When singer/songwriter J. Keenan and bassist Mark Moran formed The Go Set in 2003, it seemed only natural to combine the elements of the music they had grown up on. Having both been brought up on everything from traditional celtic and folk music, to early seventies punk rock, and with a voice for political perspective and social conscience, The Go Set embarked on a unique musical journey. Combining the folk elements of the bagpipes, accordion, and mandolin, with distorted punk guitars and a rock n roll ethos, The Go Set created a sound and direction all its own...
“…trying to describe the sound of The Go Set is like trying to imagine Peter Garrett, The Pogues, and The Clash having a late night jam in a local pub with an endless supply of booze”. Blunt Magazine (2005)
Amusing, but probably not far wrong. The Pogues and The Clash, along with the likes of early Midnight Oil, Weddings Parties Anything, Billy Bragg, and Radio Birdman are indeed strong influences on the band’s music.
In November 2004, the band entered Birdland Studios in Melbourne with engineer Lindsay Gravina (Spiderbait, The Living End) and recorded their debut album ‘Sing a Song of Revolution”. Recorded in just 2 days, it captured all the intensity and raw live energy that the band had become renowned for.
The band hit the road immediately after the release of ‘Sing a Song of Revolution’, and toured extensively through Australia and New Zealand, developing a strong fanbase on its intense and chaotic live shows.
In addition to its own relentless touring schedule, The Go Set has also toured and played with the likes of The Living End, The White Stripes, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, The Stranglers, Pulley, and Royal Crown Revue among others. It has also played some of the best stages around the country, and appeared on Queenscliff, Apollo Bay, FRL and Fall Festivals over the last year.
A year after the debut album was recorded, the band returned to Birdland Studios again, this time with producer, Radio Birdman frontman, Rob Younger. After 5 days recording, The Go Set’s second album ‘The Hungry Mile’ had been created. With a similar energy and aesthetic as its predecessor, ‘The Hungry Mile’ also demonstrates an evolution in the band. More detailed arrangement, more creative instrumentation, and the most powerful and poignantly delivered lyrics to date.
The album crossed many boundaries, and addressed issues inherent in Australian society, and indeed globally – the plight of the working class and work place reform, war and tragedy, and the importance of family and support. It is truly an album for all people.
Through 2006 the band embarked on a tour to support the release of ‘The Hungry Mile’, a tour that lasted the entire year and took in all parts of the country as well as New Zealand. Within the first two weeks of its release, the album had debuted at 10 in the Australian Indie album charts, had had the first single added to Rage and Triple J, and had sold out its first shows. Not bad for a band running its own record label and management.
In 2007, The Go Set teamed up with Australian singer/songwriter legend Mick Thomas to record their third full length album, titled “A Journey for a Nation”. The new album addresses much of the same subject matter that the band has become known for, and the punk energy, bagpipes, and folk instruments remain the same - but this album has a new diversity and complexity previously unfound.
Those familiar with the band have labelled this album as, by far, the band’s most accomplished record and a huge step in the band’s evolution. ‘A Journey for a Nation’ is receiving rave reviews around Australia and New Zealand, being hailed as a breakthrough release for the band, and already one of the indie albums of 2007.
An amazing start to the year, with things only set to get bigger and better. A European release date through Modern Noise/ Cargo has been set for June 2007, with the band set to tour Europe, Asia, and the USA within the next year.
The Go Set have averaged more than four nights a week playing, and now make a living touring local, and overseas bands on our shores, as well as their own music.