Ghostpoet arrived in Sheffield last week, on his tour in support of second album ‘Some say I so I say light’, which following on from his debut the 2011 debut ‘Peanut butter blues and melancholy jam’ which earned him some sort of fame as well as a mercury nomination. Certainly a large crowd had gathered at the Queens Social Club to see the laid back rapper, but first we were treated to the sparkling and jazzy electronica of Bristol’s Typesun. Beset with sound problems the band did well to get the audience firmly onside with their warm melodious tracks and impress with their Gilles Peterson fare, and the usual mark of quality that brings.
Ghostpoet has many strengths. His languid delivery, almost storytelling rather than rapping strokes your face rather than the smack in the face of some rappers, highlights his silky baritone. The man himself toyed with effects on his voice throughout the performance, that maybe muddied it for those listening specifically for the lyrics, but it meant that the sound as a whole washed over the enthusiastic audience.
Behind him, his band were really tight, with impressive contributions from all concerned, but special mention to his angelically voiced keyboard player that added so much to the songs.
Ghostpoet romped through a setlist that included stand out tracks from both albums, with cash and carry me home and us against whatever being particularly well recieved, but Sloth Jam and meltdown were both stunning in delivery, before Comatose, the set finisher, brought the house down with its slow build up, twisting rhythms and patterns, almost hypnotic sounds and the bass, that had been big and deep all night, almost seemed overwhelming.
The real strength was the bands ability to slowly wind things up through the set, setting out with this tranquil, almost peaceful versions of the songs giving way to more and more hard edged versions until Ghostpoet had whipped the crowd up into a (laid-back) frenzy.
If you get the chance to go and see Obaro Ejimiwe, a.k.a. Ghostpoet, do it. You won’t be disappointed.