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.

GHUM: Fac251, Manchester 18th November 2022.

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!

GHUM: Bitter.

This might be all over the place because I am SO excited to write about the debut record by GHUM. It’s out on Friday, and once you hear this record- nothing will be the same again. And in other news, I now have a cat so I’m going to do my best to make a little Punk out of her. I think she’ll tolerate the beautiful noise I play. Speaking of beautiful noise, let’s get into the best record of 2022, shall we?

You know about my love for the band GHUM, that’s been apparent for a long time now. They encompass everything I love about music, everything I want from music and have a sound that I’m just obsessed with. When I listen to them, I get that same rush I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour, L.A.Witch, The Kills and Warpaint for the first time. That same kick I got from hearing Seventeen Seconds by The Cure. That same rush I got when I heard The Cramps for the first time. In short, this band have that same thing about them that just makes me fall in love with music all over again. With a debut record, a lot can be expected. As a fan, you just want to finally hear the finished product. I can’t imagine the stress that comes with it from being in a band waiting for the world to hear it.

The record opens with Some People- the first big release for this record. The video to this is incredible, and listening to it in an album setting gives a bigger meaning and feeling to the song. I’m all in. I’m hooked. The record makes you want to take a road trip round Europe and forget the world you’re part of for a little while. There’s a lot of escapism on this record, and it’s down to their incredible way of giving you these dark and euphoric anthems. There is something to spooky and special about this record, and when you listen to the likes of Bad Brain, it really does hit you how incredibly talented this band is. Bad Brain may be my favourite song from the record at the moment, but my mind will obviously change. It is just a beautiful record, and I’m not just saying it because I adore this band. I think, if you’ve never listened to GHUM before, this record will blow your mind. They’re just the perfect band and even though they’ve only played Manchester once, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. They’re a band that you just HAVE to see live, and my god I’m so glad I have. With this record, you can quickly imagine how they will sound live. Songs like Over And Over, Bitter and Deceiver have this sound to them that make you long for a GHUM gig.

The way Laura sings “I hate you” on Over And Over is so gut-wrenching. You really feel the disdain and disappointment in her voice, and for a singer to project their emotions into a song like this is truly something to admire. You’re just fascinated by how she delicately sings of her hate- that fragility is a rare moment on the record because for the most part, she delivers the songs with this toughness- not intimidating at all, the opposite. She kind of gives you some of her strength. All of them make you feel empowered in a way that you didn’t think a band/record/song could. This is a truly special record from start to finish, and all that’s in between.

Every single song on this record deserves your complete and utter attention. Not only will you fall madly in love with the songs, but you’ll end up being besotted with how exceptional they are as a band. Jojo is one of the best guitarists you’ll ever hear. The way Jojo plays is remarkable, and the way MJ perfectly compliments her with her bass playing is just stunning. They both add this mystic groove to every single song. This is perfectly fitted with the drumming skills of Vicki- and on the song Echo, that’s where you really REALLY hear this glorious marriage of sounds. There’s chaos but there’s calmness on this record, and that’s part of the appeal.

The main reason as to why this is the best record of the year? Because it sounds like everything, you’d want your favourite band to sound like. If you’re looking for a record to get lost in or a record to listen to whilst you try tame your mind- this is for you. Stick some headphones on and blast this record in your ears. There is so much to love and cherish about this record. From the lyrics, to the way the drums sound like waves crashing against your soul and the bass and guitar bringing you back down to provide comfort. It’s just a glorious record and a joy to listen to.

I can only write about this record/anything I write about as a fan; that’s all I know. But trust me- this is the record of the year. Everything you could want and more. I cannot wait to play it religiously as I go to/from work. I can’t wait for the days to get shorter and let the songs take on a different meaning in different seasons. I can’t wait for the world to hear this record. It may be a debut record, but this band know exactly how they want to sound. This sure sound is just a dream to listen to. At times the songs are ethereal and there are times where this fury in Laura’s voice (the ending of Shallow where she belts out “You don’t know me” is SO powerful) every song has moments built into it that stick in your brain. The record ends with a 7 minute delight- Rivers. I won’t spoil it for you, but this may just end up being one of those songs that they use in films to really heighten the suspense.

They’ve done it. So easy. So effortlessly. So slick, so cool, so perfect.

GHUM: Bitter

NEW SINGLE ALERT! GHUM have released the title track from their debut record, Bitter and it is bloody brilliant. I mean, they don’t make bad songs so I guess that’s redundant but honestly- their debut record is going to rip. Laura’s vocals on this are so tough and so snarly. There’s so much power in this band. They all have this ability to just make you wish you were part of the band or wish you could make something like this.

I’m going by what they’ve released previously, and I think it is safe to say that their debut record is going to be nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s out a month today, and I am SO excited to hear it. I’ll probably have to take the day off work to listen to it (I probably would!) So the single Bitter is about, “how the right connection, even for someone that has been beaten up by bad experiences, drives them to go through the risks and fears that new relationships might bring. It’s hopeful, it’s about taking chances.” I think this is properly hammered home with the way Laura sings, “You are the only reason I put myself through this.” We’ve all made exceptions haven’t we. Sometimes it works out but there are times where it didn’t work out, and you’re not sure why you bothered. Laura’s vocals over the electrifying sounds that Vicki, Jojo and Marina MJ bless us with is enough to break the toughest of people. This is a ferocious number with the level of passion that you will always hear and expect from the band. I’ve played this song enough times to know that the record will be just as tough and powerful as this.

GHUM aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their sound, and to show us all exactly how it’s done. At times you feel like you are intruding on something so personal but the more you listen- the more you connect. For me, they are up there with the likes of L.A. Witch, TwoFiftyFour (come back please!!!) and Warpaint. There’s this dark but ethereal sound that has you hooked right away. I’ve listened to Bitter a handful of times on my break now, and I can pretty much call it one of their most heaviest and mind-blowing songs.

I’m not one for wishing time away, but I really cannot wait for the 17th June!

*Photo Credit: Paul Phung

GHUM: Deceiver.

In a matter of weeks, the debut record by GHUM will finally be here. I cannot wait. Part of me wanted to hold off listening to anything they’d release (single wise) until the record was here, but I couldn’t stop myself. I’m glad I didn’t.

My love for this band is huge, and I adore any and everything they do. They’re one of those bands that once you listen to them, you’re just hooked for life. That’s how they got me. There’s a number of bands I can think of that I hold in this regard and to put GHUM in that list makes me happy.

Deceiver is everything us GHUM fans have come to expect from the band and more. It’s such a great song, and one to really get lost in. Am I obsessed with the song? Ever so slightly. I’m so excited for their record to come out, and going by the music they have blessed us with so far- I think we can call it as one of the best records of the year. Definitely the best debut record for sure! There’s an infectious fury in this song, and it’s that fury that makes you sing the words back with everything you have. There’s truly no better band around right now. It’s always been GHUM. It’ll always be GHUM.

This song along with Bitter are two perfect dark and eerie songs to set the tone for their debut record. Deceiver is about “a relationship where one of the parties is starting to discover a selfish side to their lover, disappointment after disappointment the trust starts running low and the love starts to fade away.” Something painful, but the band make it easier with this song. There’s this intense passion in all that they do and it comes across exceptionally strong on this song. I have a feeling their record will be full of moments like this- where the songs are dominated by intense and raw emotion- you can’t help but relate to it. The chorus is lethal, and is delivered with this snarl that leaves you in awe.

In a few weeks time, the debut record comes out. I’m fully ready to play the record religiously.

You can pre-order the record here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/

BEAT IN MY BONES: Episode 3

This week there is music from: CROWS, METZ, GHUM, Hoorsees, The Battery Farm and the new one from Sextile!

I think I spend most of the show talking about CROWS and their show in Manchester from last Friday. Bloody incredible it was!

Right, I’m off to play FIFA x

GHUM: Some People.

I feel like I have waited FOREVER to write this, but I am SO excited to write that GHUM’s debut record, Bitter will be out THIS YEAR. I am so so excited about this. I can’t put into words. I’m just stupidly excited to hear this record from a band I’ve loved for so long. There’s really no better feeling is there? When a band you adore get to finally put their debut full length record out

Bitter is made up of 9 phenomenal songs; I am confident in saying this because I love this band and going by what they’ve already released so far- it’s a pretty fair statement to make. Today they have also released their new song, Some People which is also accompanied with a pretty great video too. The new song is heavy, but the video is the polar opposite of it and it works so well. The video is directed by the wonderful Lydia Garnett who has blessed the world some wonderfully Queer art. When you take that and mix it with a song from a band you just love- it creates something that just makes your heart burst with utter joy!

There are some bands that when you listen to them, the impact just stays with you. Just this morning I was listening to the band on my way to work, and I felt like I was listening to them for the first time all over again. I’ve got a handful of bands that make me feel like that, and GHUM are easily one of them. I know that their debut record is going to blow our minds and from 17th June onwards- I probably won’t listen to anything but that record. I cannot wait!

The band got together about 6 years ago, so this full length record has been a long time coming. Their two EPs (self-titled and The Coldest Fire) are works of art and you know, it’s a fair call to make to say that Bitter will too be a masterpiece. I’m just so excited to listen to the record.

Check out the artwork here for Bitter:

For me it kind of gives you a hint to how the record will sound; a bit spooky, a bit dark but with tender moments. The band are made up of the best musicians around, and with this strong and distinctive sound they have- they will probably take over the world. Let’s dream big! They deserve it.

It’s an honour to write about a band like GHUM and to see how their sound has strengthened, and also how fearless they are with what they do. This morning I finished reading the book In The Miso Soup, and there’s part of the song that reminds me a little bit of the book: “We’re just ‘some people.’ But I want you to know; there’s some evil in me.” Really makes me think about the book and the ending of it. The book will mess with your head, and so will GHUM’s music to be honest- but all the best art does, right?! The magic in this song is all the way through. You’ve got the sheer intensity of Laura’s vocals that go right into Vicki’s drumming. Then you’ve got MJ and Jojo on bass and guitar creating this eerie atmosphere that pulls you in. You just can’t get enough of this song, of this band.

You can pre-order Bitter here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/ and the record is out 17th June via Everything Sucks.

GHUM will also be playing a headline show in London at the Sebright Arms on the 22nd April.

GHUM: The Castle Hotel, Manchester. 15th July 2019.

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Of all the gigs I’ve ever been to, the show tonight was the hottest and most sweatiest. A tiny venue with no air con but who cares? One of the most exciting bands around played here tonight, and it was something truly special.

Their debut EP came out a couple of weeks ago, and it is one of the most remarkable and gorgeous records of the year. It is a euphoric dream of a record, and has the most intense sounds and ethereal feelings within the songs. It is perfect; so how does it come across live?  Divine. Absolutely divine.

Before I get into their more known songs, they played a new one called California which I am obsessed with! I wish it was on The Coldest Fire, but it definitely proves that they are pretty much the best band around in this country. For me, I got the same feeling I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour and Warpaint years and years ago. They have that same dark yet euphoric feel to their sound.

 

 

Their live show is something else. This was their first time that they had played Manchester, and it honestly felt like a band that were “coming home” in a way. Everyone was just having the best time, even if it felt like we were in a sauna. For a band that have put out their debut EP, they just make you feel like they’ve been around forever. They are so sure of their sound, and that just makes them even more inspiring.

I loved finally seeing 1000 Men and Saturn. These are two songs I’ve had on repeat more than usual, and the live versions of these songs are truly mind-blowing. GHUM are band that you cannot help but fall in love with from your very first listen. They have something about them that just sucks you in, and nothing else comes close to it. They have this colossal sound and presence that you know means that this will probably be one of the last times they play such a small venue. They played the best venue in the world over the weekend, The Shacklewell Arms and honestly, it is the best venue for a band like this. But tonight at The Castle Hotel was something else. It isn’t a big venue, and it has a proper intimate feel to it. A rare treat to have such a band play here, and I think it has the potential to be one of those shows that in decades from now, you’ll be gloating that you were there. Like when the Sex Pistols played the Lesser Free Trade Hall.

The sheer passion in the way they play and deliver these songs is truly astounding and hugely inspiring- they are effortlessly haunting with their sound, and you just want it to consume you. Everything about GHUM just leaves you in awe. You cannot help but feel that you were part of something really special tonight. I hope it is one of those shows that this city talks about for years to come. The crowd were equally as perfect. It’s been known that Manchester crowds are the best, and tonight they really did prove that theory correct.

I think Get Up was the song that really got everyone going. I love how the song vocally is delicate, then the hook comes in and just smacks you in the face. There’s honestly no reason as to why GHUM won’t become massive and win over thousands, and thousands more fans. They are a band that have you hooked immediately and tonight, they fully exposed that notion in ways I’ve never seen a band do before.

 

 

For me, this show is one that will stick with me. When they play bigger venues, this show will still go down as being one of my favourites. The venue may have been a sweat-fest, but it didn’t matter because we were in the presence of one of the best bands around who will undoubtedly go and take over the world.

GHUM: The Coldest Fire EP.

 

 

I want to start this by saying I am going to compare my excitement for this record to when I first heard TwoFiftyFour. Anyone who knows me, or has read anything I’ve ever written knows that this band are massively important to me for so many reasons. It’s that kind of excitement that a kid gets on their birthday; it hits you right in the gut. GHUM are quite possibly, for me, the most exciting band around right now. They have this utterly gorgeous moody sound that you just get lost in, and you know what? It doesn’t matter if you don’t get found.

The EP starts with the powerful Saturn. The bass is what gets you on this, with the drums merging into it. Then the guitar comes in with this infectious riff. Then we are hit with the ethereal vocals. It’s the perfect way to open up this EP. I love the spookiness in this, and it just makes you immediately want more. It has you hooked. GHUM are the kind of band that once you listen to; that’s it. Nothing can touch them. This is how I felt, and still feel about TwoFiftyFour. It’s that heavy sound mixed with something really eerie. I love the sheer intensity GHUM’s music, and I honestly cannot wait to see them next month here in Manchester.

 

 

1000 Men is THE song. It’s so big and so intense. It’s the lyrics, it’s the vocals, it’s the hypnotising sound that just gets you. With this song, you can really imagine it being used in a film or something you know. It’s got that bite to it that just makes you pull really weird faces because you’re all, “Did they just do that? Did the vocals really make that sound? Did the drums really just…holy shit!!” That’s basically how it is when you listen to this one. It’s a beauty. It’s my favourite. I cannot narrow down why, but I just love how it’s got a really deep sound to it. I’ve seen GHUM be compared to Warpaint (which is pretty damn cool!0 and I hear it on this one. It’s like Warpaint meets Melvins. Basically, two bands I am obsessed with. I’m fine with this. The more I listen to this song, the more I can feel my obsession for this band grow. I cannot wait to hear this live, I really can’t. This is the one I’m really excited for. I feel I could write an essay on this song.

I haven’t touched on Get Up because you should know that one by now. The EP ends with In My Head. It’s beautiful, of course. What else would you expect! This record just leaves you wanting more. Four songs isn’t enough, of course but whatever comes next is again just going to blow us all away. In My Head has some really hard-hitting lyrics, and I think it is one of those songs that you play alone. In fact, this is the kind of record that you play through headphones with no one else around. That’s exactly what I’m doing now (I got to work early so I could write this up.) You can hear all different layers in this song; it’s got vulnerability in all the right places and it has this magnetic intensity in the vocals. I honestly cannot praise this record and band enough, but I clearly will try! In My Head has that chilling sound to it that has the potential to spook you- but once you get over that (and you will, immediately!) you can truly hear something really mind-blowing.

The Coldest Fire is nothing short of perfection. With just four songs, GHUM have fully exposed their sound in a way most would hope to do with their debut full length record. They are a band that need to be heard. Whether it’s on your way to work, or laying wide awake at 4am because sleep doesn’t want to be your friend- they are band that will just reinforce every single reason as to why you love music, and why we need bands like GHUM.

 

 

The Coldest Fire is out right now, via Everything Sucks Music. GHUM are also playing a few shows next month. They’re playing London’s finest venue, The Shacklewell Arms on the 13th July, and are playing all over the UK including The Castle here in Manchester on the 15th. They are also playing The Waiting Room in London in October.

Buy the EP right NOW, learn the songs, fall in love with them and come see them on tour.