On Sunday night, Far Out made it down to Sheffield’s Plug to catch a mesmerising performance from the distinct sounds of Ghostpoet who’s currently extensively touring the country after releasing his fourth record Dark Days and Canapes, his highest charting album to date.
Ghostpoet has made the transition from being a solo artist in his earlier work whereas in recent years his band have grown into becoming a vital aspect of the show. Dark Days + Canapes follows the same expansive route as his third record Shedding Skin which unlike his first two records were recorded with a full band.‘Freakshow’ and ‘Off Peak Dreams’ sounded especially mighty live.
The record sees Obaro Emijiwe AKA Ghostpoet engage with his political voice on tracks ‘Live>Leave’, ‘Immigrant Boogie’ and the dark ‘Karoshi’ where Obaro asks “And we’re fighting for what? Bloodshed and winning for what? Fighting for what, for what?”. He remains open about his personal life as he has throughout his career, tackling relationship woes and self-doubt in tracks ‘Trouble+Me’ and ‘Dominoes’ which both get aired.
The Sheffield crowd was made up of a wide mix of society with Ghostpoet writing on Instagram after the show that he chatted with fans afterwards whose ages ranged from 15 to 98 years old and labelled it “the power of music”. Hats off to the 98-year old.
The diverse crowd were warm and in good spirits throughout the gig apart from the probably now former-couple having a full blown domestic next to us during the first part of the set before they thankfully took their argument elsewhere.
Ghostpoet’s 90-minute set swayed heavily towards his latest record with no room in the set for early hits such as ‘Survive It’ and ‘Us Against Whatever Ever’ from his Mercury nominated debut Peanut Butter and Melancholy Jam but with four-albums in tow these are the sort of sacrifices he now must make.
Some older songs do get a welcomed run-out, the melancholic ‘Meltdown’ from 2013’s Some Say I So I Say Light featured stunning vocals from both Ghostpoet and his female keyboardist/backing vocalist.
The crowd are taken on a trip down memory lane during the three-song encore made up firstly of Cash and Carry Me Home’ which graphically describes a night out gone wrong, the emphatic ‘Liines’ which took me right back to the first time I saw Ghostpoet at Leeds Festival set two years ago before closing on Shedding Skin’s ‘Off Peak Dreams’.
Lyrically the 34-year old is one of the sharpest minds in Britain today, with his refreshingly open take on modern life and twisting conventions, all delivered with a unique swagger that only he can.
After finale ‘Off Peak Dreams’ Emijiwe nonchalantly climbed over the barrier to talk and share hugs with fans, going the extra mile to show his appreciation to his audience which was a lovely touch to end an impressive performance.
Ghostpoet tour rolls on across the UK, including a huge date at Camden’s Roundhouse. You can check out his full tour dates here.