Saturday 26 February 2011

Review: Former Ghosts + Terror Bird

First review for the blog and first show in the "new" Levee/ex-Bang Bang Club for me. Not much changed besides the name so no big surprises there.

I didn't know much about Terror Bird before their gig so I also didn't have great expectations. They surely had a difficult stand when they began to play in the half empty club. The duo played synthie and beat based wave pop, often reminding me of Zola Jesus, and thus fit quite well to Former Ghosts. After all they didn't really excite me. I liked the music and I think I could definitely like their records but it just didn't work live for me that evening.

Following up were Former Ghosts, which is Freddy Ruppert's (who you probably know from This Song is a Mess but so am I) current project. Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu supported him live and seems to be more or less a permanent member by now. I already saw them at their last Berlin gig with Xiu Xiu and Zola Jesus at Festsaal Kreuzberg and even though I liked it back then, I also had the feeling that they could do better, as they seemed a bit lost on that big stage. Well they did.
Musically Former Ghosts play dark and wavy synthie pop, often compared to bands like Joy Divison. They started with one of my favorite songs from their last record and continued surprisingly dancy and catchy. The set then got more and more noisy and experimental, reminding me of Xiu Xiu live performances (not surprising though, with half of Xiu Xiu actually playing on stage) and
towards the end they managed to deconstruct nearly every poppy and catchy approach. They probably also left a good part of the audience somewhat deranged. The gig was definitely much more intense than the one at Festsaal so I'm glad to have seen them again but in a smaller, more intimate setting this time.

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