Ghostpoet + Palace @ Hare and Hounds, 8th April 2015


It was buzzing on the ground floor bar of the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath for Ghostpoet’s (aka Coventry rapper/MC Obaro Ejimiwe) sell out show, and already the atmosphere felt good. First on the bill tonight are support act Palace, a four piece from London with a bluesy alt-rock sound. They do a great job of getting the full room going and are very well received, they come across as a good group of guys with some great songs. They are clearly pleased to be here and tell us its the last night of them supporting Ghostpoet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of these guys in the not too distant future.


After a little stage rearrangement, its 9.45pm and Obaro and the band appear from the crowd and make their way onto the stage. The room at this point is packed out pretty much as tightly as it could be but the atmosphere feels great.

The set starts with “Better Not Butter” and “X Marks The Spot”, both tracks off the new album and thats what tonights gig is all about, the new album “Shedding Skin”. This album sees Obaro heading in a slightly different, more alt-rock direction while still maintaining his own unmistakable trip-hop beats and distorted vocals. He looks and sounds as chilled out and comfortable as ever with this new live band setup, and tells us all that he’s happy to be back in the West Midlands.


Although the topic of most of the songs are pretty downbeat, covering Homelessness, politics and lost love, there is a definite buzz in the room and the fact that it is dark, hot and sweaty just kind of adds to the atmosphere.

Its also nice to hear a few older tracks peppered in between the newer material and you can certainly hear the change between the albums. They do a great job of bringing the tempo up and down in just the right places, tracks like “Shedding Skin” and “Yes I Helped You Pack” have most of the crowd swaying and foot tapping in unison while “Cash and Carry Me Home” gets the whole room bouncing and almost makes it feel like a club night when it breaks down to a 120bpm house beat.


After “Off Peak Dreams” Obaro tells us that this is where he’s supposed to leave the stage before coming back for the encore, but as he doesn’t fancy standing in the gents for a few minutes he’ll skip that and just give us a couple more. (I always wondered where artists went at this point at the Hare and Hounds as there is no back door to the stage..)


The first encore track is “Nothing in the Way”, It’s one of the more downbeat tracks from the new album that we have heard tonight, Obaro then thanks us all for coming and thanks each band member one by one before giving us the final track of the night “Lines” a rare upbeat one which gets a good few had in the air and more than a few people singing along which gives us a great finish to a great night.

Photos & Review – John Dent

Read our recent interview with Ghostpoet here

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