GHUM: The Deaf Institute, Manchester 17th January 2023.

I’ve been lucky enough to see GHUM three times now, and I can 100% confirm and swear on my cat’s life that they just get better every single time. Their debut record is one I religiously play every single day. The atmosphere, the sound, the emotion- everything on this record is divine. So of course, they are going to channel this perfectly live, right? Of course!

On Tuesday night they supported Big Joanie at the Deaf Institute- a venue perfect for their sound. The first time they played Manchester was at the hottest venue in the history of venues- The Castle Hotel. How no one passed out from heat stroke that night I don’t understand. They played Fac251 last month and that too was exceptional. The Manchester show was something else. With it being a support slot, the setlist wasn’t as long as you’d hope for but what they gave us perfectly showed us why they are one of the best bands around- on record and live.

This was the last night of the tour and to make it even tougher- it was Vicki’s last show with the band. Whether you’ve seen them live or listened to the record- you will know just how an incredible drummer Vicki is. She is going to be missed a hell of a lot, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Whoever they have next on drums will be so lucky to play alongside such incredible musicians and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

As I’ve said many times before when writing about GHUM- they just have this sound that blows you away. For so many on Tuesday evening, this may have been their first time seeing the band and judging by how the crowd reacted to the songs- I think they have definitely got a new bunch of fans behind them. They are the kind of band that make you wish you were in a band but at the same time- you just want to spend your days constantly at their shows. They have this magical sound that truly comes alive when you’re at their show. The songs take on a more powerful meaning and start to mean more to you with every listen, and every performance. They put so much of themselves into their shows, and it’s just an honor to watch them and see them grow and grow.

Songs like Perro, Rivers and Some People are blasted out and are performed in a way that makes you feel like this is life or death- you feel on edge in the most wonderful way possible. GHUM have this way of taking you into this strange, dark and gorgeous world where no other band has ever dared to. You can’t help but let them suck you in. Over and over. The sheer intensity in every song is just divine. Laura has this gravelly tone in her voice and this strength (and it’s apparent in certain songs) and you feel that she belts out every single word the way she NEEDS you to hear them. Backed up by Vicki beating the shit out of the drums, MJ being the slickest bassist you’ll ever see and Jojo being the best guitarist in this country- it is obvious that GHUM are the most thrilling band around and you can see why a band like Big Joanie took them on for the ride during this tour. The power both bands have is insane and something that doesn’t happen all too often. These bands are rare. They are important and will take you off into their own world where whatever you see outside of your window doesn’t matter in those moments.

For me, GHUM have that Seventeen Seconds (The Cure) energy in every single song- the hypnotic sounds and eerie vocals, and the poetic lyrics. I honestly don’t think really small venues are going to be able to contain them for much longer and the show on Tuesday captured that perfectly. Nobody stood still and all was okay in the world during those 30/40 minutes.

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