Team Ghost with Daniel Land and the Modern Painters
The Castle Hotel, Manchester
Wednesday May 18, 2011
It is a delight to finally catch up with Northendenís finest in the Castle's charming back room. Daniel Land and the Modern Painters are part way into a set that showcases the sublime soundscapes they have put together over the past few years. In characteristically unassuming fashion the music draws you into a quite different idyllic world. Effects driven guitar lines point to quiet reflection and peace as Landís voice floats delicately over it all, coaxing each song along in understated fashion. As the levels of each song rise and fall, with no pressure to wrap anything up until it is done, the room is wholly content and ready for the main event.
With a only a couple of EPs to their name, Paris boys Team Ghost have built a reputation for themselves very quickly, even allowing for the fact that one of their number has a bit of backstory in M83. Taking to the stage entirely dressed smartly in black we are quickly met with a throbbing bass line, drums bursting with energy and the promise of a high octane show.
Proceedings begin to stutter very quickly, however, as technical gremlins force long delays between early songs and the momentum stalls somewhat after a promising start. When things get moving at a faster pace again it is still clear that we are hearing a very different animal to the polished, synth heavy sound put out on the bandís early recordings. What we get instead are a series of louder, edgier versions and it is never clear how much of this is intended. The electronic side of the bandís sound is still present, just buried under a wall of noise that is still very enjoyable. It leads the crowd into a different kind of dancing as the boys stay ice cool at the front, save a few intermittent thank-yous.
They are at their best when the dynamics shift, such as in the positively epic 'High Hopes', with its gradual build up from beginnings of piano interrupted by a giant crash of drums. You canít help but think though that it would be good to hear the full package from their recorded material on show. When that comes to fruition - along with a full length release - they will be ready to take the world on.
words: Steve Welch