Groove Armada's Live

Written By Dom Loomes

Groove Armada
‘We argue to this day about who wrote the trombone riff’ … Tom Findlay, left, and Andy Cato of Groove Armada in 2001.

Loudly heard, distinguished, and defining the discourse of dance in the
late 90s, Groove Armada are one of the most established cross-genre electro artists to ever have sprung from the turntables. From their ill-tracks of today to their vibrancy and iconic sounds of the past, the composed sounds of Andy Cato and Tom Findlay have influenced and tuned diverse sub-cultural events and movements, and revolutionised the culture of dance and community. Junction 1 are privileged to say that we will be holding the group’s last ever Scottish live show. This is a big-stage sound set you do not want to skip.

To dance is an act of beauty, honesty, and even spirituality. Movement is a fundamental element of being human. Groove Armada personifies these felt emotions at such a number, that they have become a household name for immense inward and outward experiences.

Born from the revolutionary and underground sounds of the capital, GA met in London in the mid-90s. The group has culminated eight studio albums, four of which have charted in the UK Albums Chart top 50. Their early days started as a series of night events across the city. It was from these nights that Cato and Findley started releasing 12s for East London pioneer “Tummy Touch,’ including their EP “4 Tune Cookie” in 1997. Around the same time, the duo released their first album, “Northern Star” which featured songs such as “Black Sheep,” an upbeat mix of head-bopping breaks and complex percussional tools that is creative in style and unique in its approach, and “Dirty Listening,” a chill, psytrance-enthused seasoning of mysterious sounds, that alter and silence the mind, transforming one’s state into a reality of bliss, dance, and euphoria. Both tracks also featured again on Groove Armada’s 2003 “Fireside Favourites” which signifies the success of “Northern Star'', its delivery, and the vibrancy of these tracks. Their second album “Vertigo” in 1999 evolved to be a more crafted and smooth collection, hence earning the duo a place on the UK Album Chart’s upper 20 and being accredited silver in the UK. The album also included one of their most famed tracks “At the River,” sampling “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page. The song is still a widely appreciated chill-out anthem, which catapulted and contributed to the success of the group’s musical career. The song is also considered a major accelerator for label recognition and illustrated GA’s capabilities to create chill electronic performances. The album also featured the song “I See You Baby” including Gramma Funk and Fatboy Slim, a huge classic that is pervasive in the realms of dance and electronic music. The group also released an assortment of remixed tracks from “Vertigo” entitled “The Remixes” which followed in the year 2000, along with their contribution to the “Back to Mine” mix album, which also included artists such as Nick Warren, Fatboy Slim, The Orb, New Order, and Pet Shop Boys.

In 2001, Cato and Findley launched their next studio album “Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)”. As its title conveys, the release marked a new chapter in the group’s life and music style, departing from their trip-hop roots and arriving at a more upbeat, cross-genre identity. This transformation can be clearly seen in their Grammy-nominated single “Superstylin.” Vocals were conducted by the group’s long-time vocalist MC M.A.D. (Mike Daniels). Daniels arguably surfs this track with superb reggae, house, dub, and speed garage flows, with Groove Armada accrediting him for the cross-genre sound of the track. “Superstylin” peaked at number 12 in the U.K, 37 in Italy, and the top 50 in Australia, Flanders (Belguim), Ireland, and New Zealand. In the U.S, the track climbed to number 40 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

Groove Armada featured on “Another Late Night” mix in 2002, the same year of the release “Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub).” Demonstrating their energetic attitude to produce and succeed, the duo were becoming unstoppable, collaborating and changing for the betterment of their career. The year after, Groove Armada crafted their fourth studio album “Lovebox.” The creation included a plethora of diverse music genres including rap samples in “Groove Is On” featuring Kriminul and Neneh Cherr, rock, such as in “Madder” and “Purple Haze,” and even disco undertones with their track “Easy.” The remaining songs orientated themselves more around their traditional methods of house and trip hop, whilst simultaneously offering a new and fresh experience, such as the titular track “Lovebox,” and “Remember,” with the latter incorporating vocals entirely from Sandy Denny’s “Fairport Convention.” Perhaps in dedication of this song, Groove Armada released an additional bonus track on their website shortly afterwards entitled “Fairport.” Lovebox also comprised of “Hands of Time,”a track which subsequently earned a spot on the movie “Collateral,” a film starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Mark Ruffalo in 2004. “Madder” was equally applauded at a high level, with the song being used in the 2003 video game “Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc.” “Purple Haze” was granted equal distribution, with its feature in the film “The Girl Next Door '' in 2004.

In 2007, Groove Armada released “Greatest Hits,” a piece that was accompanied by GA10: 10 Year Story, a 2CD rarity collection to commemorate their decade-long run as an ensemble. Cato and Findley have spoken in depth about the collection, and referred to it as an “emotional experience,” with both members choosing their preferred personal favourites of their mix history.

The group also curated “Black Light '' and “White Light,” with both being released in the same year of 2010. Both compilations share similar tracks, yet “White Light” contains re-recordings and alternative live versions of many tracks on the “Black Light” album. In the years to come, Groove Armada would begin to headline festivals, such as Uber Cool at Jersey Live in September, the same year of the Black and White Light releases. Further, Cato and Findley kickstarted intimate “living room” sets across the U.K. Minimal information was highlighted around these events, yet it is known that they started the journey in Brighton, 2011. Most of the sets were performed to small audiences and close friends, perhaps a loving gesture, and a kind demonstration to their original fanbase that the band were becoming ever-more known.

An additional three-track EP was released in 2014 under the name “Pork Soda.” Tracks include “Pork Soda,” “Hyde and Freak,” and “Jack in Black.” The album is a combination of house, techno, and feel-good, positive energy. 2015 bought yet another release, their eight studio album “Little Black Book.” The collection has been characterised as "somewhere between [an] album, mix CD, and compilation". The first disc features Groove Armada’s own original music and remixes, while the second disc details remixes of their music by other artists.

"Edge of the Horizon" is a familial feature, with the duo collaborating with numerous vocal artists, from the likes of Nick Littlemore, James Alexander Bright, Todd Edwards, She Keeps Bees, Roseau, Paris Brightledge. “Don’t Give Up,” “Dance Our Heat Away,” “Get Out on the Dancefloor” are just some of the emotional and evocative tracks. One may also say that the album is a quintessential British soundscape, with waves of summer and joyful vibes radiating throughout.

Groove Armada have also collaborated with a diverse fusion of musical artists, including Max Taylor, Neneh Cherry, DJ Gramma Funk, Sophie Barker, Nappy Roots, Fudge Dog, Sunshine Anderson, Mutya Buena, Jeru the Damaja, Richie Havens, Will Young, Brodanse and Joel Culpepper. The duo continue to conduct live shows in places like Ibiza, and headline festivals such as Wilderness and Boomtown. In 2021, Groove Armada followed up with a 4CD / 2LP Best of Twenty One,” an assemblage of all their top tracks, original classics, and latest anthems alike.

Groove Armada achieved chart and worldwide success with their singles "I See You Baby" and "Superstylin'' and have continued to enlighten and ignite the arena of dance with various tracks that many know and love today, being one of the biggest selling dance acts of this century. Junction 1 is the duo’s last ever live show in Scotland, this is a monumental event in the realm of dance, community, sun, and Scotland, as Groove Armada send home some of their greatest, and latest sounds. Book your tickets today.