Goan Dogs to play Farmfest


Written by Melz Durston
07 Wednesday 07th May 2014

Farmfestival Somerset
1st – 2nd August`
Gilcombe Farm

These Hound Dogs Ain't No Calypso Cowboys: Goan Dogs launch their AA side.

Fine fodder for you sonic-gannets, this band tend to clout us over the proverbial heads, with their wreckless beats, penetrating lyrics and free-style bricolage of jazz, ska and anything else you can think of...

Having received rave reviews for their early shows in Bristol, as well as loyal support from Guy Garvey, the five piece band, all from Bristol, even tried their luck at supporting Calexico on a recent tour...  

"People can expect a visually striking, pulsating hour of calypso sleaze."

When that didn't work out as planned, they teamed up with producers The Insects, to create their debut EP - 20 Minutes from the Border.  This received critical acclaim from BBC Introducing Bristol, and helped pave the way for their follow-up double A-side release (a prelude to their EP, to be launched in September).

They've got the mettle, and they've surely got the substance, too.

We spoke with Dan (drummer and vocalist) from Goan Dogs, who, alongside bandmates Luke, Theo, Bill and Sam -- make up Goan Dogs.

You formed in 2010 and played your first gig at The Croft -- how much have you developed since those early days and will you keep playing the smaller venues locally, despite how far your career takes you?

We feel we’ve progressed a lot as a band, we’ve taken on a fifth member since that first show. We’re all Bristolians and would love to keep playing the venues we love, no matter where things go from here.  

You cite your main influences as Calexico -- Jacob Valenzuala is pretty talented on that trumpet -- would you ever be brave enough to approach any of the guys, with a view to collaborating in the future?

We absolutely love Calexico but the influences we take from them are worked into a separate sound of our own. When nobody knew us we did try our luck at being their support for a Bristol show! 

You're recording in the same studio that Massive Attack recorded in previously -- this was at the time Bristol was pretty defined in its scene and sound...do you think Stokes Croft develops its own sound, which filters through to Bristol main?

Recording ’20 Minutes from the Border’ at Christchurch was great for us, we’re not recording there now but some of the same people are involved which you can hear on our new AA side. We’re not sure if Stokes Croft has its own sound really. It’s certainly a cultural centre for Bristol but a part of the reason it’s so good is that there’s a massive variety of music from all around, rather than something unique to the area. 

What do you think of the newer, smaller venues cropping up in Bristol? 

Bristol is doing alright for music venues. We’re looking forward to playing the Birdcage 31st May. Otherwise, we’re still pining the loss of the Croft to be honest. It was smelly and dank and a bit of Bristol’s grit has gone with it, although that giant disco ball in the Crofters is damn impressive. 

What do you aim ultimately to do with your music:  a full time thing, or are you all still holding down day jobs, under no illusions about the music industry?

It is full time for us even though we all have day jobs. We’ve definitely envisioned a future where we can give those up but to be honest we’re at our happiest when performing our music regardless of success. But we’re not just confined to the band. There are other avenues that interest us, like making soundtracks for films.

How does your latest AA side compare to your previous recordings? Are you heading in a different direction now?

Well… it’s a bit less desert. We played a gig at Rise for Record Store Day and a punter said it was like ‘calypso sleaze’. Someone else at our show in Shoreditch called us ‘calypso cowboy’ so I guess there’s a tropical edge in it. Its still heavily beat driven though like our previous material, full of contagious rhythms.

Any travelling or experiences outside of the UK that really made their mark on you as songwriters and performers?

We’ve got a big love for World music. We’ve all done a bit of travelling and no doubt its contributed to the way we write, play and perform our music. But we’re not too reliant on big experiences to create the vibe we’re after. 

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