HOW IT ALL BEGAN
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 a 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.
The group’s main style is based around punk rock with strong undertones of folk punk and Celtic punk with the use of traditional folk instruments like mandolin, bagpipes and accordion in the music. The Go Set have also supported bands like The Living End, The Bouncing Souls, Flogging Molly and performed at major festivals. The Go Set are often compared to bands like The Clash, The Pogues and Dropkick Murphys with a unique Australian pub rock character. The Go Set also demonstrate a strong historical, social and political conscience in their lyrics.
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 2007 the band worked with Mick Thomas from Weddings Parties Anything to produce “A Journey for a Nation”, released in May 2007 this album took a distinct folk direction. Featuring the single “The Rising Tide”, A Journey for a Nation also featured a cover of Billy Bragg song Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards.
The band released their fourth studio album in 2008 entitled “Rising”. The album was recorded and produced by Jonathan Burnside. Rising saw a return to their punk origins featuring a cover of Radio Birdman song “New Race”. In April 2010 the Go Set released their live album “Another Round in Melbourne Town” . A self-produced EP titled ‘Fallen Fortunes’ was released by the band in late 2010 and followed with a European tour.
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. Shortly after completing a thirteen gig tour across the United States in September/October 2015, The Go Set launched their seventh album, “Rolling Sound”. The first single from the album was “Bones”, and the album’s CD release was accompanied by a documentary DVD (“These Are The Days”). A 12″ vinyl version of the record was released exclusively through Brisbane label Arrest Records Australia. The “Rolling Sound” Australian tour kicked off in Queensland, with gigs at the Gold Coast’s Coolangatta Hotel and Brisbane’s Beetle Bar.