Photo via The Hungry Ghosts FB page.
One of my latest obsession on the music front is Birmingham band The Hungry Ghosts. I stumbled upon their track ‘Super King King’, a song that resembles a slowed down surf rock song played in the wild west, a while back, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The ghosts are due to release an EP fairly soon, and I can assure you, it’s amazing. I had the pleasure of seeing them last night as they were supporting The Wytches at a Fluffer Pit Party, and oh-my did they deliver! As I am with all bands that please my ears, I was curious to find out how it all began, so as I was digging for answers, The Hungry Ghosts were kind enough to share their story;
“The Hungry Ghosts began with Billy Ollis and Joe Joseph writing songs and recording them onto an old tape machine as good cousins should – hating bands and never with the intention of letting these songs about jealous lovers, cruel hunters, cannibalism and bodies trapped in ice ever seeing the cold light of day. Eventually we started to play a handful of shows with the reel-to-reel tape machine in place of a drummer and preaching the word of the new genres of slaughterhouse blues and trash country, but this could only last so long.
Billy used to play in a band with Jodie Lawrence while they were growing up and happened to tell Jodie at her own birthday party that we were looking for a bass player which is when she put herself forward for the job. The Ghosts set up headquarters in a room above our local record shop owned by Steve Hadley who, as fate and good stories would have it, we met at our very first show at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and over the years has became our manager, firmest friend and fearless leader. It is here we recorded our first single ‘Love Songs’ that we released on Wiener Records and wrote our EP ‘Blood Red Songs’ that is soon to be released. The shop met the same fate as too many good record stores, sadly closing and after a long succession of shows and drummers we met the man, the myth, the thunder behind the kit, Mike Conroy who was doing our sound while supporting The Alabama 3 at Alfie Birds in Birmingham.
We like blues, country and old weird Americana from Junior Kimbrough and Abner Jay to Charlie Feathers and Hasil Adkins via Hank Williams and Dolly Parton. Some of our favourite music comes from Pixies, Patti Smith, The Stooges, Tom Waits, The Birthday Party, The Gun Club, Nirvana, The Cramps, Queens of the Stone Age, Bob Dylan and The Velvet Underground. We have maintained a strictly in-house approach to everything that we have done – writing and recording always at home, only recently asking the help of our friend Oliver Colbourne to take the reins as producer on our new EP, while all of our art is made by Joe (with the exception of our single and EP covers which are by our friend and painter Tom De Freston) to follow our recorded music and live performance. We have this month moved production to a unit in Digbeth that we call ‘The Mausoleum’ or ‘The Maus’ where we have been planning our next moves and next releases.”
So there you have it, the birth of The Hungry Ghosts. I could ramble on about this band and how much I like them, but I might as well let the music speak for itself. Here’s ‘Super King King’, in all it’s glory.