Gig Review: THE WILDHEARTS – ABC, Glasgow, 14 April 2014

Ginger Wildheart

Monday nights should be quiet, sober affairs. First day back at work after the weekend, one should spend Monday evenings resting after a long day and looking to the week ahead and to the next weekend in which you can let you hair down and perhaps have a drink or two. This plan, however, goes well out the window when Ginger and his motley crew arrive in town, their appearance, by default, makes Monday night party night!

Ginger Wildheart must be a venue-owners dream as the opening act on this tour are Hey Hello! featuring a certain Mr G Wildheart on guitar, cue a packed house from the moment the doors opened and a deep queue at the bar. Ginger has been joined in this project by New York singer Victoria Liedtke and together they produce excellent, upbeat pop-punk nuggets that will have you humming them days later.

Hey Hello

Unfortunately a combination of work commitments and an early stage time meant that by the time I got into the ABC the band were on their second last number! The two tracks I did hear though, ‘The Thrill Of It All’ and the recent single ‘Swimwear’ were as bouncy as a labrador puppy, as was Liedtke. The large crowd sent the band off with a resounding cheer, hopefully they might make it back at some point so I can take in a whole set.

Another beneficiary of the Hey Hello! opening set were the Von Hertzen Brothers who were up next. Most support acts would expect to take to the stage to a half full house, but on this tour they have had a near capacity crowd to greet them at every show. So far I have reviewed the Von Hertzen Brothers album, ‘Nine Lives’, and interviewed the guys but this is the first time I have managed to catch them live. I did think they might make odd bed fellows playing with The Wildhearts as, on record, whilst their music is excellent, it is not the most raucous. Live though the guys are a different matter altogether.

Von Hertzen Brothers

I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised by how heavy the band are live and by the end of the first number, ‘Insomniac’, I was re-writing what I thought I knew about the band. The VH Brothers semi prog-rock songs lend themselves well to this full-on approach and that, coupled with the fact that the guys looked like they were loving every minute, endeared them to the Glasgow crowd.

Von Hertzen Brothers

The set was mostly taken from the ‘Nine Lives’ album with the familiar sounds of ‘Flowers and Rust’ and ‘Coming Home’ going down best. The guitar interplay between Mikko and Kie Von Hertzen was a particular highlight, whilst other brother Jonne was rock solid on bass. By the end of the final track, ‘Let Thy Will Be Done’, the band had impressed not only me but a large percentage of the hall and left the stage to a roar of approval. The guys are set to re-release some past albums in the UK and hopefully they will be back in the country soon for more shows. I, for one, will be in the queue for tickets.

By this time Ginger had freshened up, changed his shirt and was ready to rock once more. The Wildhearts were given a huge welcome as they took to the stage and the hall went suitably crazy as they cranked out ‘Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes’. The band have a real affinity with the Glasgow crowd and every gig in the city is an event that both band and punters love. The chaos then continued with ‘TV Tan’, ‘Nita Nitro’ and ‘Sick Of Drugs’ with beer and bodies flying in equal measure.

The Wildhearts

This tour also sees the return to the fold of Scott Sorry on bass for the first time in five years and he must have expended more energy over the course of the show than the marathon runners the previous day in (Shitsville) London. ‘Caffeine Bomb’ detonated right on cue while the one, two, three of ‘My Baby Is A Headf**k’, ‘Suckerpunch’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’, which ended the first segment of the show, were delivered like machine gun fire.

After a brief break Ginger returned and strummed the intro to ‘Geordie In Wonderland’ which the crowd sang with gusto much to his delight. Not long after a short mic stand was brought to centre stage as Ginger introduced his young son, Taylor, to the stage complete with half size guitar and big red ear defenders. Taylor and Scott Sorry shared the vocals on ‘People Who Died’ and ‘Nexus Icon’ much to the crowd’s delight. Ginger beamed with pride as the crowd chanted Taylor’s name and the young man looks as though he is a chip off the old block. He may have to wait about ten years though before legally hitting the pub circuit!

The Wildhearts

From here on in, it was a rush to play as many songs as the guys could manage before curfew time. This included ‘Junkenstein’ from the band’s ‘Endless, Nameless’ album which Ginger introduced by asking people who didn’t like the contentious album to head to the bar for four minutes. All too soon the message came that curfew time was almost upon us but there was still time for a blast through ’29 x The Pain’ which brought an end to a triumphant night.

The Wildhearts

This was a night which was enjoyed as much by the bands as by the punters in the hall. The Wildhearts proved once again that there is still plenty of life in the band yet and judging by Taylor’s performance tonight, the future looks pretty bright as well!

Review by David Wilson
Photos by Iain Scott

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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