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!