The Goa Express are a band with white trainers but don’t let that put you off, they’re actually very impressive. This is a bunch of young lads that are tight enough to swap instruments. But more importantly, this is a band eager to swap genres.
They’re punk if you define punk as teenage lust set to guitar music. So there’s a hint of The Buzzcocks, or Stiff Little Fingers at a stretch. But there’s also the attention to ornate riffs of Television, the urgency of a Supergrass pop song and the lads in trackies vibe of the Mondays. Their music flows, you can dance to it and it all smacks of youthful exuberance.
For the main event we dive headlong into the inky black depths of Purple Heart Parade. Smoky realms of guitar rise and bubble, conjuring plumes as if a wizard is entering from side stage. From which emerges expansive drumming and a new-found boldness with keyboards that add even greater depth to this sound. Steve’s bass sound is silky and serpentine, luxury bass for the psych age. Through all this Pete’s vocals slink, a hammerhead shark in the reefs.
Purple Heart Parade’s continuing mirky descent makes their songs increasingly cryptic and vague. Sure, there’s Ride all other their sound but, believe it or not, there’s a growing taste of Roxy Music from For Your Pleasure, where arch artistry meshes the experimental with an opulent party ethos. Or, perhaps, the dolorous wastelands of the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here.
The set comes increasingly agitated though as ‘The Room’ expands and contracts, dilating like a pupil in the light. Always majestic but here spun on cobwebs made by beasties. While many of their songs are not exactly anthems, they end with their signature battle cry, ‘Starfucker Blues’, which continues to shine as their calling card. It’s a huge, wonderful riff and momentous sing along chorus. It is one of the best songs to come out of Manchester this century. May it never leave their set list.
The Goa Express
Purple Heart Parade