IN CONVERSATION WITH: Goat Girl
You can see why the late Mark E Smith picked Goat Girl to support The Fall at what would turn out to be their last ever London show. The four-piece are unique and certainly not Fall plagiarisers. But their approach to music has a lot in common with the iconic band, densely packing masses of information and philosophy into their songs, refusing to minimise and sway towards the usual conventions of showbiz entertainment. With an already noteworthy name – the guitar gang are named in tribute to comic Bill Hicks and his twisted alter-ego Goat Boy – we were, of course, intrigued to find out more.
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Goat Girl produce music which is political, witty and provides us with relatable one-liners such as “How can an entire nation be so fucking thick?” – a la Brexit. It’s not hard to see why they’ve been slotted alongside The Fall, as well as the similarly crafted Moonlandingz, whom the group supported on their 2017 UK tour. The tour saw them swept up into the world of The Moonlandingz in all its glory – including a spot at Manchester’s Gorilla, which is where we catch hold of drummer Rosy Bones, ahead of their gig at the venue on their own Goat Girl headline tour. A tour which itself has already resulted in injury. Rosy timidly recounts the tale of drunkenly knocking it which means her one day off whilst touring is likely to be spent in the walk-in centre.
The night before the Manchester tour date, they played a sold-out Portland Arms in Cambridge, which was packed to the rafters with many a GG fan throwing their wears around for the group: “they were so into it, the crowd really went for it. It was up there with one of the best gigs we’ve done.” Moments like this must feel like a phenomenal accomplishment for a band that started out as a bedroom project with no real solid plans to be part of the new movement seeing DIY bands break the mould.
Little is likely to stop them now, with the group being known as an act that stands up for themselves and rightly so disagrees with how dominated by masculinity the music scene – and even the arts community – is at this current moment in time. A finger has been pointed as of late and we’re all far more aware of the issue but the fact that it’s still an issue shows we still have some way to go.
Fed up of the sexism that floats about the scene, Goat Girl are keen to fight the good fight and highlight that the issue hasn’t disappeared just yet. “Men mansplain it so often and overlook sexism at venues and things like that, as though it isn’t an ongoing issue.” In the current climate – we’re looking at the recent scandal about Hookworms‘ lead singer – it’s needed now more than ever for people in music need to stand together and use their status as a positive, by raising awareness of this type of movement. Their consistent feminist views don’t mean Goat Girl want to be tied down into “that” ‘politico-feminist’ bracket, though, with a primary focus on their craft and how they plan to progress as music makers.
They’ve called out their cynics, as easily displayed on their Facebook cover photo – a screenshot of a tweet which mentions that drummer Rosy should wear a bra. “It’s better if you try to make an example of them when someone does something like that. But in a lighthearted way, to show that you basically don’t take them seriously whatsoever.” It goes right back to that old saying that if you give negative actions a reaction, they’ll thrive on it. If they were to start again, they’d do nothing differently to how they’ve meandered forward through their career thus far. Like a force of nature, their words to any female act looking to also break into the scene is simply to “keep going”. Follow their lead, be carefree, stick your middle finger up to the haters, don’t get knocked back. Stick with it.