Live Review: The Hungry Ghosts + James Brough + Al Lover, Sunflower Lounge, 21/7/2015

This is the kind of gig you won’t stumble across anywhere else: a hair-dryer-wielding keyboard player, a sleazy rock band and a bass-blasting “super producer” with a magic carpet, all fitting quite comfortably on the bill.

The night kicks off with James Brough, an electronic producer type armed with an array of gadgets. His sound darts between loop pedal ambiance and hook-led pop. Somehow, among all this, Brough manages to play with a sense of humour as well, getting out a hair-dryer to record into his sampler at the beginning of one song, while another includes him singing the words “I don’t have very good timing” and intentionally triggering drums out of time.

jamesbrough (4 of 5)

The Hungry Ghosts, arguably the main event of the night, swiftly follow with a set which never dips in intensity from the first note to the last. They play raucous garage rock heavily influenced by blues and country, managing to completely avoid how awful those two genres can be. Their stage presence is high-octane swagger and stomp, matching their tight and trashy music; frontman and lead guitarist Joe Joseph and Billy Ollis career around the stage while bassist Jodie Lawrence fulfills nonchalant bass-face duties. The set concludes with punkier songs such as their single Hares On The Mountain, which throws a dash of The Strokes influence into the mix. A live experience not to be missed, The Hungry Ghosts will destroy your eardrums in the best way possible.

thehungryghosts (11 of 18)

Ending the night is Al Lover, who covers his table with a posh carpet and fills the room with rumbling bass, occasionally vibrating the entire bar area. He uses the word “vibes” in his introduction on the mic before plunging into an hour of just that – psychedelic electronic ambiance which has many in the room in a dancing trance and some checking their watches. It’s a polarising sound which is maybe more suited to a club than a gig, but it’s the kind of eclecticism the Sunflower Lounge specialises in.

allover (4 of 4)

Words: Tom Clabon
Photography: Rob Hadley Indie Images Photography

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