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Review: We Ghosts

At the Pearson's Arms, Whitstable, Sunday 2 September 2012

One of the great joys of pub gigs is the unexpected find. You can walk in with no particular expectation, and in a short while discover that your jaw is dropping because you’re hearing and seeing a band that has the bar raised so high.

We Ghosts are just such a band, and they play gigs either as a trio or a duo. At the core of the band are Johnny and Jen who play an exhilarating mix of their own material, some of which has fairly dark and poetic lyrics, set to instrumental backings of intriguingly catchy melodies that get into your head and refuse to leave ! (they’re that good), alternating with some fairly unusual and fascinating covers. See for example their great versions of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart and Dylan’s  One More Cup Of  Coffee in the videos on their own page in this site,  and you’ll get an idea of how outstanding they are, see them live and you’ll know for sure !

Jen and Johnny play gigs in the UK and in Jen’s native Sweden. In the local area we have quickly learnt what a marvellous band they are. Jen’s accomplished vocals complete with Swedish inflections cross a variety of styles, and include many harmonies with Johny, who also takes a lead vocal now and then. Sometimes her vocals which are on occasion  accompanied by Jen’s own guitar playing as well, are jazz tinged, at others bluesy, and they can also rock out, always working fabulously well with Johny’s magnificent guitar and his often dazzlingly fast playing which comes from the heart, and has at times (to my ear) almost a flamenco style.

At The Pearsons Johnny and Jen were playing as a duo. Two customers who had been saying they were of Scandinavian origin were keen for the gig to start early, and Jen and Johny politely complied, beginning perhaps as a favour to the couple with one of We Ghosts own fine songs The Iron Hills which is about where Jen grew up. This laid a strong foundation to musically build on as The Pearsons filled up on a warm evening.

A lovely laid back blues number Hey Mr Bartender  which can also be seen amongst their videos was well received, as was Queen’s I Want To Break Free which went down very well. As the momentum in their set progressed each song left their audience eager for more. You really have to be there when Jen hits and holds a soaring high note, or when Johnny is in his swift rippling melodic flow.

A fine rendition of what for me is one of their best written and most moving songs Seeds was performed, and was still 'replaying' in my thoughts several days later! Towards the end of the gig We Ghosts played the glorious One More Cup Of Coffee with an arrangement that had great intensity and panache. We were all transfixed while the powerful harmonies of the chorus built to a crescendo, and as the several encores indicated very reluctant for the show to end.

See We Ghosts when you can and you’ll be haunted too (in a good way!) by a band who with their ability to blend joys and sorrows in their music are full of the song of life.

Submitted by Nigel

Find their next gig: - We Ghosts