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Ghoul @ Annandale Hotel
03/12/2008

It's light outside but the Jager-dale is in it's usual dark, uninviting, cave-like state. Sydney four piece Ghoul are on stage running through the last little sound checks before commencing their set. I briefly get a chance to say hello to their frontman, Ivan, before they commence. They are playing tonight as part of some sort of contest but he is unsure on the details and slightly confused on how they proceeded to this, the semi-finals, a point where they genuinely have a chance on winning some portion of the cash prizes on offer.

The Ghoul strategic marketing plan seems to have really kicked into second gear over the past few weeks. They have popped up on radio and music websites all over the place, with people throwing nothing but praise in their direction for not only the quality of their debut release but also their fantastic approach to the industry.

This genuine love of their craft comes across well in their live performance. Ivan's vocals don't quite pop as much as they should under the heavy strain of the usual sub-par Annandale sound mixing but the group do more than enough to impress the five or so people that have made the effort to get in early. The fact they sound nothing like any other band currently going around is a refreshing treat for the ears. This creative freedom is on show throughout their set, with theatrical introductions, jangly arrangements, barbershop acapellas and pop-rock riffs all nestling up next to each other without sounding at all disjointed or forced.

Ghoul only looked better as well when the next band in the contest took to the stage. They were armed with TWO double-neck guitars, matching uniforms and sounded a little bit like a young Christian RSL house band. They fumbled through about 57 cringe-worthy cliches in their first track, which was a bit like 90's shit pub rock mixed with an uncomfortable smugness. It was pure vomit. We left upon the commencement of their second song, around about the time the lead singer lent on the microphone and eyeballed the crowd like a kiddy-fiddler on day release. I have no idea what they were called and I don't want to know. I am going to hypnotherapy all week (twelve sessions) just to remove their performance from my memory. Urgh.

Ghoul are a damn fine band and then when their limitless creativity is held up against those in a similar position they only look better. They are a rare fresh chunk of porterhouse steak in the stale, dog food Sydney music scene. You should definitely go and see the next chance you get.

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Comments

b_astro

Hahahaha - spot on
Being one of the 5 people that were there I could not agree more with this - especially the part about the next band
I looked at them only for about 10 seconds so I managed to get away without hypnotherapy but now that you reminded me of them I might need to book myself in

1 decade ago

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