Charismatic, upbeat and unique, Goan Dogs are the bouncy, Bristolian band with a cult following stirring in the city and the rest of the UK. Guitar led and pop-rock infused, Goan Dogs mash up vintage sounds with crisp, upbeat tempos to fuse together an inventive blend of psychedelic desert rock.
Goan Dogs mash up vintage sounds with crisp, upbeat tempos to fuse together an inventive blend of psychedelic desert rock
Hailing from Bristol, the boys have become heroes locally and beyond, finding a fan in Elbow’s Guy Garvey, who has described them as ‘Bristol’s finest’ and given them precious airtime on his BBC Radio 6 show. Following their recent single release, their four-track EP Roll the Dice is due for release on vinyl and digital platforms on 30 March. They’re also closing the month with a series of headline shows including Shoreditch’s Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen and Thekla.
The five-piece group boasts a tirade of talent with Luke St Leger on lead vocals and guitar, alongside Theo Mackie on guitar, Bill Sherwood on bass, Dan Lane on the kit and Sam Kynan Powell on trumpet, guitar and other miscellaneous instruments. We’re looking forward to a big year from our favourite Bristol pooches, so we grabbed the boys for a quick chat about the rise of Goan Dogs.
We’re all old friends from primary school
Goan Dogs was born out of school friendships and mutual interests in music. ‘We’re all old friends from primary school’, Luke tells us. ‘We’ve been together as a band for a while,’ says Theo, ‘but have really been focusing on moving forward in our musical careers for the last two years. We’re all Bristol based lads so we’ve really felt the support of the music scene in the city and are so grateful for the opportunities we’ve been given.’
Joking amongst themselves the boys reminisced about their early days playing shows around the city. ‘Bristol has a really thriving music scene’ says Dan. ‘It always has and it’s only growing bigger and stronger as the years go on. Bristol is a great place to start out as a new band; there is a tonne of support and some really great venues to play, so the gigs are great fun.
Bristol is a great place to start out as a new band; there is a tonne of support and some really great venues to play
‘An old favourite haunt of ours back in the day was The Croft. Back then we had an accordion (played by drummer Dan) and did some really wacky stuff on stage. There were weird props involved and somebody had an umbrella on stage. We like to think we’ve refined our sound a little since then.’
With major inspirations in Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, Michael Macdonald, Radiohead and Soft Hair, Goan Dogs have intricately crafted an original, impossibly catchy sound. ‘At the moment we’re trying psyche infused pop-rock. It’s definitely organic and original to us and it feels right. We used to do more of the desert-rock, Americana-inspired guitar sound, but we’re using more synths and psyche-pop instrumentation in our music now’ Theo explains.
We used to do more of the desert-rock, Americana-inspired guitar sound, but we’re using more synths and psyche-pop instrumentation
The boys have been working hard over the last year crafting forthcoming EP Roll The Dice, which they will be launching this month with a string of gigs, finishing at Thekla on 31 March, supported by the talented Harvey Causon.
‘We’re really excited to get back to Thekla for our headline show’ says Luke. ‘We’re pulling out all the stops for this one – it should be a blowout. There are going to be lots of props, inflatable dice and Sam will probably take his trousers off!’
there are going to be lots of props, inflatable dice and Sam will probably take his trousers off
Released last month, Goan Dog’s new single Passing Through gives us a taste of what’s to come from the new EP. Accompanied by a much-anticipated video release, Theo explains the concept behind the track:
We’re super excited about the single release and the video
‘Passing Through is all about making sure that life doesn’t just pass you by. The message behind the song is that you can just go through the motions of life, or roll the dice and take a chance to do things differently. We’re super excited about the single release and the video. We work really hard to make our videos interesting and exciting to watch.’
With big hopes and a promising future emerging for Goan Dogs, it looks likely that they’ll smash through into the big leagues any day. This year could see them take off to new heights and they certainly have the aspirations to support the dream. Alongside plans to play a few of the major festivals and tour their new EP, they’ve already set their sights on writing their debut album.
Our biggest goal now is to write, record and release an album
‘Our biggest goal now is to write, record and release an album that we love and are proud of’ says Dan. ‘After that it’ll be to go on tour and play as many shows as possible! Our four-track EP is a stepping stone and we hope to be playing at some of the big festivals this summer!’
Watch this space, Goan Dogs are a sure thing.
Words by Molly Chinner
Photos by Dominika Scheibinger