The Black Ghosts - So Haunted
Author: Jane Stabler
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Haunted houses and things that go bump in the night have long held a fascination for a large chunk of the population, so it makes sense that a duo referring to themselves as the Black Ghosts are right up many a dance fan’s alley. But despite their fairly descriptive name, the Black Ghosts are not actually black, and they are also very much alive, but they do claim to have both had gothic influences from a young age. Simon Lord and Theo Keating, recording together as the Black Ghosts, now create what can probably best be termed as gothically romantic music.
“It’s a good name,” Keating says of their gothic descriptor. “It’s not something to be confused. It sounds like a gothic band, but people take names too literally. The name has good imagery, its all stuff we like.”
Despite their image, and to a certain extent their sound, being very macabre on the whole, the Black Ghosts are still technically producing pop, which on the surface seems to be an oxymoron.
“[We] kind of [struggled with that at first],” Keating recalls. “It threw people, but that’s part of the fun. With the name and the skull, people assume you’re doing metal but that’s just bollocks. Things aren’t that simple. Pop is like a wall of [a lot of different] sounds. The Beatles were pop.”
Pop they may be, but their lyrics and the notion behind them are rarely in the same vein as much of the usual pop productions. Love features heavily and maintains that expectation of today’s romance laded pop music, but it’s not love in the usual sense. The Black Ghosts are about the flip side of being in a relationship, and they have had a tendency to make public just how awful people can be to each other under the guise of being in love.
“That’s the view into Simon’s head,” Keating reveals. “Some of the songs are like that. I think he writes songs about love but not in the straight up cheery way, they’re more sincere. There’s not an agenda that we have to be dark. The lyrics have a twist but we try to just write songs that are immediate, that have a catchiness but are basic. People dance to it, but there’s something to it.”
WHO: The Black Ghosts
WHAT: Play Future Music Festival, Royal Randwick Racecourse
WHEN: Saturday 8 March