On February 17, punk rock stalwarts The Go Set will be bringing their high-octane show to play a double-header show at the Great Australian Beer Festival, followed by Murphy’s Tavern in Geelong. Having travelled the world performing their turbulent show, the excitement for their jaunt to Geelong is palpable for The Go Set’s vocalist Justin Keenan.
“I’ve got to say that I really love playing at Murphy’s. I never would have thought that a themed pub that mainly has cover bands would be the type of venue that we’d love to play at, but we think the vibe is great,” he remarked. “People that follow our band seem to like going there and the past two times we’ve played there it’s just turned into a wild party. We’ve had really great experiences there and the 17th of Feb will be no exception.”
Having toured countries all over the world, The Go Set is no stranger to international stardom visiting Europe, the U.K, the United States and Japan on a regular basis. Keenan identifies a lack of Australian-radio opportunity as an instigator for their drive overseas.
“I think people can be a little less willing to embrace a band that’s not seen or heard on triple j. European audiences and Japanese audiences in particular are really open to embracing, and anything that feels good they move to it,” he says, while also pointing out population-size as a factor. “There’s a country like ours that has 25 million people, whereas in places like Europe and Japan, their populations are so large that there will always be a segment that like a certain style of music. Even if it’s avant-garde jazz, there will be people that seek it out and find it.”
And people have been seeking out The Go Set’s unique sound since 2002; a sound that has been likened to punk rock acts like The Living end and Celtic rockers Flogging Molly. Keenan cites the inspiration for their sound and the use of bagpipes, fiddles and tin-whistles as being sourced from growing up on a healthy diet of Irish and Scottish music.
“We were brought up on that Irish and Scottish music and my grandparents always had that playing. In the house my parents always had that playing” he recalls, while also hinting at where the band’s hard edge might have gleaned from. “I developed a love of protest songs from my parents and a mix of those two is what we sound like. The Irish and Scottish people are no strangers to oppression so it’s no surprise that most of their songs are anti-establishment so I guess that appealed to me from the start.”
Having released their seventh album ‘Rolling Sound’ in 2015, Keenan confirms that the band will be hard at work for an eighth release later this year.
When & Where: Great Australian Beer Festival & Murphy’s Tavern, Geelong – February 17.
Written by Daniel Jubb