Kate Goes - Happy Dancing EP
Owain Paciuszko 09/11/2008
Birmingham five-piece Kate Goes are a gleefully inventive bunch who have - thus far - themed every single gig around a different place that Kate, er, goes!? For example, last time I saw them live they were 'Kate Goes to the Match' and thus there was a general football theme, except for the bass player who dressed as a, er, match. But they have also been 'Kate Goes to the Beach', 'Kate Goes Down the Rabbit Hole' and 'Kate Goes Horse'. This kind of playtime aesthetic is apparent in the madcap, erratic music they produce that is going to charm as many as it alienates.
For example some of the lyrics for 'Kung Fu Movie', as reproduced in the childishly illustrated liner, are thus; 'CHAKA CHA CHAKA CHA BREAK YOUR TOES / EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM / CHAKA CHA CHAKA CHA WITH MY NOSE 'CUZ IT'S MY SPECIAL WEAPON'. So I'm not expecting everyone to be as giddy and excited about this band as I am, but there is so much humour, joy and invention in each and every track here that I think they are a band to really get excited about!
Opener 'Happy Dancing' is a bouncy ode to getting carried away by music and not worrying about how silly you might look as your favourite song takes you over, and in some ways its lack of self-consciousness and pretentiousness is the anthem of Kate Goes. Their earlier 'Hi How Am I?' EP featured a track called 'Yo-Yo' that is staggeringly fearless in its ludicrousness as Kate sings about the joys of Pog before the chorus explodes in a manic cacophony of phoney Tamagotchi impressions, I am always quite impressed when seeing Kate doing Tarzan noises on 'Don't Over Analyze' live because of how brave (or crazy!?) she actually has to be to get up there and perform like that, release that inner-child.
It's not all so 'throwaway' and filled with mere pop-culture references, the closing track 'Heartbeat' is one of the most achingly romantic and sweet songs in a long while, perfectly capturing the silly broad grin that love can inspire. In it, over a toy squeak backing, Kate sings a string of metaphors that are cute yet delightfully reminiscent of a sappy - yet not sickeningly sentimental - representation of love; 'You're the honey I'm the bees, I'm the mould around your cheese, you're the mushy in my peas, I'm the Rice in your Krispies'. All performed with such honesty and innocence that you just want to play it to the one you adore, give them a hug and probably say something as inane as 'Awwwww'.
The only drawback here for me is that this EP is just too darn short and 'Heartbeat' cropped up - with different production - on their earlier release, and they've got a whole host of great tracks that, hopefully, a full album isn't too far off. But this wonderful little record should charm a few until then.