This was the third London gig in a mini UK tour for Ghost of You, a young quartet from Brno, and at the Forge they were supporting compatriots Mydy Rabycad. This provided an interesting contrast: Ghost of You’s music and lyrics are dark and surreal while Mydy Rabycad are more into dancing and good times. That’s not to say you can’t dance to some of Ghost of You’s more upbeat songs – they have a very tight rhythm section.
They played ten songs in a forty-five minute set, a number of them from their debut album Glacier and the City, released in October last year. For a few songs, including their opener, dry ice hovered around the stage. this can be a cliché, but here it complemented the eerie sounds, as the band’s haunting vocals and swirling clouds of synths soared up into the venue’s high ceiling.
As on their album the singing was entirely in English and the overall sound quality great: though the vocals were sketchy from the back of the venue – perhaps vanishing up into that high ceiling. Singer Tomas Novohradský, who wrote nearly all the lyrics on their album, has an impressive range and an emotive voice. At times he used a keyboard to synthesize his singing and was certainly more interesting than Cher. The rhythm section stood out, with a thundering bass from Jiří Habarta while Michael Janik supplied tight drumming and interesting time-signatures. Štěpán Pařízek, who composed the lyrics to one song on the album, provided jagged and brittle guitar sounds as well as contributing synth and backing vocals.
There were around seventy-five people in the venue and the majority of the songs won a decent reaction from the audience – most of whom had probably never heard them before. A few songs garnered a lot more: especially the final one. A warm ovation followed their set, and they appeared to have enjoyed it too. Let’s hope it brings them back again, before too long.
Ghost of You appeared at the Forge, Camden, on September 27 2016. Glacier & The City is available from iTunes, priced £6.32.