Goat Girl – The Windmill, London, UK (29th Jan 2017)

Goat Girl are creating a really big stir with bouncy psych songs that come packed as short, sharp shocks. The special quality to many of their tracks is that just as they get into the ‘psykick dance hall’ groove, they stop — usually after about a couple of minutes. They squeeze 10 numbers into 25 minutes at The Windmill in Brixton, starting with the twangy, deviant, swaying near-instrumental ‘Circus’ (the vocals are limited to non-verbal da-da-dahs). 

‘Creep’ has a darker feel, as guitars strum and the melody is pulled along by vocals about a “creep on the train with his dirty trouser stain”. It churns over slowly and a little disturbingly, with a lilting bass riff from Naima Zeit and drum rolls from Rosy ‘Bones’ Jones joining all the dots. 

The pace picks up again with ‘Scum’ — released last year as a double A-side single with ‘Country Sleaze’ — which epitomises Goat Girl’s pysch beat. The distorted guitar notes vibrate like a deranged archer’s twisted bowstring as Lottie Pendlebury fires off barbed lyrical arrows, singing “how can an entire nation be so fucking thick” in a deep-voiced near deadpan. The band hit some technical issues during ‘Lay Down’, making it a bit more stop-start than intended, but soon regain their cool, swaying grind.

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Rosy drums even harder than usual on the spacey ‘Burn’, as the group psych out amid ever more frantic moshing in front of the tiny stage. ‘No Heart’ feels like a deviant version of a tune from ’70s cult children’s TV show ‘Trumpton’, gets manic and fast for a few seconds, then slows into that warped ‘Trumpton’ groove again. Guitarist Ellie Rose Davies leads the punky ‘I Don’t Care’, as seven notes repeat and repeat hypnotically. ‘Slowly’ winds up like a scuzzy country and western tune, Ellie picking out the notes while Lottie strums her guitar. 

Energy levels soar for the last two tracks — featuring the most sing-along of the band’s choruses. Rosy picks up the drumming pace for an infectious rendition of ‘You’re The Man For Me’ — a great hook that takes off into crazy ’60s psychedelic rock and lasts a relatively long three minutes. Fan favourite ‘Country Sleaze’ starts with a heavy bass riff from Naima, joined by buzzing tremolo guitars and staccato vocals. “I’m disgusted I’m ashamed of this so called human race,” sings Lottie. The crowd has one final mosh, knocking monitors from the front of the low stage as they surge forwards. “Thank you Windmill. The best fucking venue in London,” says Lottie, leaving the band’s devout followers in the crowd to chant “Goat Girl, Goat Girl”. 

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