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Ghost: ABC, Glasgow

3rd April 2017

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland


It's only been around sixteen months since Ghost played to an ecstatic sold out crowd at Glasgow's ABC but their popularity seems to be on the rise judging by the number of people desperately searching for tickets online after the Satanic pop-Metal Swedes sold the venue out again.

After a very long drawn out sequence of intro tapes the energy levels went straight through the roof with opening number 'Square Hammer', which somehow channels sixties pop flair and 21st Century Metal into one fluid and epically memorable song. Old favourite 'From The Pinnacle To The Pit' kept things flowing along nicely but energy levels dropped off for 'Secular Haze' and that wasn't the only time this happened.


The setlist has obviously been freshened up since the last tour but it didn't seem to flow as well as that great show I saw them do here at the end of 2015. This is a minor quibble really though as this is a band who any time they need to kick things back into life can throw in the joyous stomp of 'Cirice' or the anthemic Satanic pop of 'He Is'. Short of great songs they are not and tunes like 'Mummy Dust' get the crowd roaring along in support.

There are a lot of great musical highlights but it's when you add on the charisma on stage that you create the magic whole that is a Ghost show. They may be famous for their masked Nameless Ghoul musicians and their constantly reincarnating singer in the bizarre facepaint but what is most remarkable about it all is how they can still show personality despite the masks and get the crowd to react to it.


Whoever singer Papa Emeritus may really be under the facepaint, he has a gentlemanly, almost statesmanlike way of fronting a show which really commands people's attention. He makes full use of his white gloves too so your eyes can't help but follow his Chaplinesque gestures and you react accordingly. Oh yeah, and he can sing too.

By the time they got to traditional set closer, 'Monstrance Clock', introduced like always as a celebration of the female orgasm, they had simply conquered the ABC once more and left the stage to a rapturous reception.

I am convinced that next time round this band will be in bigger venues and if the quality of 'Square Hammer' from the 'Popestar' EP is anything to go by the next album will have more terrific songs to get even more people interested. With a Bloodstock headlining set to come later this year, selling your soul seems to lead not to a highway to hell but instead to the tongue in cheek Satanic road to success.

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"We are absolutely chuffed to finally be playing at the classic Bloodstock..."


Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.


monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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