WMF Preview: The Hungry Ghosts

The end of festival season is always sad – there’s no more opportunities to disgrace yourself in a field and go home with little to no consequences, it becomes less appropriate to get horrifically drunk and worst of all, less opportunity to discover new and great artists. But, worry not, for Worcester holds a golden opportunity. You may not be able to camp in a field and build up a wall of B.O. but you will find more than a few hidden gems amongst the sprawling metropolitan festival. Dotted across various venues within the city, every type of music will be showcased alongside spoken word and comedy acts on Sunday night. The best part? It’s all in aid of a wonderful charity: St. Paul’s Hostel. If you have any sense left after the summer, you’ll be heading down to soak up the talent between the 15th-17th of September.

After our preview of Valence yesterday, we wanted to bring you something different in the form of oddly intriguing The Hungry Ghosts.

WHO: The Hungry Ghosts | WHERE:  The Firefly | WHEN: Sat 16th @ 10:30


How are you feeling about Worcester Music Festival?

We are really looking forward to playing Worcester Music Festival. We had such a good time last year and we love The Firefly – the top top room is great to play – right in the audience, you can see the whites of their eyes.

You really impressed with our performance last year! How would you like to introduce yourself to new fans?

We call our music Slaughterhouse Blues and Trash Country. We are very loud, very raw and play our very own kind of Southern discomfort Americana hopefully with some of the same attitude of the bands that we love such as the Stooges, The Gun Club, the Cramps and the MC5. If that’s your thing then you might like us, you also might not and that’s fine too.

Have you played at other festivals before? How was your experience?

We played at Shambala the other week. We stayed for three days and played on the Saturday night. It was wild. It was interesting being the only band playing our kind of music at the festival and we weren’t entirely sure how it would be received, but we had a great response. The beautiful hippies went feral to our evil music.

What was your first live performance like?

The Hungry Ghosts’ first live performance was Billy and Joe alone with an old 70s Revox reel-to-reel tape machine in place of a drummer. We had written and recorded a lot of lo-fi songs onto the Revox but didn’t really have any intention of setting them loose. We were asked at the last minute if we wanted to play a show at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham, we said yes, hastily recorded drums onto the tape machine, pressed play and The Hungry Ghosts came into the world.

How has your act developed since then?

Since then we’ve played fairly unrelentingly and expanded into a full band with Emily Doyle, Jay Dyer and Rich Burman. We’ve gotten a little more serious and tried to drive our writing and live shows to make them as strong as possible – they are certainly more crafted now but we still have a leash on that same raw power.

How has your local music scene affected the way you play live?

The Hungry Ghosts’ headquarters is in unit in Digbeth that we call ‘The Mausoleum’ or ‘The Maus’. We’re lucky to have two incredible garage bands – Black Mekon and Table Scraps as our neighbours. Their live shows and the previous incarnations in Copter and The Big Bang have definitely had an enormous influence on the music we play.

Have you got any tricks up your sleeve for your performance?

Like Colonel Sanders, we never give away our secrets ingredients.

Are there any other acts you are looking forward to seeing or any that you’d recommend?

We’re sharing the bill at the Surprise Attacks all-dayer at The Firefly on Saturday 26 September with two bands that we’ve played with before – Insomnichord and Pablo Alto, so we’re looking forward to catching them both again. Surprise Attacks always put on exciting line ups and new bands so we are looking forward to being surprised, no pun intended.

And finally, do you have any tales of the road you’d like to share with us?

We respectfully decline to answer the question on the grounds it may tend to incriminate us.

Listen to our interview with The Hungry Ghosts:

The Hungry Ghosts: Facebook / Soundcloud

Worcester Music Festival takes place 15th-17th of September across the city and is in aid of St. Paul’s Hostel who are working to improve the care they provide for the homeless.


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