Sporting their influences proudly on their sleeves, Edinburgh’s The Holy Ghosts marry an unabashed love of rock ‘n’ roll with a lick of blues homage to The Rolling Stones, wrapped up in the sort of insouciant indie swagger that recalls Oasis in their pomp.
The Holy Ghosts - King Tut’s, Glasgow
* * *
Opener Little Kickstarter finds frontman Jack Sandison channelling Mick Jagger’s sneering vocal to great effect, but it’s a stomper that also calls to mind Primal Scream and the messy raunch of The Black Crowes.
When We Were Kings exemplifies the pros and cons of The Holy Ghosts’ approach – an enjoyable, confidently delivered country-flecked tune with a catchy chorus, it’s nevertheless a blatant take on Sixties music channelled through the Nineties.
Still, they’re a tight outfit and evidently don’t take themselves too seriously, as shown by the brilliant and naysayer-defying Don’t Come A Knockin’ On Our Rock N Roll Coffin, a scarcely disguised appropriation of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode riff that really gets the room jumping.
New single Ride On Baby fuses Mott the Hoople’s cynical hipster strut with a Led Zepplin-style lick, while Staring Down The Barrel is a track that truly comes alive in this setting, a swinging, honky-tonk romp led by Andy Barbour’s gutsy harmonica.
Meanwhile, Devil On Your Side is a gentler number that allows Sandison’s to showcase his vocal range, a strong suit for an act that demonstrate themselves to be assured with a mish-mash of styles.