Artist Of The Week: King Goon
Think Madness at their most manic, mixed with a little Operation Ivy and Streetlight Manifesto, and I think you'll have a fair approximation of Swansea 'lad-rock' outfit King Goon. One of the most interesting and enjoyable bands to develop out of Swansea's music scene recently.
With a perfect blend of Ska and a healthy dose of care-free punk sensibility, King Goon are a post-punk "superdupergroup" formed of a collection of Swansea stalwarts. Having, as any respectable (read: enduring) band should have, gone through a rolling cast of characters before settling on their current line-up, the Goon's (there's never been a more apt title for a quintet) are regular faces at venues across the city.
Gareth Howell's raw, personal and always humorous vocals are a fitting counterpoint to the relentlessly dance-worthy backdrop of the brothers Morgan - Joel and James (ex-Afterglow and Pass The Peas/World vs. World respectively) - who's tight interplay of guitar and bass seems effortlessly in-sync whether they be crooning out a verse or two or not. On a side-note, there's something infinitely visually pleasing in seeing a duo of a righty and lefty bounding about the stage across from each other...
Add in a few final touches, like the embellishment of a second guitar, courtesy of Keith Robertson, that serves to lift the overall arrangements of the tunes, and the ever rock-steady drumming of Hywel Griffiths (ex-Judge Tuxedo) and you've a recipe for success!
Live, they're a force to be reckoned with - high-octane, increasingly topless as the evening progresses and a perfect, natural report with the audience (maybe being topless helps...? Don't worry, I won't put that theory to the test any time soon).
Over the last few months, the lads have been cloistered away in the studio recording their debut album that should see the light of day in the new year and we can't wait - we've been promised a big party to celebrate its release, let's hold the Goons to it!
Written by Joe Bayliss