HOW IT ALL BEGAN
When singer/songwriter J. Keenan and bassist Mark Moran formed The Go Set in 2003, it seemed only natural to combine the elements of the music they had grown up on. Having both been brought up on everything from traditional celtic and folk music, to early seventies punk rock, and with a voice for political perspective and social conscience, The Go Set embarked on a unique musical journey. Combining the folk elements of the bagpipes, accordion, and mandolin, with distorted punk guitars and a rock n roll ethos, The Go Set created a sound and direction all its own…
“…trying to describe the sound of The Go Set is like trying to imagine Peter Garrett, The Pogues, and The Clash having a late night jam in a local pub with an endless supply of booze”. Blunt Magazine (2005)
Amusing, but probably not far wrong. The Pogues and The Clash, along with the likes of early Midnight Oil, Weddings Parties Anything, Billy Bragg, and Radio Birdman are indeed strong influences on the band’s music.
In November 2004, the band entered Birdland Studios in Melbourne with engineer Lindsay Gravina (Spiderbait, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Hole, The Living End) and recorded their debut album ‘Sing a Song of Revolution”. Recorded in just 2 days, it captured all the intensity and raw live energy that the band had become renowned for.
The band hit the road immediately after the release of ‘Sing a Song of Revolution’, and toured extensively through Australia and New Zealand, developing a strong fanbase on its intense and chaotic live shows.
A year after the debut album was recorded, the band returned to Birdland Studios again, this time with producer, Radio Birdman frontman, Rob Younger. After 5 days recording, The Go Set’s second album ‘The Hungry Mile’ had been created. With a similar energy and aesthetic as its predecessor, ‘The Hungry Mile’ also demonstrates an evolution in the band. More detailed arrangement, more creative instrumentation, and powerful and poignantly delivered stories and messages in the lyrics.
The album crossed many boundaries, and addressed issues inherent in Australian society, and indeed globally – the plight of the working class and work place reform, war and tragedy, and the importance of family and support. Proclaimed by Blunt Magazine in 2006 as “truly an album for all people’.
Through 2006 the band embarked on a tour to support the release of ‘The Hungry Mile’, a tour that lasted the entire year and took in all parts of the country as well as New Zealand. Within the first two weeks of its release, the album had debuted at #10 in the Australian Indie album charts, had had the first single added to ABC TV’s Rage and Triple J radio, and had sold out its first shows.
In 2007, The Go Set teamed up with Australian singer/songwriter legend Mick Thomas to record their third full length album, titled “A Journey for a Nation”. The new album addressed much of the same subject matter that the band has become known for, and the punk energy, bagpipes, and folk instruments remain the same – but this album has a new diversity and complexity previously unfound.
Those familiar with the band labelled this album, by far, the band’s most sophisticated record and a huge step in the band’s evolution. ‘A Journey for a Nation’ received rave reviews around Australia and New Zealand, being hailed as a breakthrough release for the band, and one of the indie albums of 2007. The album was nominated for a MusicOz award for ‘Best Alternative Release’ in November 2007, and again entered the Australian Top 20 Independents in its first week.
Over the Australian summer of 2007/2008, The Go Set were invited to play a series of festival shows around Australia and New Zealand, toured Japan for the first time, and opened for US folk-punk group Flogging Molly. The Go Set also toured and played with the likes of The Living End, Bouncing Souls, The White Stripes, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, The Stranglers, Pulley, and Royal Crown Revue among others.
Into 2008 and a short introductory European tour saw the band signed to a two album deal with Berlin based label, Coretex Records, as well as booking and management deals.
After returning from Europe the band again hit the studio to record its fourth full length album in as many years. Recorded in Melbourne with US producer Jonathon Burnside (Melvins, NOFX, Lagwagon) ‘Rising’ was 11 new tracks, and a complete return to the band’s original folk/punk sound.
Through 2009 and 2010, the band continued to forge its way into the live circuit in Europe, with month long tours, festivals, and showcases.
The live album , “Another Round in Melbourne Town’ was then recorded in May 2009, followed by a studio EP titled ‘Fallen Fortunes’ a few months later in March 2010.
The band continued to tour relentlessly around Australia and Europe, amassing hundreds of shows on both continents following the release of the Live album, and took a short break at the end of 2011.
In 2012, the band recorded it’s sixth album (and fifth studio release). Self-titled, and self-produced, the album was recorded at Hothouse in Melbourne with Craig Harnath (Bodyjar, The Living End). The album was a slight move away from the previous folky sounds, and was a much more stripped back rock album – simplified and concise. Still addressing much of the same lyrical direction, the album was much more straightforward in its instrumentation, and dynamic in its arrangements.
Throughout 2013 and into 2014, the band again returned to Europe – performing at a series of summer festivals including Fete De La Musique, Mighty Sounds, Rebellion Punk Festival, Coretex Festival, Punk Rock Holidays, and the Skagen Folk Festival. In addition, the band also commenced touring in the USA and Canada in 2014.
Along the way, and over a period of more than a decade, the band has filmed it’s journey, and the struggles of remaining independent – from the highs and lows of touring, to the process of writing and recording, to the constant hardship and grind. In 2015, after being locked away in seaside studio on the Victorian coast, the band had produced a brand new album “Rolling Sound”, as well as commencing the editing process for all of the video footage. As the album was mixed and mastered, so to was the footage compiled and developed. After more than a month, the band had not only produced it’s own album, but also it’s own film titled ‘These are the Days’.
The package – ‘Rolling Sound’ (album) and ‘These are the Days’ (DVD) has just been released as a double CD through ABC/Universal in Australia. The first time the band had signed with a major label in it’s career. Looking ahead into 2017 and beyond, the band is touring the USA, the UK, mainland Europe, Japan and Australia throughout the next twelve months, promoting the album and film, and continuing to do what they do best – perform killer live shows!
Further Information and tour dates : www.thegoset.com/
Label and publicity: www.coretexrecords.de