@ Bar Bodega
(Wellington, New Zealand) 4 January 2008
by Jim Ebenhoh
I found 2006’s show at the inexplicably named and somewhat soulless San Francisco Bath House to be a bit flat, but this year Ghost Club pulled out all the stops for a rip-roaring fiesta at the more intimate and legendary Bar Bodega. David Mitchell, who still manages to produce intricate depraved pointillist masterpieces (see tour poster below) despite being nearly blind, doesn’t even bother with his eyeglasses while playing guitar anymore. This suits his playing style; rather than lovingly stroking and focusing bedroom eyes on his guitar like fellow NZer Shayne Carter, Mitchell seems to engage in fierce hand-to-hand combat with his instrument – spanking, thrashing, throwing and banging it around, as well as torturing it with injections from a deadly array of foot pedals and inducing wails of feedback through forced copulation with his angry amplifiers. Enablers Denise and Jim watch voyeuristically while providing a chunky, choppy accompaniment that tethers David to some sort of structure. Denise’s basswork is comfortable and solid, honed through her years in the 3Ds, and Jim’s forte is bashing away on the skins, but they each hold their own even when switching instruments, as they did halfway through the set.
Word is that Denise and Jim are planning a move back to New Zealand later this year, while David will stay in the UK. This probably means the end to Ghost Club as we know it. So keep your fingers crossed for an upcoming tour to your part of the world, and in the meantime grab a slab of recorded goodness from the Ghosties, available via http://www.ghostclub.co.uk/. -Jim Ebenhoh