There are bands that you could watch live countless times, and you’ll never ever get sick of seeing them. Last night was only my second time seeing GHUM, and I think it was their second time playing Manchester (I might be wrong there, sorry if I am!) They played the legendary venue that is FAC251, and I can safely say that no other venue in town could have suited them more (maybe Soup Kitchen.)
GHUM’s debut record, Bitter came out in June this year and not a day goes by where I’m not playing it. It’s a perfect record, and a stunning debut. How does their live show favour? Exactly the same! GHUM are a band that you just have to see live. Their music was made to be witnessed in a live setting; especially in dark basement venues.
Although their set was cut short slightly- it did not change how amazing the gig was. Every single song was performed in a way that made to be heard in this setting. A small, intimate venue. Even if someone was being a bit overzealous with the smoke machine with the first few songs! Honestly, GHUM are a band that you know will keep getting better and better with whatever they do and whatever sound they have. Songs like California and Some People rip right through, Perro is electrifying live. Deceiver and Bitter was out of this world. Bad Brain is played with this fire and urgency that sticks with you well after the show is over. The whole set is an exploration of how and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. You cannot compare their live shows to anything else- it goes way beyond anything else you may feel from hearing them on record. They create this world that you just want to live in. This dark yet comforting world.
There’s this energy they all have that just lures you in, and every song they hit you with makes you feel like you are listening to them for the first time. For me they have got that same presence as the likes of TwoFiftyFour, Crows, L.A. Witch and Warpaint (basically just named bands I love and adore but y’know!) They make you wish you had even a tiny fraction of musical talent. GHUM are the best at what they do, and if you ever get the chance to see them live- you have GOT to take it. They make it seem so effortless. I mean Jojo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen, Vicki is one of those drummers that just leave you in awe and Marina is such a slick bassist. Laura’s vocals will stay with you- she’s got this gentle tone but when she delivers songs like 1000 Men; there’s this beautiful growl to it that just stuns you.
Like I said, this band are the best at what they do. Nothing and no one comes close. The venue may not have been totally sold out but that didn’t matter at all- they made you feel like it was just you and them. Nothing around you mattered. There was an older couple near me, and they were dancing and moving in ways that most of us could dream of. For me, they summed up the euphoria that live music gives you and that GHUM gives you.
There are bands that you discover over time that become a massive part of you. You look at your record collection, and you wonder what it’d be like if you never heard them. There’d be a gap for this band, but you’ve yet to find them. I hope that anyone who ever listens to GHUM or discovers them for the first time feels like they’ve found the missing piece to their music jigsaw. I’ve not been to many gigs this year, but I can definitely place last night’s show up there with one of the best. Compared to their show in Manchester from 2019, you can definitely see and hear the growth in confidence.
GHUM are an absolute joy to listen to and when you see them live, that joy quickly turns to euphoria. The kind of band that makes you want to disregard your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour. Hopefully it won’t be 3 years before they next come back to Manchester, but it was most certainly worth the wait!