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The Go Set were formed in Geelong in 2003 by lead singer-songwriter and guitarist, Justin Keenan, and bass guitarist, Mark Moran. Keenan is the owner of Karvin Records, which is Melbourne-based talent management, PR company, and record label. He had been a member of Melbourne-based garage rockers, Eddie Would Go, which formed in 1996 and released three albums before disbanding in 2001.

Their debut album, Sing a Song of Revolution (2005), was produced by Lindsay Gravina at Melbourne’s Birdland Studios. This album fuses traditional folk influences with 1970s punk rock. Shite ‘n’ Onions’ Will Swan observed, “[they] first marched into view, all bagpipes and tattered banners and bandaged heads held high, with 2005’s Sing a Song of Revolution, an exciting and accessible collection of emigrant anthems and mandolin-spiked drinking music.”

The Go Set’s second album, The Hungry Mile (2006), was produced by Radio Birdman front man Rob Younger. It provided the singles “Davey”, “Union Man” and “Power of Youth”. Alongside Keenan and Moran, the line-up was Andrew Baxter on guitar and mandolin, Ben Cuthbert on drums, and Johnny “Rotten” McHaggis on bagpipes. From March to June the group undertook their Hungry Mile Tour across Australia and to New Zealand.

In November 2011 The Go Set worked with Australian rock producer Paul McKercher on their 6th album, recorded at Hothouse Studios in St Kilda, Melbourne. The self-titled album features the single ‘Drums of Chelsea’ and was released in March 2012. In the following month Keenan told Chris Yates of The Music, of their proposed tour, “If you said to any other musician, you’re going to Europe for a month, you’re playing every night, you’re playing eight different countries, you’re playing at five festivals where you’re gonna be playing to thousands of people, dudes would be climbing over each other to get on that flight!”

During August 2013 they supported a tour by the Real McKenzies, with BMA’s Rory McCartney observing, “[their] fusion of punk with bagpipes, kilts, tin whistles, and even a mandolin might seem an odd mix… [however] the five-piece has had 13 different members over the years. Touring takes its toll on families and the band has a revolving line-up.” McCartney reflected on the group’s song writing, “Like its sound, the band’s lyrical material has also been heavily influenced by the members’ heritage. Keenan’s parents were very left-leaning. This made him serious about music and wanting to leave a legacy people could connect to, one that rises above popular culture.”