The Centrala gallery space in Digbeth was the quirky location chosen for The Hungry Ghosts single launch party on Saturday July 22nd. A place geared towards the city’s independent cultural scene and a progressive community hub for artists, musicians and free-thinkers. It was an apt location for a night of music that celebrates an underground artistic ethos and a DIY attitude. Having heard their new single, Lazaro/Amerika, prior to the event, we were looking forward to getting our first taste of the live version with the new band line-up.
With the energetic atmosphere already being turned up a considerable number of notches thanks to You Dirty Blue‘s arduous and powerful set of catchy new grooves, Birmingham’s favourite phantoms took to the stage amidst a cloud from the enthusiastic smoke machine that seemed to be having as much fun as the audience. Back-lit by black and white vintage projections, born for the job front-man Joe Joseph looked every bit the trash country advocate, with the red neck tie, braces and suit jacket witnessed at previous performances, and wasted no time screeching straight into the characteristic southern discomfort Americana that they do so well. In true DIY spirit, the slightly weary PA was pushed to its limits with the band seemingly getting louder by the second, as they swaggered through their high octane, swampy, garage-blues infused track-list.
By the third song, Joe was off the stage and was now part of the crowd, eagerly enticing the group of dancing revelers that had headed towards the front during the previous set. Playing tracks from their 2016 Blood Red Songs EP, it was evident that the recent change in band members has not diluted the dynamics of their original sound and their live performance is just as ferocious, possibly increasingly darker and rawer than they have previously been. By the time they played the songs of the hour, ‘Lazaro’ and ‘Amerika’, the party was in full swing. The bass and drums rumbled through the floor, the gritty guitars screeched and wailed, and although the vocals were slightly drowned in the haze of the commotion, the new songs evidenced an alluring band with a distinctive style that are surpassing all expectations at every turn and ultimately, a group of musicians who know how to throw a party.
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The Hungry Ghosts
You Dirty Blue
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