“That is the best music I’ve heard in St Andrews.” This was something I heard more than once last night, during and after Goldfish’s early set. By nine thirty, the queue was splling over into the Union bar. By ten, Venue 1 was packed out, sweaty and jubilant. The contrast to Bombay Bicycle Club’s tardy, lazy and depressing set during Refresher’s week could not have been more marked.
Hailing from Cape Town, the two jazz-trained boys comprising Goldfish have taken the dance scene by storm in recent years, opening for Fatboy Slim and Mr Scruff, and lately landing a Friday night residency in Ibiza hotspot Pacha. Often described as genre-defying, their mix of live saxophone, vocals and keyboards with jazz-infused house beats was a blast of fresh air this Wednesday, and seemed to justify their accolade of “the reinvention of the DJ”.
Venue 1 had cannily been partioned in half, helping to build the atmosphere of excitement as we waited for B-Sides to open. They never did, but when Goldfish took to the stage with zero fuss and infectious enthusiasm, the crowd quickly realised no warm-up act was needed. Indeed, the fact that we only had a limited time to do our thing gave the gig a ‘carpe diem’ vibe and made it even more intense.
Things really kicked off with Hold Tight and Washing Over Me. Despite having never listened to a single Goldfish track before, I was instantly hooked, in large part due to the way they read the crowd so well. Never have I been so bewitched by a double bass. With perfectly placed dubstep remixes and pauses for the beat to swell, Goldfish had the audience in the palm of its hand. Not since the African Caribbean Society’s nights in Catch in those long ago days of Spring 2010 have I danced so hard. It smelled like the seventies in there. And it wasn’t a bad thing.
The one flaw was the volume: Union limits on noise levels meant that the first few songs felt a little too low-key. However, within minutes everyone was too busy enjoying the music to worry about how loud it was.
Goldfish finished on a massive high with Soundtracks and Comebacks and left (for a gig in Edinburgh) with as little pomp as they’d begun. Tired out, many people trickled home or for a ‘mid-night pre-game’ (increasingly normal practice in St Andrews? Discuss). However, many returned for a wind-down boogie to B-Sides.
Well done to The Stand, the South African Society, STAR and Music is Love for a very well-executed night.