Fresh from the release of ‘Commune,’ Goat’s second album which was every bit as mesmeric in passion and unpredictability as its predecessor ‘World Music,’ the Swedish seven-piece returned to London for a show at Camden’s Roundhouse. The venue, which itself exudes psychedelic spirit through the aesthetics of its round, pillared structure was made all the more welcoming to Goat’s forest-dwelling followers by the inclusion of a fable-like tree rooted to the stage.
With the band themselves claiming to be under the spell of some mystic voodoo, their costumes have seemingly been possessed by the same spell. Vibrant headdresses are donned by the two frontwomen, with the other members in various balaclavas. Their bodies spring around the stage draped in the exuberant colours of robes gathered from lands far and wide whilst shamanic staffs are prodded towards the gods with glittered ribbons flittering in the background. This ritualistic spirit runs in perfect tandem with their music as the rolling bongo rhythm lulls the crowd into hypnosis with the stunning light show and frantic chants completing a strategic attack on the senses.
The set runs through heavy on material from ‘Commune,’ welcoming movement in the crowd almost as enthusiastic as that on the stage, filling the room with a flourishing pattern of colour and energy. Whilst hits from the first album like ‘Run To your Mama’ and ‘Goatman’ pent up the animalistic feel of the event, as a whole a Goat performance isn’t one with distinct highs or lows. It’s a complete package that flows through with a pure, constant energy; a ritualistic energy that brings a different dimension to their music – a dimension of dependency to the bond between their sound and its visual counterpart, in that having seen Goat live, you can’t imagine one without the other.