- Toby Njoku
On All Fours, the latest statement from London punk quartet GOAT GIRL, can safely be considered one of the most exciting releases of this year. Captivating and country-tinged, the release saw the group come into their own, fuelled by their quick-witted lyrics, and apocalyptic soundscapes. It isn’t surprising, then, to see District packed with listeners from all walks of life. From students to solo-giggers, all types of people make up the masses, coming together to form a semi-circle around the empty stage, eager for the band’s arrival.
As the room fills and people get chatting, what is most noticeable is the amount of conversation hailing the band as musical inspirations. Talking to a few attendees it becomes clear that all manner of musicians are in the house tonight, each spilling about how their own music was directly impacted by Goat Girl’s musings. Far from being limited to the audience, the band’s influences also make their way to the stage. As support act TOBY NJOKU emerges, he also takes the time to thank the band for inspiring his musical stylings before delving into a world of electronic bliss. Support acts are often at the mercy of the crowd volume, but as the extended vocal tones of the artist bounce around the space, the whole room turns, captivated to the point of absolute silence. If Goat Girl are the night’s main course, then Njoku is a surprisingly sweet palate cleanser – warming the room up nicely before the headliner.
After a quick break for fresh pints to be collected, Goat Girl take their place and the evening swings into action. Known for their ever-changing line-up, a few new faces have joined the group as they descend into Jazz Into The Supermarket to welcome the crowd. However, despite a few flashes of worry from attendees, these new additions only add to the magnetism of the group, who gleefully smile to each other and dance in-between playing. It’s an exhilaration that translates from stage to audience seamlessly, the crowd becoming as excitable as the artists as soon as the chorus of the following track Once Again blossoms through the amps.
Special mention of the group’s set goes to Badibaba, a track that shows the group’s harmony work, and Anxiety Feels, a track that was already packed with tension, but reaches new heights when seen in live glory. But it’s one of the closing tracks, Lay Down, that truly packs the emotional punch. Taken from their debut album, the performance of their earlier work gives something of a full circle moment to the set and serves as a reminder that despite their fervid journey to success, the group’s fire has been lit from the very beginning. And their set at District reminds us that it will only continue to burn.