The Wildhearts –

Added by Jo

‘Christmas Vs The Wildhearts’ – Wulfrun Hall – Wolverhampton – 21 December 2006

This might be brief because I’m writing it two weeks after the show and am – almost unbelievably – still feeling the after-effects of too much festive cheer lately. Some might say this brevity is a good thing because my Wildhearts reviews are probably becoming quite tedious for all concerned by now.

A combination of dense fog, Wolverhampton ’s barmy one-way system and the box office being located in a pub instead of inside the Hall itself meant that I missed a good chunk of the God Damn Whores, one of the support acts for the night. From what I did manage to see, Jon Poole and chums played a typically punky, rocky, bonkers set with all tracks taken from their recent album, ‘We Are The Lucky Thirteen’. (There are rumours that The Loyalties opened up proceedings but as I was probably on my fifth lap of the ring-road at that time I’m unable to confirm this)

Next up were Beat Union who reminded me of a cross between The Clash and The Jam which was a shame because I’ve never been a huge fan of either. Very ska, a bit punky, a bit of reggae……and possibly a bit of a strange choice to support The Wildhearts. They didn’t really rock my boat but, to be fair, they did put on a good show with lots of energy, enthusiasm and volume.

By now the Wulfrun was pretty much packed. It was nice to see that even after all these years The Wildhearts can still prove to be a popular draw, even if it was for a one-off Christmas special.

The start of the show was fantastic with 5 mostly golden-oldies; TV Tan, Caffeine Bomb, Vanilla Radio, Sick Of Drugs, and Nita Nitro. This was what I’d come to hear so I was absolutely loving it. New bassist, Scott Sorry, while looking a good 10 years’ younger than the rest of the band seemed to fit right in and played a blinder. Ritch Battersby on drums was being as tight and powerful as ever (having said that though, I do prefer a more raw, looser style for The Wildhearts, such as provided by Stidi). And Ginger and CJ just did what they always do, i.e. go a bit mental and pose respectively.

However, the next few songs – Everlone, Greetings From Shitsville, OCD – seemed to take some of the momentum out of the gig, possibly because they’re long numbers. It was at this point that I started looking around the stage (just a dull skyscraper scene for a backdrop, been used before I believe) and hoping for something else to excite me which was unusual. Maybe the pyrotechnics at Scarborough Castle had spoilt me and raised my expectations too high.

Either way, it was a relief when the opening bars of ‘My Baby Is A HeadF*ck’ were struck up, swiftly followed by the thrashy ‘Suckerpunch’. Back on track once again. To conclude the main set ‘Caprice’ was chugged out before Ginger and co left the stage promising to see us in a minute.

The encore began with Ginger on guitar accompanying the crowd who had started singing the old favourite, ‘Don’t Worry About Me’. This naturally segued into ‘Geordie In Wonderland’, again with Ginger leaving most of the vocals to the punters. The next number was a first, as far as I’m aware; ‘29x The Pain’ with Ginger still on guitar on his own but leaving the crowd to do the singing. It’s always nice to see the boys do something different but I don’t think playing one of their best, if not their best, song in this way was a creative turn worth making. Played properly with the full band this can be a show-stopper, make no mistake.

A new song (taken from their forthcoming album – woo-hoo!) followed which sounded as good as all of the rest before proceedings were closed off in flamboyant style with ‘Love U Til I Don’t’ and ‘I Wanna Go…’.

For me it was a great gig, slightly let down by a few songs halfway through. Regardless of this I’d still recommend that anyone with an ounce of musical taste in their body goes to see The Wildhearts or Ginger solo……but you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?


Tv Tan, Caffeine Bomb, Vanilla Radio, Sick Of Drugs, Nita Nitro, Everlone, Greetings From Shitsville, Ocd, My Baby Is A Headf*Ck, Suckerpunch, Caprice, [Break], Don’t Worry Bout Me (With Audience Participation), Geordie In Wonderland (With Audience Participation), 29x The Pain (With Audience Participation), New Song, Love U Til I Don’t, I Wanna Go Where The People Go



The Wildhearts – Leeds

by Emma

The Wildhearts – Leeds University – 26 April 2004

I had loved the Wildhearts the first time around however at the tender age of 15 and with a circle of friends that didn’t care for this group I sadly never got to see them perform live. Imagine my excitement when ten years later I hear that the very same Wildhearts were the supporting act for The Darkness on the Paris gig that I had been looking forward to for months! I certainly wasn’t disappointed on the night, and for an hour or so I was a teenager again. I enjoyed the Wildhearts just as much as the Darkness, if not slightly more due to the history and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect support act. So it stands to reason that as soon as I heard that the Wildhearts were following up with a UK tour of their own (self financed) before heading off to the US I snapped up a pair of tickets at the first opportunity, and on 26th April I had the pleasure of seeing them play in my home town of Leeds.

The first support act was The Glitterai, however after a quick glimpse from the balcony I found that the magnetic pull of the student union bar was much stronger and I am afraid I succumbed to the power of vodka. The room however was pretty full and I hear that they are a very good live act! Therapy? Were next up. Yet another blast from the past, although I personally never really got into them. A few familiar and catchy tunes and the room was now full and there was plenty of movement from the crowd near the front. It was at this point that my accomplice and I managed to snake our way to the front row, armed with emergency beers ready for the appearance of the unsung heroes. We weren’t kept waiting too long, and a huge roar went up as Ginger, CJ, Stidi and John took their positions onstage and let rip into an old belter of a song – I Wanna Go Where the People Go and again I found myself bouncing on the spot along with the army of fellow fans punching fists and rock fingers into the air with delight!

The thing about the Wildhearts is that they are so technically spot on and tight as a group that I find it difficult to comprehend how they have managed to play the underdog for all of this time. I am rooting for the guys that 2004 will be the year that this will change for them. With a range of great songs spanning the last ten years from TV Tan, Suckerpunch, Girlfriend Clothes, Love U Till I Don’t and of course the stupendous rock corker Greetings From Shitsville to newer material including Caprice and Vanilla Radio they certainly deserve to finally reap some rewards. The guys had the crowd, including myself, going crazy and this was without a doubt one of the most enjoyable gigs of my time. With banter from Ginger, audience interaction from John and CJ and Stidi giving his all clearly loving every second of it, this became a night to remember and I would recommend that anyone (fan or not) should see the Wildhearts live at least once to sample their technical superiority.

What’s more I am delighted to report that the Wildhearts have now been added to the line up for the Leeds/Reading festivals this summer. The guys will play Reading on 27th and Leeds on 28th August. This is not one to miss people, so I will see you there for another first class performance!