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Live Review: The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger @ Dingwalls

Live Review: The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger @ Dingwalls
Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger is waiting to hit the stage, as the appointed showtime of 9pm begins to slip by. Someone, somewhere, is struggling to set up the projected graphics that will swirl behind the band throughout the night. Whilst a technician begins to sweat, GOASTT use the shadows they are accidentally throwing onto the troublesome screen, (from backstage) to dance for and tease the waiting crowd. There’s something in the playfulness of this informal introduction between band and audience that sets up the atmosphere for the evening and runs throughout the night.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

When they finally emerge from behind the screen the band launches straight into the first three songs from this year’s Midnight Sun album. Fronted by Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl, the five piece band weaves a rich and distinctive sonic tapestry.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The spacey, psychedelic sound is peppered with references to Xanadu, Orpheus and red shoes that won’t take us home. Such mystical pathways may send the listener out into the stratosphere, but the band’s skill is in never letting us get lost in space, instead keeping everyone tethered to the mothership by what are fundamentally beautifully crafted pop songs. It’s not all dreamy ethereal subject matter, either. Clear vocals and harmonies soar over bizarre tales of kidnap, ransom and ear-slicing (Poor Paul Getty), perversely framed as catchy, almost sing-a-long songs that belie their darkly weird content.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Lennon introduces the band, admitting that their name is an extraordinary mouthful but claiming it was the only the band name left, so they had to go with it. We let him off the hook.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The evening draws to a close with a cover of Syd Barrett‘s Long Gone – a fitting tribute to a suitably likely influence on this intriguing act. Lennon admits they don’t play in London often but woos the audience by stating, “We’re very happy to be here – this is our coolest show ever”.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Dingwalls in London on 10 September 2014. (Imelda Michalczyk)

With the main set all too quickly over and no encore, despite the enthusiasm of the crowd, we hope they’ll return with (literally) more soon.

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger
Dingwalls, London, 10 September 2014
Photographs and review by Imelda Michalczyk. Imelda has her own site Rebeladelica here

 

About The Author

Imelda

I'm a photographer and writer with a passion for live music. I've been dancing wildly at gigs for as long as I can remember and since the beginning of 2008 I've been taking photographs and writing about gigs, too. My photographs have been featured in a diverse range of places – I started out shooting for punk fanzines and local newspapers and then had my work featured in CD/promotional artwork for bands and in music magazines and national newspapers. I also shoot for top London music agency Retna/Photoshot. Outside of music photography/writing, I'm learning to perform tribal fusion belly dance and to speak French. Not usually at the same time. I'm also still looking for the meaning of life (but I hear that's a slow burn). I've lived in London for quite a few years, mainly because of the wonderful range of live music here and because there are lots of artists I still wish to see through my camera lens...

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