, and walk off to rapturous applause. Goat Girl are simply amazing; their music is frankly bombastic, simply fresh, and portrays the world in a way that is so imaginative, and so exciting to even peer into as a plain outsider.
Photos: Keane Shaw and Ellen Offredy