In the spirit of those bastions of journalism The Sun and The Star I am going to start the review with a sensational headline ‘Wildhearts Mime On Stage Shocker!!’.
Fake news I hear you cry, but no this really did happen tonight and with good reason which I will go into later. The band are on tour to promote their new album ‘Renaissance Men’ which has just been released, their first new material for 10 years. This album and tour also sees the welcome return of bassist Danny McCormack who last played with the band in 2005.
The bill for tonight’s show was a three band affair and featured some of the best British talent around. Unfortunately I missed Towers Of London’s set due to a mix up with start times, the doors opened an hour earlier than advertised, so my first band of the night was the mighty Massive Wagons.
The band had just started their set as I arrived and found a vantage point, in a sold out Liquid Rooms this proved to be quite a task. However the guys were playing a blinder as usual. Baz Mills seemed to be a bit restricted in his usual stage antics due to the compact stage but he was still blasting out his vocals like a town crier with a megaphone.
The set was short but full of MW classics like ‘Ratio’, ‘Hate Me’ and the Facebook friendly ‘China Plates’. It was also good to hear ‘Ballad Of Verdun Hayes’ getting an airing, not one of the most accessible songs from the Full Nelson album. The set was rounded off with the Quo inspired ‘Back To The Stack’, complete with glasses being raised to Rick, and ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’ both of which had the crowd singing along.
The band left the crowd wanting more and exited the stage to a huge cheer. The guys have been touring non stop so far in 2019 and their schedule shows no sign of slowing down so there is no excuse for missing out on the Massive Wagons live experience, it is a joy to behold!
The sell out crowd though were keen to get on to tonight’s main attraction and The Wildhearts didn’t disappoint. The guys kicked off with ‘Dislocated’ which was the first song released from the new album and judging by the crowd reaction it would appear that the band are onto a winner. The full on, incessant riff was perfectly recreated by Ginger and CJ and had the crowd bouncing along.
‘Everlone’ and ‘Vanilla Radio’ had the crowd singing along with every word which put a huge smile on Danny McCormack’s face. He looked over the moon to be back in the fold and the fans were just as happy to see him back on stage. ‘Suckerpunch’ lit the touch paper as the crowd exploded into song at the chorus. Ginger was looking fighting fit and led from the front, he kept the chat to a minimum throughout the set and let the music do the talking.
He spoke with genuine pride though about the new album and with good reason as it is a cracker. The new tracks were thin on the ground with only three included in the set ‘Let ‘Em Go’ being a particular highlight. ‘Urge’ then took us back to older songs once more and that was followed by ‘Caffeine Bomb’ which hit the spot like a double espresso. ‘Stormy In The North’ and ‘Love You ‘Til I Don’t’ rounded off the main set. Ginger then said they would be back shortly with something a bit different, very cryptic…
And so to mimegate as mentioned at the start. The band returned to the stage and Ginger announced that during the tour they were recording a video for the title track of the new album with the wildest crowd getting the most air time. Cue the band miming along to a play back of ‘Renaissance Men’ whilst the crowd went wild, a bit surreal!
Thankfully we then returned to full live mode for the encores and there were many. ‘Someone Who Won’t’ was the first of seven encores, you are never short changed at a Wildhearts gig that’s for sure. ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ and ‘29 x The Pain’ set things up nicely for the closing track ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ brought things to a mighty climax.
It may be ten years since The Wildhearts last released an album but with a back catalogue as strong as they have perhaps new material is unnecessary. However with an album as good as ‘Renaissance Men’ to add to their arsenal of incendiary music it can only enhance an already excellent catalogue. Tonight the band proved why they have such a loyal following and as live shows go they don’t get much better.
As they would say in The Sun ‘ Phew! Wot a Scorcha!’ and remember GRTR! is a fake news free zone!
Review and Photos by Dave Wilson
Thur 9th London Brixton Electric
Fri 10th Norwich Waterfront
Sat 11th Leeds Stylus
Sun 12th Newcastle Riverside
Thur 23rd Blackpool - Waterloo Music Bar SOLD OUT
Fri 24th Derbyshire - Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering
Sat 25th Lincolnshire - Call of the Wild Festival
Sun 26th Sudbury - LeeStock Music Festival
Wed 26th Carlisle - Brickyard
Thu 27th Glasgow – Kelvingrove Bandstand w/ Gun & Terrorvision
Sun 30th Gabu Osaka - Japan
Mon 1st Nagoya – Apollo Base , Japan
Tue 2nd Tokyo - Duo Music Exchange Japan
Fri 12th Cheltenham – 2000 Trees Festival
Thu 18th Liverpool - Grand Central
Fri 19th Kent - Ramblin’ Man Fair
Sat 14th Sheffield - Rockin The Bowl
Thu 10th Holmfirth – Picturedrome
Fri 11th Helsinki - Virgin Oil and Co ., Finland
Sat 12th Stockholm – Fryhuset, Sweden
Thu 24th Amsterdam Q Factory, Netherlands
Fri 29th Buckley - Tivoli
Sat 30th Madrid – Sala , Spain
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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