Published Jan 01, 2006If listening to Brighton brigade the Go! Team's delirious Thunder, Lightning, Strike debut doesn't leave you giddy, you need to have your ears checked. Double-dutch vocals skip merrily over scratchy soul samples while ferocious beats play tag with sunny melodies. The disc sounds like the work of an entire squadron, but in reality was the brainchild of composer/producer Ian Parton, who only assembled the current live septet after the record was completed.
"It's almost a social experiment in how different we are as people," Parton says. "Most bands are born out of a group of lads who've been mates in school. Most bands in Britain at the moment kind of sound the same and look the same I wanted to try to get away from that."
No one's about to mistake the Go! Team Parton is joined by front-woman rapper Ninja, two girl drummers from Japan and Sweden (Fukami Taylor and Silke Steidinger), bassist Sam Bell, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Dook for mopey Brit balladeers. Despite the album being available only as an import on this side of the pond, their few North American gigs have been met with pep rally enthusiasm and several major label offers.
"We didn't get carried away with it I'm quite dubious about that whole world, and I'd sacrifice anything just to be with the right people," Parton admits without revealing who will win the bidding war. He may find the industry side of things distasteful (he's turned down dozens of offers for the Go! Team's music to be used in commercials, with the sole exception of a "Hispanic anti-smoking advert in America"), but he's thrilled that Thunder, Lightning, Strike will finally be widely available a full year after its UK release.
"I just [kept] thinking, How the fuck do people know about this?'" Parton marvels. "I think in Toronto there seems to be a lot of word of mouth." (The band plays their only Canadian date at Lee's Palace on July 13.) "Once a certain amount of people have heard it, they tip each other off, with pockets of music fans getting it.' We've been very lucky as to how it's happened."