By Jonathan Bradwell
There is no greater way to say your goodbyes to Tramlines 2011 than snatching “The Ghost of a Thousand” at their self-designated last ever Northern Show. Sorrowfully for fans, on the Thirty First of March this year the Brighton based Southern Rock outfit surrendered a devastating statement titled “End of the Road”, in which the band communicated they were irrevocably calling there time together to an end. Those who were at the “New Music Stage” around Six o’ Clock on the Sunday of the urban festival were bestowed reasons that “The Ghost of a Thousand’” will never be overlooked, and eternally missed.
Within Thirty Seconds from the first wondrously sounding Guitar notes from ‘Jag Jago’ (guitars) and ‘Andy Blythe’ (guitars), encapsulating and vehement frontman ‘Tom Lacey’ (vocals) had taken the time to embrace the fans in his own exclusive and unmatched way; by cantering headfirst into the collections of onlookers. Bottles, plastic cups and an assemblage of magazines and papers began hurtling around the crowd, adding and intensifying this near ‘last chance to see’ feeling in the air. The guitars unpretentiously sound compatibly piercing, fluttering across “Barkers Pool” and into our heads with the same ease of listening to the songs on the records.
The way their Punk-esque propensity and sound lingers them just above the rest of the rugged rock bands in Britain today is no stranger at the live shows. Although supposedly a family festival, ‘Tom Lacey’ (vocals) detests to abstain from swearing. His acumen: “I’m not supposed to swear but your kids will learn these words eventually without me teaching them”. With a few more expletives out of the way, the band whirl on with some well known hits from each of their full length releases, those being “New Hopes, New Demonstrations” and the earlier “This is where the Fight begins”. Brilliance.
Although not having released an album for a couple of years, the ruthlessness and unpolished application in which the single “Knees, Toes, Teeth” is reproduced is reason enough for the band to be here. The inaugural three chords and drum roll is undoubtedly unequivocal amongst the rest of their material, but the opening lyric of “Fucking New Romantics, it’s only rock and roll” is transmitted with such feeling that even those sauntering past can’t help but gyrate their heads. “The Ghost of a Thousand” unquestionably treasure playing live, and even where songs seem to get a little lost, all can be forgiven.
Drawing things to a close after a lengthy, full force set is the famous marvelled hit ‘Bored of Math’. With as much preciseness and fearlessness in the last half of the set as the first (and the same can be said about their career), the band leaves the stage having given something for everyone to smile about. As if being at their last Northern show was not remunerating enough, ‘Tom Lacey’ (vocals) didn’t leave without saying thanks for the career their fans have so forcibly supported: “Thanks for the memories we fucking loved every second of it”. Don’t be too sombre; after all, all good things must come to an end… regrettably.
(Picture courtesy of “Offset Festival”)
“The Ghost of a Thousand” perform “Knees, Toes, Teeth” at a show: