19 Nov 2013

Goat Live Ballroom Ritual – first review

Backseat Mafia have reviewed the our Goat Live Ballroom Ritual album that is released on 2nd December:

"Goat were one of the biggest “breakthrough acts” of 2012. Their album ‘World Music’ was met to critical acclaim and the mysterious Swedish group quickly gathered a cult following. They played two sets at Glastonbury, which quickly became accepted as surprise highlights of the weekend. Rumours flew around the blogosphere; their live show is some sort of ritual, all of the band members wear pagan masks, joss sticks are burnt, there may or may not be a live sacrifice. The only definite is that Goat’s live show is some sort of spectacle. So a live album would make sense. Wouldn’t it?

The live album is an add concept. On the one hand, it’s a sure-fire way to capture a band’s energy and chemistry. When a band plays live, they really up their game, knowing that there is a crowd of devoted fans eagerly waiting to be blown away. Thus, recording a live album is surely the only way to capture a band at their best.

That said, there is something about witnessing a band create music that just cannot be captured on record. Being in the same room as the artist and watching the piece of art come to life is magical; it can act as a “way in” to new music, or open up new levels of understanding and appreciation of the music. It is why, for instance, that in an age where you can download almost any album for next to nothing, people continue to pay to go and see their favourite musicians.

It is for this reason that I was sceptical of a live Goat record. I loved their album when it was released, and saw them perform at Supersonic Festival shortly afterwards. The show was brilliant – fun, intense, compelling and freaky. Dancers, lasers, elaborate costumes and burning incenses were surely what made the performance so spectacular! Clearly, these are all things impossible to capture on a live album, so surely the record would not work as anything more than a money-spinner.

True, the costumes, lights, and other visual feats did add a lot of fun to the performance, but the real excitement was the music. The band transformed their album for the live environment; locking into extended instrumental sections, screaming vocals, satanic tabla beats and guitar wig-outs. Energy was turned up way past eleven. It is this aspect of the performance that is captured on ‘Live Ballroom Ritual’…."

Read the rest of the review here: Backseat Mafia