Into Live Music Review: Goliath
Venue: Glasgow August House
Date: 28 July 2023
We’ve all read stories of nascent first gigs by bands/artists ranging from shows at the school dance, to the local pub and even opening for a known name at an established venue. For Goliath, that initial show happened to be in a venue partially hidden down an inconspicuous lane on Glasgow city centre.
There was a decent crowd, a mix of existing fans and those in early who were more interested in seeing the headline act. Both sets of attendees made a wise choice as Goliath positively rocked the joint and won a host of new admirers.
Of course, the band have a burgeoning reputation as a result of a clutch of early singles such as Ghost Town and their most recent release, Mary’s Song. The four-piece band is the brainchild of singer Jack Fagan who has managed to surround himself with a more than competent bunch of musicians to help complement his distinct vocal in a wholly complementary manner.
After a quietish start, Roses ‘n’ Violence was the perfect showcase for the band, a song which starts slowly, but like a seed, it grows then blossoms into a colourful sonic explosion, Fagan’s bearing his soul, his voice emotive and aching in equal measure.
Aside from Fagan’s wide ranging vocal technique, the rhythm section were absolutely locked in sync and really helped navigate the music beautifully. Special mention to the bass player, complete with army pants and boots, cutting shapes and playing in a style clearly modelled on a certain Paul Simonon.
Goliath aren’t afraid to mix it up. Predominately new wave with nods to Sparks and XTC though, on the likes of Lee Beloved, we see and hear a more whimsical, pop-based effort where a jaunty and light guitar support another great vocal. Set closer Mary’s Song with it’s woop woop woop refrain went down a storm, the band at full tilt on a track which doffs its cap to The Knack’s My Sharona.
As first gigs though, this was a more than decent debut. Of course, there’s much to work on, particularly their stage presence and ensuring the instruments remain tuned. This will help remove the pauses between songs and strengthen the visual impact, both of which are key to an engaging live experience. That will no doubt come with experience.
There’s clearly more to come from Jack Fagan and Goliath. Keep an eye out for new music and hopefully some more gigs soon
John Welsh with additional contributions from Lisa Semple