Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportMusic.

Cherry Ghost review

Dan Nelson catches a heavenly performance from the Bolton band

Published on March 30th 2011.


Cherry Ghost review

It’s a rare occasion for a venue to perfectly compliment a band’s style of music as so many gigs normally take place in multi-purpose venues.

‘Aldred offered a humorous anecdote about a text his mother had sent him advising him about his choice of language because they were playing a church, prompting a few chuckles from the crowd. He has everyday charm in spades, and seems quite perplexed about the adoration of the crowd’

But Cherry Ghost at the Manchester Cathedral represents the exception to the rule; Americana indebted yet northern inflected bittersweet orchestral pop to a place which is primed for their music.

Bolton born singer-songwriter Simon Aldred grew Cherry Ghost into a full band off the back of well-received albums ‘Thirst For Romance’ and ‘Beneath this Burning Shoreline’ which stripped down their sound to reveal something darker and more subtle and didn’t reveal its beauty until after repeated listens.

I was somewhat ill-prepared for the splendour and magnificence of the Cathedral, having never been before. Support act, Chorlton-based electronic indie outfit Drive Drive Faster reminded me of the late JJ72 and despite at times adding too much to their mix were a worthy warm up.

Aldred started Cherry Ghost’s set with the sombre acoustic number ‘My God Betrays’ helped along by a low-key strings accompaniment; a brave but absolutely worthwhile venture. The rest of the band entered and launched into the stirring‘A Month of Mornings’ and album teaser track, ‘We Sleep on Stones’ which sounded gloriously epic and managed to better the album version. ‘Kissing Strangers’ is heartrendingly beautiful and should become a lighter in the air moment for them.

The night is mainly a showcase for new material so when the band reverts back to earlier stuff, you can see that they have become something else over time - not to rubbish the quality of their older tracks, as acoustic ballad ‘4am’ is made even more lush with the addition of a string ensemble and ‘Roses’ is given a more pronounced sound with an ongoing drum beat. But this is not an inspired assist and it should have remained as the original recording.

Aldred offered a humorous anecdote about a text his mother had sent him advising him about his choice of language because they were playing a church, prompting a few chuckles from the crowd. He has everyday charm in spades, and seems quite perplexed about the adoration of the crowd at various points.

Crowd favourite ‘People Help the People’ encourages a mass sing and sparse instrumental ‘Dead Man’s Suit’ is an interesting listen as Aldred’s world-weary vocals captivate the crowd. It’s noticeable that when the band plays their newer material, they are in their comfort zone, with the brassy ‘The Night They Buried Sadie Clay’ one of the best tracks of the night.

The band closes with the slow ‘Diamond in the Grind’, also a thing of beauty tonight, as the venue plays its part with spotlights casting shadows on the cathedral walls.

The encore consists of the swooning ‘Mathematics’ and the jazzy ‘Barbarini Square’. The band’s appeal seems to come from the earthy feel of their songs and singer, despite their often complex lyrics.

For now they seem content in bringing their chamber pop to special places like this – proving that it’s not all about filling arenas.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT HERE..
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Heather Buchanan

link isn't working for some reason to play the music

 Read more
Heather Buchanan

don't be such a negative troll, post your face and name. There is absolutely such a thing where has…

 Read more
Beast is back

I managed to get tickets to this event and it was mesmeric. Never seen John before but it was a…

 Read more
Darren

Going to see John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, cannot wait! Anyone unfamiliar with him have a…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2017

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord