Sweden is the Europop epicentre, home to a formidable number of writers, producers and players. But it has also birthed a weirder breed of musician and storyteller. Self-perpetuated legend has it that the robed and masked members of Goat hail from a voodoo-practising commune in the far north of the country. The more prosaic truth is that they are likely a bunch of supremely talented clever-clogs from Gothenburg, but it’s easy to indulge the myth when confronted with their intoxicating, theatrical live show.
Goat are fronted by two elaborately-masked, kaftan-sporting high priestesses of psych rock who commanded the stage and compelled the crowd with their powerful unison incantations, ceaseless tribal dancing and varied percussive contributions, while their bandmates, in more sober white cassocks, freely mined the trippiest of western and world music traditions to create a seamless suite of hypnotic vibes.
Any genre of psychedelic music was fair game for their lysergic wigouts, from Fela Kuti-influenced Afrofunk to the mesmeric cyclical riffs of Tuareg desert rock, from the tree-hugging hippy dippy Union of Mind and Soul with its trilling dual recorder hookline to the heavy bhangra beat of Run to Your Mama teased out over ten minutes and embellished with bursts of acid indie rock guitar which would not sound out of place on a Primal Scream track.
By the time the Goatgirls re-emerged for the encore shaking shamanic staffs, they had made helpless converts of the writhing, possessed crowd. Thankfully no animals were harmed in the making of this liberating show.