The Ghostwood Project
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The Ghostwood Project


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The best kept secret in music


"Hooray for The Ghostwood Project"

The Ghostwood Project and Hooray For Humans - Live at Roisin Dubh

Singers. Who needs them? The perfect performer is created from a mixture of ADD induced histrionics and a preening desire to be the focus of all attention. It’s no wonder then that some bands opt to do without a vocalist at all, like Galway’s The Ghostwood Project. They share the bill tonight with Hooray For Humans, who sidestep the traditional route by sharing vocal duties amongst two band members.

Hooray For Humans, from Cork, are Alan Healy (vocals, guitar) Aine (vocals, keyboards) Wayne (drums) and David Ahern (Bass). They were one of Hot Press’ “Irish Acts To Watch In 2007” as well as being voted best new Cork act 2006 by the Cork Independent. Between them they have experience in experimental improvisational groups and indie bands alike, and both elements are audibly active in the Hooray For Humans sound.

The boy-girl double vocal harmonies are anthemic in a likeably messy way and singer Alan has a sort of self-effacing charisma in between songs, as he continually reminds us how much he desperately needs to go to the toilet. For the first couple of songs, bassist David shares drumming duties with Darragh and later proves his multi tasking skills even further as he puts aside his bass to add an extra layer of synth noise to the proceedings. With their standout single; Signature, they showcase their mix of call and answer yells, Arcade Fire-ish vocal harmonies and wall of sound layers of indie guitars and bassy synth. Their set comes across as uplifting rather than tinged with the hip-sneer that most synth backed indie bands radiate, so hooray For Hooray For Humans.

When you hear a band described as “stoner instrumental rock”, you might be inclined to imagine unusual time signatures, complicated arrangements and lengthy facial hair. Galway local heroes The Ghostwood Project however, are a lot more accessible than that, and the total beard length is surprisingly low.

The Ghostwood Project are Sean Mahon (guitar), Thomas Delaney (drums), and Conor Garry (bass), and the name is (probably) a reference to the weirdest and therefore best thing on T.V. in the nineties, Twin Peaks. They played their first gig in January 2005 and by April that year they had won the Roisin Dubh’s battle of the bands competition. Although The Ghostwood Project are hardened Roisin Dubh regulars and the buzz around Galway had seen their name reach my ear countless times it was my first live run-in with them and I was anxious to see how their lyric-free sound would be received.

There’s an old adage that goes; “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, and it can be hard at the best of times to accurately describe instrumental music so I’ll try to make some comparisons. Think of The Ghostwood Project as less bleepy and intricate than Battles, less frightening than Dillinger Escape Plan, and a bit like Mogwai or 65 Days Of Static but without all the effects. So far each comparison says The Ghostwood Project are “less than” their peers but that’s not a criticism in terms of quality. This band is more about atmosphere than an arms race for speed or technical excellence.

Despite this, the band members do seem to take a certain pleasure in playing as if they have a personal vendetta against each of their instruments. Its also worth pointing out that anyone who has the chance to catch them live should make an effort to get as close as possible to the stage. While your ringing ears might be the worse for wear, The Ghostwood Project really do get better the closer you are to them. It’s worth getting close because you can better sense the physical urgency that goes into each note, and feel the vibrations from Thomas’s rapid snare hits coursing through your limbs.

My only nitpick would be that their sound seems to have room for another element, be it a cookie monster-esque vocalist or some sort of unconventional synthesised trickery, although I suspect the lads are right in keeping words out of the picture. Instrumental music can often be infinitely more powerful than music with words – lyric-free songs leave the listener free to interpret their own meaning and let their minds wander where they may. The only mic on stage tonight is used for drummer Thomas to thank the Roisin Dubh’s audience for another warm round of applause and another fantastic home turf triumph.
- Hubert McIntyre for


demo 1 - feb 2003
demo 2 - jan 2006



The Ghostwood Project formed in the summer of 2004. The band is Sean Mahon (guitar), Thomas Delaney (drums), and Conor Garry (bass). They met by answering an advert in a local music shop and since then the trio have been steadily building a profile for themselves on the irish scene. They have played over 130 gigs including support slots to the Redneck Manifesto, Electric Eel Shock, Jape, The Dudley Corporation, Waiting Room, Giveamanakick, Neosupervital, Delorentos and an Irish Tour with iForward Russia! Road Records discribed them best as "sounding at times like a more rocking mogwai with some of the epic moments of godspeed and the off tune avant rock of sonic youth". They will be on tour again this july and are set to release their long awaited debut album this October