Team Ghost with Mount Fabric
Soup Kitchen, Manchester
Thursday, April 11, 2013
In recent months, Soup Kitchenâ€™s booking policy has established the venue as something of an underground French musical consulate. Last November, the annual Oui Love showcase of new Gallic talent was held here, and Dimitri From Paris paid a visit in March this year. Tonight's cross-Channel visitors are on tour to promote their recent second album Rituals.
Team Ghost's live sound encompasses grungy mood swings between ambience and noise. As lead singer Nicolas Fromageau shreds his guitar with his eyes focussed solely on his shoes, it's easy to imagine how he might have felt constrained within the electronic template of M83, the band to which he bid farewell almost a decade ago before they reached their current heights of crossover success.
Yet despite their leader's well documented musical ancestry, Team Ghost are far from being a one-man band. They employ a karaoke approach to the delegation of vocal duties that sees 80% of the quintetâ€™s members take their turn on the microphone (whilst still observing The First Commandment of Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roll: "Thou shalt never let the drummer sing").
The audience, which has grown exponentially since Team Ghostâ€™s performance in the minuscule back room of the nearby Castle Hotel almost two years ago, interacts playfully with the band in GCSE French phrases (Â«Ca va?Â» Â«Je t'aime!Â»).
Local support act Mount Fabric are also received positively, and deservedly so on the evidence of songs such as recent single 'Curves and Corners'. Backed by artisan Manchester label Crystalline Recordings, this baby-faced ensemble who make music that sounds as though they've endured a lifetime of suffering look set to surf the very same awesome wave of success as 2012 Mercury Prize winners Alt-J, a band with whom they've previously shared a stage.
Undoubtedly however, it is the headliners who own the spotlight, and they are visibly enjoying every moment. Such wild, unscripted enthusiasm is sadly an all too rare sight in the airbrushed and image-conscious contemporary music scene. As their single 'Dead Film Star' raises heart rates, volume levels, and the temperature within this basement, Team Ghost resuscitate the long-deceased spirit of music at its raw and visceral best.
words: Benjamin Thomas
Team Ghost's second album Rituals is out now on wSphere.