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Shootin Goon
The Take
Colin Francies & Jamie Allen (Douglas, Acoustic Set)

Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

May 16 2004

It is a sad night in the Welsh capital, as Shootin Goon, one of Cardiff's most respected bands, gives its final performance. The experience remains a celebratory one though, as the band unleashes its full armoury of catchy tunes, and the Goon faithful turn out in force. Present in the crowd, in addition to friends, family and hardcore fans, are members of local contemporaries Douglas, Adequate 7, Figure Of 8 and Bedford Falls, local promoters Dead Souls Collective, and punk music video director Matt Freeth. Shootin Goon will remain one of the Welsh capital's most creative and respected bands of the late nineties and early new century.

Despite their respective successes, both The Take and Colin Francies & Jamie Allen (ex-Douglas, that band of local heroes having also recently parted ways) were willing to accept support slots to demonstrate exactly how much respect Shootin Goon have earned on the live scene. From the headliners there is no sense of pretentious delay, neither does the band descend into sentimental overplaying, instead Shootin Goon gets down to what it has done best for the past six years, displaying half an hour of tight, upbeat, goodtime Ska. Breezing through old favourites ‘My Art’, ‘Wootini’ and ‘Plain To See’, from their 2000 debut album Splott Side Rocksteady, the band allows no moment for sadness or regret to creep in, and the crowd cannot help but admire the band's indelible aura of positivism and hard grafting - traits that have typified the band from the very beginning.

When singer Matt dedicates ‘Guest List/Hit List’ to the thirteen past members of Shootin Goon, one begins to realise the complex history of this band, which is understandable given the numbers needed to create the trademark Goon sound. The breaks, dips and peaks of second encore ‘Back Again’ seem to symbolise the band’s entire lifespan, finally culminating in celebration. The stage becomes increasingly frantic during the entertaining but inevitable invasion, and, as guitarist Paul becomes swamped by countless sweaty bodies, drummer Sam calls time with his last fill and the set meets its close to rapturous applause.

By the time the crowd has dispersed and the air begins to seem breathable once more, Shootin Goon’s reflections reveal an inevitable sadness about the demise of not just a band, but a musical partnership and personal bond spanning years. Ultimately, however, this has been a just and fitting send off. "We couldn’t have asked for tonight to have gone any better. That will be what we remember, not the sadness of splitting up," said Sam, "The last five gigs have shown us that there are lots of people up and down the country that still really enjoy our music. We’ve all had the most amazing fun and seen so much as a group of friends over the past six years, and tonight was a great representation of that; doing what we really enjoy doing!"

So, farewell to the Goon. Thanks for the memories!

Al Amodeo



shootin-goon - official site

goodcleanfunrecords– record label

amazon- buy Shootin Goon’s three releases


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