Despite the downtrodden nature of many of his tracks, Ghostpoet had no problem entertaining the Button Factory with vigour and enthusiasm while opening his current tour in Dublin. His past experiences of touring have paid off and gifted him with an obvious prowess for performing and for a set that runs well over 75 minutes, his smooth voice and high level of charisma never falter. While he may be the main attraction for the night, the accompanying band contributes just as much to the show as he does.
Each member of the band is as professional as they come. They amplify the sound of older tracks,‘Cash and Carry Me Home’ for example, achieving a much bigger sound than the original recording. His keyboard player/backup singer assists him with a serene and reserved quality to her vocals. She replicates the voice of the female role on his current album, Shedding Skin, with a haunting perfection and it is often the new material that provides the most enthralling moments of the show.
It feels like there is an unspoken bond between him and his audience. One that allows tracks like ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’ and ‘Yes I Helped You Pack’ to be performed with compassion, despite the deeply personal subject matter on each. He bares this weight with no burden, trusting in the crowd to be as receptive as they are. It’s clear that he is comfortable being at the helm of the show, always controlling the pace but never undermining the importance of musicians joining him on stage.
While there may be a slight reluctance to his showmanship at times, he is clearly thankful of the position that he is in. After an encore of ‘Lines’ he jumps into the crowd to embrace his fans. He makes an impression on everyone from the diehards to the casual gig goers, humbled by the full venue for a Wednesday night. A turnout like this can be expected with this truly personal and intimate performance from one of the U.K’s most unique artists.
Photographed for State by Mark Early