The Gallows Pole: Original Score by Goat

Release date: July 7, 2023
Label: Rocket Recordings

When acclaimed director Shane Meadows announced his first period drama television series, it was something of a departure from someone who had made compelling and humorous but ultimately extremely raw and hard hitting films and television series like This Is England, Dead Mans Shoes and The Virtues, but those familiar with Meadows work knew the subject of The Gallows Pole (which is about the 18th-century counterfeiting gang the Cragg Vale Coiners and their leader “King” David Hartley) would be dealt with in his own inimitable style.

Having watched the brilliant series, it certainly is a must watch with the story, acting and direction all containing not only the hallmarks of what make Shane Meadows such a fine filmmaker, but how music plays such an important part in the whole process.

The music contained throughout the series (which includes songs from the likes of Lankum, The Groundhogs, The Mystery Lights and more) is inspired and definitely plays a big part in what makes it so special, but it is the score from Goat and their songs that gives it an otherworldly feeling as the story unravels.

Goat’s score is as compelling as the visual and dialogue aspects of The Gallows Pole and these songs sound both free, rousing and dreamlike, as they do, haunting and unsettling.

The best thing about this collection of music is that you don’t have to have seen The Gallows Pole to fully immerse yourself in and enjoy Goat’s original score, (if you have it is a bonus though as it conjures up all manner of feelings and images connected to the series) and the songs here embody everything that is magical about Goat.

The Gallows Pole consists of 3 previously available Goat songs and 5 that were made specifically for this soundtrack.

From the opening ‘Let It Burn’ (which plays proudly over the shows closing credits and was previously released as a single in 2018 and subsequently appeared on the Headsoup album) onwards, this is another trip into the mind of Goat as well as everything that makes The Gallows Pole so good, and the fact that the whole thing plays so well demonstrates exactly why Meadows chose Goat to provide the music for the 3 part series.

New compositions ’Mind Is Like The Sky’ and ‘Field Raga’ are two of the darkest and most haunting songs that Goat have ever done and fittingly conjure up images of dark forces at work while elsewhere there is an eclectic mix of the varied nature of the music of Goat in the form of other original tracks, the gentle ‘Jazzman’ and the truly epic and brooding ‘The Gate Is Open (The Temple Lies Within)’.

The gloriously hazy freakout of ‘Fill My Mouth’ (also previously released on Headsoup), lets the quality continue to flow before the closing ‘Gathering Of Ancient Tribes’ from the album Commune finishes things in a triumphant fashion.

The Gallows Pole is a majestic experience through sound and will transport and transform your mind in the way that Goat always do so perfectly.

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