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Ghost Woman, Yes Pink Room. 5th February 2024

Ghost Woman have been promoted since their last visit to the city, moving upstairs from Yes’ Basement, two floors up to the Pink Room. To be honest though I think this band would make sense just about anywhere they play. For theirs is the sort of rustic dystopian sound that will transport you far beyond the boundaries of any room. They have a sneaky trick of releasing new records without me realising though. I’m clearly not paying attention enough, but I’ve had Hindsight 50/50 on heavy rotation this weekend and can testify it is as wonderful as the two previous outings. They lean heavy on it tonight too. Now if you’re not familiar, they’re a duo. There’s something instantly exciting about a two piece on stage I find. It feels like there’s a battle line drawn, can they really pull this off with just the pair of them. Let’s not get too grand though, history states bands often do don’t they, but it still makes me smile as Evan and Ille take to the stage, traditionally late as I’ve learnt. The warm up music fades out, they share a look and the blissful bleakness begins. The bass delivers some serious trouser waft as the strobes lazily kick and an exited patron screams “FUCK YEAH!”. Speaking of kicking, Ille’s bass drum delivers the sort of rhythmic punch that not only makes the speakers shake, but underpins their entire sound. Her kit sounds monolithic, setting the tone for the entire set, as Evan switches between angelic shoegazey vocals with dusty drone guitars, to full blown distorted instrumental abandon. He leads the line and courts the admiration from the front of the stage. Head toward the ceiling, his beanie barely clearing it. I compared them last time to The Raveonettes and BRMC and that still stands. There’s a bit of danger and couldn’t care less cool about them. They’re feisty. Evan going for someone down the front filming, “Put your phones away and enjoy the show”. More of this from bands please, it is fucking annoying. To be honest, I did spend half the set with my eyes closed, locked in. This is what I mean about being transported. It’s like driving down the road at night in a David Lynch movie. Roof down blowing you around a little, like the bodies that I can feel around me. The strobe  lights like lightening, warning an incoming storm on the back of my eyelids. When I do open my eyes though, Ille is a marvel to watch. Such tight control, she makes the tribal heartbeat and layers of percussion look easy. Some drummers play like they’re trying kill something, but she’s full of raw confident power and it’s mesmerising. Evan gives me virtuoso slacker vibes, but he’s no less captivating. Surf guitar menace, goth tinged euphoria and of course a hefty dose of desert reverb blues. Ultimately they’re a groove band. Finding it. Riding it effortlessly for a magical hour. Maybe to bigger and bigger rooms on future visits, but tonight in Yes they feel perfectly at home.


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