Northern romance on Mancunian’s debut

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Cherry Ghost – Thirst For Romance

At his worst, Cherry Ghost’s Simon Aldred is a member of the Ashcroft/Doves school of string-soaked Lancashire crooners. But rural and working-class religious imagery reveals an older strain of kitchen-sink Northern regret, where bad news spreads “like a chip-pan fire”, and burnt-out estates’ victims deserve slow-burning sympathy.

Country, glam and Ed Harcourt’s raw ‘70s-style singer-songwriting all influence careful arrangements. But Aldred most recalls Elbow’s Guy Garvey, in his rich, earthy, unassuming warmth. When not over-blown, he’s bracingly humane.

NICK HASTED