As the story goes, The Go! Team really were never meant to exist. Ian Parton was just a dude who wanted to sample songs and create these DJ'd soundscapes. He released their first album in September 2004 and people liked it so much that they wanted the band to play live and at festivals. The problem was that there wasn't an actual band.
So he recruited one, cobbling together a six-piece collective led by a super charasmatic lead who went by "Ninja". Add a Japanese chick drummer, a Japanese guitarist, and a bunch of white dudes and voila! You had The Go! Team, one of the most fun, energetic, "let's go to the show and dance our asses off" bands of the mid 2000s. This is one of those bands I listen to frequently -- Thunder, Lightning, Strike remains in my regular rotation -- but whenever I play them for other people no one really reacts. Maybe they're one of those contextual bands for me, a band that signifies a certain time and feeling in my life that makes me blind that they're actually not great? I don't know. But I love them.
The Go! Team released a new album this year without any of the familiar members of the band. It's not bad, but I miss Ninja's freestyling. Besides, one of the things that really drew me to the band initially was their diversity. A British band led by a black female freestyler backed by two Japanese women as conceptualized by a white dude in his basement who was obsessed with old 70s samples? That was awesome.
I was lucky enough to be at this Coachella show. It was so stupid fun, dancing in the dark with a slew of strangers as Ninja ran around the stage like crazy.
Not all Go Team songs had lyrics. Some were just instrumental jams. Junior Kickstart is just rad.
Another live version of The Power is On. One thing that made The Go! Team fun was the songs sounded different from show to show. They really weren't polished enough to execute with machine-like efficiency night after night. Instead, they were incredibly spontaneous, which made it even more exciting.