Who are Ghost and what do they want?
When Ghost descended on the UK for a special, spooktacular London show, we stepped behind the scenes with the mysterious Swedes
We love a bit of mystery chez Hammer, and frankly something in the world of metal has been intriguing us for some time now. Five years, three albums and countless exceptional live shows down the line and we remain uncertain of the true identities of Sweden’s premier exponents of arcane, blues-fuelled, Satanic cabaret, Ghost. So, with our suspicions growing and a sold-out headlining show at London’s historic KOKO ahead of us, we decided to accept the invitation of a backstage pass to one of the most privately shrouded cults in music to dig around and answer the question: just who are Ghost? And what do they want?
We arrive at the venue. Already there is a fairly substantial queue stretching around the corner, two whole hours before doors are even due to open. Heading to the front we meet Chelsea, Kat, Catherine and Claudia who have been here since one o’clock in the afternoon, with the exception of Catherine who was here, amazingly, at 10am! Why so early?! “We show the same dedication to them that they show to us,” Catherine says, matter-of-factly.
“Music had all got a bit samey,” Chelsea tells us, “then Ghost came along and we had something that we just love.”
“And they’ve brought people together!” chimes in Kat. “I wouldn’t have met Chelsea if it wasn’t for Ghost and she’s one of my best friends now.”
You couldn’t meet more hardcore fans if you tried, so unsurprisingly they aren’t keen on giving the game away. “I know who they are, but I’m not telling,” says Catherine, before stuttering, “Well... I think I know who they are.” The element of doubt there, folks!
We wander to the back entrance of the venue and await the arrival of our pass. Various different members of The Clergy (aka Ghost’s crew) open the door and take a look at us, before disappearing, leaving us alone in the cold. Finally, a hand appears, and an AAA laminate is thrust at us and we are ushered hurriedly into KOKO. The game is afoot!
Having been shown to the green room next to the stage we sit and wait. There is literally no one here. Peeking around the many winding corridors of the backstage area there is not a soul to be seen and the only sound is the echo of our own footsteps... seriously, this is freaking us out a bit now! Where is everybody?!
The unmistakable sound of Ghost rumbles through the backstage labyrinth. They’re onstage now, soundchecking! This could be our chance to see them in all their de-robed glory. We hot foot it to the front of the stage and... it’s empty save for a few roadies moving equipment back and forth. But the sound of their guitar still reverberates around the venue. Which is really fucking weird. Yeah! Really funny, guys; you’ve done your little tricks, now where the hell are you?!