The Go! Team are a six-piece band from Brighton, England. They combine indie rock and garage rock with a mixture of blaxploitation and Bollywood soundtracks, double Dutch chants, old school hip hop and distorted guitars. Their songs are a mix of live instrumentation and samples from various sources. The band's vocals vary between performances: while live vocals are handled mostly by Ninja (with Tsuchida and Taylor also singing some solos), vocals on record also feature sampled and guest voices.
Ian Parton conceived the project after wanting to create music incorporating Sonic Youth-style guitars, double Dutch chants, Bollywood soundtracks, old school hip hop and electro. These ideas led towards the recording of Thunder, Lightning, Strike in his parents' kitchen.
Thunder, Lightning, Strike
The Go! Team's first full-length album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, was released in the UK and Europe on the Memphis Industries label in September 2004, to widespread critical acclaim. The album was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005.
The album was recorded at Parton's parents' house and co-produced and mixed by Ian's brother Gareth Parton at The Fortress Studios, London.
In June 2004, Ian Parton recruited a band in order to play the Accelerator Festival in Sweden after having been asked to play when no band existed. The live band is a "separate entity" to the original studio vision, as the performances became radically different from the recordings, particularly due to vocalist Ninja's freestyled vocals over what had been instrumental studio tracks.
The band's popularity increased with the re-issue of "Ladyflash" in the UK, resulting in national primetime airplay on radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, Xfm and the Atlanta, USA based 99X. They achieved further popularity when their song "Get It Together" from Thunder, Lightning, Strike was featured in trailers for the video game LittleBigPlanet, with the song eventually becoming identified with the game.
The track "The Power Is On" from Thunder, Lightning, Strike was included in "The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to Present." This song was also used in the Atlanta Falcons' NFL Play60 commercial. "The Power Is On" was also used in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut motion picture Whip It, but does not appear on the soundtrack release.
Proof of Youth
On May 13, 2007, The Go! Team announced the release of their new single and subsequent album on their website. Shortly following this, the band travelled to Shanghai, China, playing a show organised by Split Works.
The single, "Grip Like a Vice", was released on 2 July 2007, and the new album, called Proof of Youth, was released on 10 September in the UK and a day later in the US. The new record continued The Go! Team's mix of samples, live band recordings and an array of special guests, including hip-hop legend Chuck D, electro diva Solex and Bonde do Rolê ex-singer Marina Ribatski.
The second single from Proof of Youth "Doing It Right" was released on 3 September 2007 and received day time radio play from BBC Radio 1 and soundtracked the BBC's launch of the iPlayer. Like "The Power Is On", the song was also used in the film Whip It, but actually does appear on the film's soundtrack release.
A stand alone single "Milk Crisis" was released via free download on 21 July 2008. They later released a 2-disc limited edition of the record with b-sides of the album including "Milk Crisis", "Phantom Broadcast", "A Version Of Myself", and a remix of "Grip Like a Vice" by Black Affair.
In 2008 The Go! Team contributed the song "Templates from Home" to Bruce Parry's Survival International charity album, Songs for Survival.
In an interview with Stereogum in August 2008, songwriter Ian Parton spoke about recording The Go! Team's third album and the direction he is going in for this project. He wants to make music that "flips fidelity within the same song, and make it flow like a song should", his idea of "schizo music".
On August 5, 2010 the band used their Facebook page to announce a collaboration with Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof, entitled 'Secretary Song'.
On 28 October 2010 the tracklisting for The Go! Team's forthcoming album 'Rolling Blackouts' was officially confirmed.
The album's first single 'Buy Nothing Day' was released on 24 January 2011 in both the UK and US on 7" vinyl. The track, which features vocals by Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, is backed with a cover version of Betty and Karen's 'I'm Not Satisfied' sung by French singer Soko.The single was A-listed for five consecutive weeks on BBC 6 Music in the UK as well as picking up 'most requested' status on Triple J Radio in Australia.
The album was released on January 31, 2011. The album received 4/5 reviews in a number of UK publications including Q magazine, Uncut, The Times and The Fly.
The second single to be released from the album was a collection of Apollo Throwdown/Voice Yr Choice remixes released as limited edition of 500 12" singles on blue vinyl issued as part of Record Store Day (16 April 2011). The full tracklisting was Apollo Throwdown (Star Slinger Remix)/ Apollo Throwdown (D/R/U/G/S Remix)/ Voice Yr Choice (The Ruby Suns Remix)/ Voice Yr Choice (Tobacco Remix). A promo CD single of the regular version of Apollo Throwdown was released in late March followed by a 4 track digital download only EP on iTunes, released on 24 April which contained the album version, Star Slinger and DRUGS remixes and an exclusive instrumental version of the track.
Ian Parton- guitars, harmonica, piano, drums, triangle, glockenspiel.
Sam Dook - guitars, banjo, bass, drums, tambourine.
Chi Fukami Taylor - drums, percussion, vocals.
Kaori Tsuchida - vocals, electric guitar, keyboards, melodica, glockenspiel, recorder, tambourine, various instruments.
Jamie Bell - bass, piano, glockenspiel, feedback, synthesised hand claps.
Ninja - Vocals, drums, tambourine, recorder.
Other Activities of the band members
Guitarist/drummer Sam Dook was formerly active in the math rock band I'm Being Good. With the Japanese visual artist Hideyuki Katsumata he has the animated musical project The Samethings. Besides his activity as a musician he has modified some his own guitars by placing extra bridges in between the pickups and by rotating pickups to emphasize the low E on one of the guitars. Dook contributed with info about these custom built instruments to the book Nice Noise by Bart Hopkin and Yuri Landman.