Ghostpoet at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Ghostpoet may not be a household name yet for most people, but he will be very soon. Shortlisted for a Mercury Prize with his debut album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, he has now also been nominated for his third one: Shedding Skin. Originally from London, Obaro Ejimiwe – stage name Ghostpoet – embodies obvious pleasure from playing in his home city. The unique sounds of the albums transition superbly onto the stage, thanks to Ejimiwe’s wonderfully diverse band.
Ghostpoet’s style is one-of-a-kind in the sense that it is difficult to pin down. Elements of genres such as rock, grime, 90s rap, and electronic music all collaborate to create the unique sound; each ingredient adding enough spice to make for a fascinating show. Ejimiwe can both sing and rap very well. Although performing more of the latter, his use of both within the performance is truly impressive. It is hard to pick a particular song for which Ghostpoet stood out however the title track from his most recent album Shredding Skin just takes it; the smooth, indie-style guitar lines are a perfect complement to the baritone vocals. Other memorable moments include bringing Lucy Rose on stage for Sorry My Love, It’s Not You It’s Me whose backing vocals offset Ghostpoet’s own with interesting sonic dimensions. The rest of the band is also worth mentioning: the impeccable renditions of the songs from the singer’s albums is no small feat. The drummer and keyboard players in particular are vital to the transition of from recorded to live.
Overall, Ghostpoet is worth seeing and listening live, it is music that makes the audience think and dance as well as smile and cry. The only criticism would be a little lack of stage presence from the frontman, though this is clearly not due to a lack of passion; for every moment of the performance, he is engaged fully with the music played and with his band members behind him.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Ghostpoet and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Off Peak Dreams here: