The Go! Team landed in Melbourne to continue a punishing schedule which will see them play a heap of dates in Australia, and lucky competition winners were given the opportunity to see them play in the smallest venue they’ll play between the Groovin The Moo festival dates and some pretty big club dates. The band weren’t kidding when they told fans on Facebook that the show at the Strike Bowling alley for Puma competition winners was intimate. Front woman Ninja posted the comment: “we’re playing another bloody bowling alley! Hopefully no-one will end up in hospital after this show. Its [sic] is officially the TINIEST. STAGE. IN THE WOOOORLD. And apparently bowling balls will be rolling underneath us. (???)”

Indeed that was to prove the case as the competition winners downed the free vodka and lapped up the gourmet finger food on offer as DJs only took a pause to call winners from the crowd to pick up pairs of Puma shoes. With a packed venue all hyped up, The Go! Team took to an indeed tiny stage located three quarters of the way down the bowling alley itself, as those punters having a game rolled bowls down towards the pins under their feet. Crammed on to the tiny stage across the alley as punters craned their necks to get a view, Ninja’s infamous scissor kicks saw her come precariously close to the edge of the stage as the band, which hail from Brighton in the UK, launched in to a ferocious set channelling their jetlag which saw every vantage point rammed with competition winners straining their necks to take in the sight. The constant stream of bowling balls churning down the lanes and the clatter of frames being reloaded gave the performance the air of seeing a band at a house party, with the schoolyard chants of ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O.’ and ‘Apollo Throwdown’ off their latest album Rolling Blackouts almost written to be performed just for the show.

Showing Puma’s appeal across the ages, the crowd ranged from barely 18 year olds to those in their 40s, who pretty much all seemed in tune to the dreamy haze of Rolling Blackouts’ title track and in spite of the occasionally wandering acoustics, party anthems such as ‘Bottle Rocket’ also provided the soundtrack to a night that could be modestly described as one hell of a party.

– Mary Ann Birchall