The live album is a strange thing to review. Ultimately it’s usually put out there as either a memento of a tour for the fans or a sort of greatest hits revue, its audience is sort of limited. If you are a fan then you will most certainly go out and buy it, other than that there is minimum impact to be had.
Goat have released this as a thank you for their successful year with World Music and it presents the entire show from the Electric Ballroom in London. Hardly likely to appeal to the greatest hits crowd this is certainly a fan only release but if you are one of them then you are going to love it.
On record Goat may be tied down to studio strictures and as good as they are at producing music there is nothing quite like a live Goat show. That is why Live Ballroom Ritual shines amongst most other live albums as it presents a way for their music to be truly heard in the way it is most definitely intended.
A much looser sound than on World Music, here tracks like 'Diarabi' and 'Goathead' find different avenues as the musicians feel their way into the songs. The production is not the best but it does have that requisite live feel which all great live albums should have and one gets the feeling that this is more of a bootleg than one with overdubs.
To pull in the fans who may only own World Music there are a variety of earlier songs which present a history which you may not be aware of and this is what makes the album more interesting. It is also sort of strange to hear the songs we love out of context of the running order and any aspersions of concepts can be thrown aside as you slink into Goat groove and yah yah along with the singers. It’s invigorating and you can’t help but move your feet along.
So, aside from actually going to see the band, this is the closest you will get to the true sound of Goat. If you are a fan you will love it but beware, you may find it replacing that well worn copy of World Music as you learn to prefer the real sound of Goat.
Long live Goat.