Ghostpoet – Live on September 6th at Bi Nuu in Berlin

Foto: Grashina Gabelmann
The british MC was in the capital and delivered an unexpected performance for those used to his more mellow raps. With a communal bottle of red wine Ghostpoet managed to carry the audience through a cathartic live set.
Some artists’ concerts sound exactly like their album and that’s a sure sign of skill. Thursday night British MC Ghostpoet’s (Obara Ejimiwe) performance in Berlin venue Bi Nuu sounded nothing like his debut album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam – making him not a shoddy live act but a dynamic artist who knows how to adapt his sound to a packed venue offering his audience something unexpected. Where as his addictive album is an overall drowsy and melancholic affair (as the album’s bitter sweet title already implicates), and this isn’t meant negatively, his performance was vibrant, gripping and interactive.
Ghostpoet was joined on stage by his drummer and guitarist and without much warm-up small talk Ejimiwe went straight to performing. Though the first couple of songs were excellently executed he needed a bit of time to shake off his nerves – as did the audience who was shuffling around apprehensively. After taking a couple of sips of his red wine, which he also offered to the audience (»Not from the bottle. Come on guys, where are your glasses?«) as if he felt that both he and them needed loosing up, the mood shifted and a real connect between him, his audience and music could be felt. »Survive It« was one of his stand-out live songs: though more energetic than the album version the performance couldn’t shake off the angst-ridden atmosphere of the single resulting in a emotionally-laden almost cathartic experience for both the MC and crowd who almost religiously continued to chant »I just want to live life and survive it.«
He had his crowd completely enthralled getting them to slowly crouch on the ground, jump up and shout his lyrics something which seems unimaginable when listening to his album, which is more thought than dance provoking. His simple yet completely engaging performance demonstrated a great artistic finesse paired with an amiable personality that, though already apparent during his performance, became undeniable as he re-entered the stage not to play an encore but to hop into the crowd for a round of hugs and hand shakes.