30 Songs in 30 Days: Day 11 – A Song From Your Favourite Band

Well I have three favourite bands and Cherry Ghost probably fit in this category best.

I’ll go with 4AM because it fills me with a lovely memory of listening to it on the flight back from San Francisco after a gorgeous break. It was probably 4am UK time.

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Adventures in Birmingham: Cherry Ghost

Adventures in Birmingham: Cherry Ghost live at the Glee Club, Birmingham

In case you and I have never communicated, this is to let you know it’s my third time seeing Cherry Ghost, third time since they released their second album last July in fact.

I was already considering them for current BBITW* when their first album was released but I was in America then and this is the first touring stint I managed to leap on.

So I saw them in July just after the release, supporting the eternally wondrous the Coral to boot but unusually in the sit down, toe-tapping theatre style of Alexandra Theatre. Then in their own right at the more suitable O2 Academy and now in what doesn’t look good on paper but actually is an ideal live music venue, the Glee Club.

Ideal because the stage is in the middle of the widest wall in the room so a lot more people can get up close and personal. Actually even though I stood my usual minimum 6, maximum 10 rows back, I felt a little too close to the band; I don’t like seeing the whites of their eyes or indeed making eye contact. So I don’t mind when two people stood in front of me slightly blocking my perfect view. It’s not ideal because I stop myself thinking of those Pesky Glee Kids© ruining all the tracks I hold dear.

So the band are at their best, the venue perfectly suited, if a bit of a trek for me to get to and it appears to be a sell-out.

So why doesn’t it feel right?

The support, Driver, Drive Faster set us up nicely even if they are a little too melancholy and samey, the crowd melt into the front of the stage and the toilets are clean (not a huge factor but a nice touch).

Cherry Ghost are on top form, fairly chatty and their excellent musicianship is for all to see, particularly as it’s very light on the stage. I can only think that it’s just an odd venue, the crowd are not as enthusiastic as at the O2 or indeed at the Alexandra. I can count the ones who know all the songs on one hand and that includes me and the audience seem a lot older. Perhaps that’s what it is; it’s not the usual mix of students that I’ve seen previously. Certainly there was no-one I recognised in the crowd so that’s a first.

Anyway, none of that detracts from what is another mesmerising performance from the Ghosters and I for one will see them as many times as possible in these lovely intimate venues before they start having to perform at large soulless arenas.

9/10

Likelihood of seeing them again 10/10

*Best band in the world

More about Cherry Ghost

Music Monday – C is for Cherry Ghost (BBITW)

Cherry Ghost: Currently known as the best band in the world

A great thing about having all my stuff back with me is having all my CDs to hand when preparing Music Monday.

Listening to Cherry Ghost, in particular these three tracks is heavenly; it’s like everything is OK in the world again. Imagine what it’s like to see them live; my friends watch me go into a trance like state with an unbreakable smile on face for the whole duration of the gig. A happier place there cannot be then listening to Simon’s calming voice and the whole thing being created live in front of you.

All the tracks are from their first album, ‘Thirst for Romance’ that I slowly discovered but then became hooked upon when I listened to the whole thing on a night flight back from the USA in October 2007. I bought the new album the minute (9.01am) it came out and I love it, but I’m still getting to know it to be really in love with it too. So here goes:

4amlike warm honey dripping down your very course sore throat, instantly soothing you back to health.

I thought this was always my favourite because of the contented journey back after four glorious days in San Francisco for my birthday. It would have been around 4am our time, hence the memory.

People Help the People – Like getting into your own big, warmed bed, with clean sheets and four pillows having spent several nights sleeping on someone’s sofa

Mathematicslike sinking into a bubbly, warm bath, knowing there is plenty of hot water, no-one will disturb you and you don’t have to be any place else for hours.

What sort of band puts one of their best tracks last? Quite a few times I’ve heard it I think I have skipped to the start again but I haven’t, it’s just a fantastic album. This one is probably the fans favourite judging by the crowd reaction at gigs and if I really, really had to pick, mine too.

For those of you not converted to the magic that is Cherry Ghost, listen to these three and you will be. That is unless you are tone deaf, (but then you’ll still read the words), have no taste or absolutely no heart.

This is what life is all about; my work here is done. See you at the Glee Club (Bham) on March 14th.

Adventures in Birmingham – Cherry Ghost

Cherry Ghost Shoreline

Cherry Ghost : Beneath this Burning Shoreline

Cherry Ghost, live review

Seeing Cherry Ghost is like going on holiday; as soon as the gig is over, I want to book the next one.
That’s what happened when I saw the band of the moment (since 2007) this summer supporting The Coral. It wasn’t enough watching them do a short set but I knew they’d be doing their own tour to support the new album. I am still in love with the release from 2007, ‘Thirst for Romance’ so haven’t got used to this year’s release yet.
The gig was a mix of the two with the old ones going down extremely well. I met a few people seeing the band for the first time but there wasn’t much comment exchanging going on as I stood mesmerised by the soft melodic tunes.
A guy at the bar mentioned that he didn’t know what the band looked like which is true as they don’t use many photos and I said the exact same thing when I saw them last time. Talking of the bar, I got my water free; it seems the O2 don’t charge for it which is hugely refreshing (excuse the pun).
Later we realise the young lady in front of us was a reviewer, for the Times it turns out, picking the long straw to come and see them in Birmingham. We, as hospitable Brummies (and one adopted Brummie) invited her for a drink afterwards at the Victoria, another first for me.
After which, I go home to nurse my oncoming cold but nothing would have prevented me from making the dash back from London to see this gig tonight.
When’s the next one?
Cherry Ghost

 

Live music: The Coral & Cherry Ghost

I’m thrilled to see this gig advertised; two for the price of one. I really like the Coral and have one or two of their albums but I just adore the first Cherry Ghost album from 2007. Every track I heard from it had enthralled me even before I listened to the whole thing, on my way back from a birthday trip to San Francisco thanks to the always brilliant Virgin Atlantic; is there a more perfect airline? I don’t think so.

In preparation, I’m out last weekend to purchase their new album, my first in a year as I’ve kind of decided no more CDs; I may as well begrudgingly go into download territory. It’s hard as I have never been a fan of the tiny CDs that replaced the almost weekly occasion that was ‘buying an album’. Back then, I came home with a large purchase in my hand and devoured the hundreds of sleeve notes and lyrics whilst playing and taping the new vinyl. Nearly all my records are pristine as they have just been played once – and thereafter only listened to on tape.

I discover that I’m a day early for the release, I’m sure Radcliffe & Maconie said it was out in June? As if to compensate, I buy my first ever DVDs (I’ve decided I’m going to buy my top two films of each year – only in the sale. I bought Milk (2008) and Away We Go (2009). Next day, my music geekness is restored as I wait for HMV to open to buy the day’s best new release. And I say that having only heard the single so far.

I feel with their talent and sound, Cherry Ghost should be headlining their own gig of this magnitude so for me, The Coral were the bonus act, despite their longevity through five quality albums. To add to the magic, the gig is taking place in Alexandra Theatre. A theatre!

This is a first for me but somehow it works beautifully. From the third row of the dress circle (I wouldn’t have chosen the location myself) we have a perfect view. Whilst it’s odd to be sitting down at such an event, the mostly melancholy tunes of both bands just seem to fit the chandelier and dusty decor.
The support’s support band (whose name I didn’t catch) matched the harmonious vibe of the two main acts perfectly and set us up for the best new (2006) band for years.

I should play them more often as the minute Cherry Ghost take to the stage; I have that warm fuzzy feeling inside that says all is good in the world, because we have music like this to enrich our lives.
The smile doesn’t go away throughout their short but otherwise perfect set. I just love the vibe and quite frankly they could be reciting their shopping list and the track will still be fantastic. It’s swaying, deeply melodious and haunting at times. In fact, I feel I am in a far away blues club at 4am on a Friday morning not a theatre in the centre of Birmingham on Monday night at 8.30.

I cannot wait to catch them at a headline gig to hear their complete set. I’d pay good money and travel a fair distance for that. 20 minutes walk from my house works just as well though.
What’s more I’m pleasantly surprised to hear The Coral much louder than I foresee as they work through some classics, some early numbers and of course a few from the new (to be purchased – no downloaded) album.

Gosh, next I’ll be replacing by Blackberry with an iThingy.

Cherry Ghost