JOHN BARDSLEY falls head over heels for Ghostpoet.
ARU, 13th February, 7pm, £11
My initial reaction on entering ARU wasn’t great; a half-full room with Mumford & Sons tunes playing in the background. It was like an awkward college bop. Two girls even came up to me asking if the gig had finished. So far, so bad…
My depression didn’t last long though. When Ghostpoet warmly greeted the crowd for the opening show of his UK tour I desperately wanted the gig to go well for him. He just seems like such a nice guy. He didn’t need my goodwill though. The tour has clearly been planned very well: his exciting live setup only adds to his already fantastic recordings. The drummer really drove the songs forward and the guitarist added some interesting instrumental variations to the recorded version of Ghostpoet’s debut album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam.
My only disappointment was that the synths were controlled through a mixing desk. This took some of the live element away, but enabled Ghostpoet to play around with some interesting delay effects that added to the impact of his tunes. Liines and Survive It showed the delicacy of some of Ghostpoet’s tracks, a subtlety that is often lost in music with electronic elements.
He doesn’t only excel musically though, lyrically he is equally brilliant. And he manages to do all of this whilst still remaining approachable and listenable. His live performance only served to confirm what most music eggheads have already realised: artists like Ghostpoet are the future of pop music. Cross-genre, unique sounds that have the power to both excite and move audiences. My only criticism would be a slight sameness found in some of his tracks, but as a young artist who only recently released his debut album this problem definitely isn’t serious. Also it’s this signature sound that sets him apart from other artists. So I should just shut up about that really.
The last track of the night was Cash & Carry Me Home, a real fan-favourite. The crowd had been energetic throughout, but things really went off with this last tune. The track really is the perfect pop anthem. Catchy, bouncy and best of all music that doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. Will Pithers, a fresher from Caius eloquently described what everyone was thinking: ‘Ghostpoet can cash and carry me home anytime he wants. ‘ It felt more like a rave than a gig – an excellent effort from the Cambridge faithful who maintained a buzzing atmosphere throughout. Nobody needed much encouragement when we were implored to ‘jump, jump, jump.’ A perfect end to a great night out.
A track that actually warrants the term ‘banger’.
The venue may have felt more school play than serious gig, but during Ghostpoet’s set I was transported away from Anglia Ruskin and taken into his own ethereal musical dreamscape. He’s an exceptionally gifted and energetic peformer and to top it off he’s likeable and humble, two characteristics that don’t often go with talent. The only negative of the night was that the venue wasn’t totally rammed; artists like him deserve better.
READ our exclusive interview with Ghostpoet.