The Wildhearts Gig Review
The Wildhearts arrived at the O2ABC Glasgow on Sunday night on the latest leg of their P.H.U.Q 20th Anniversary Tour. Given that we never know whether their next tour is going to be their last, every Wildhearts gig is special. However, since we were about to see the band play their most successful album in it’s entirety, it’s fair to say this particular gig had an extra special feel to it.
We were determined to get to the venue early so we could catch Ginger’s other band Hey! Hello! who were the first of two support bands on the night. Hey! Hello! released their self-titled debut album to critical acclaim a couple of years ago and they played more than half of it here. Their songs are full of huge riffs, catchy melodies and power-pop energy which, once in your consciousness, stay in locked in your consciousness.
Personal favourites from the album including the likes of ‘Black Valentine’, ‘Feral Days’, ‘Lock For Rock’, ‘Burn the Rule Book’, ‘The Thrill of it All’ and ‘Swimwear’ all featured. Oh hang on, that was just about all of their set! They were absolutely superb.
Next time please play ‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’ though!
After Ginger had left the stage to his first ovation of the night, it was time for Glasgow’s Baby Chaos to rip the venue a new one. After a 17 year break, Chris Gordon, Bobby Dunn, Grant McFarlane and Davy Greenwood got the band back together and began writing new material. This led to the recording and recent release of their third studio album ‘Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me The Glory’.
Sunday was the first time I’d seen the guys live and what can I say? I was totally blown away by the raw energy and power of their performance. It was also as close as I’ve ever come to worry about the structural integrity of the roof above my head during a gig – I seriously thought they were gonna blow it to bits! Highlight of their set for me was one of the songs from the new album, ‘You Can’t Shut Us Up’.
No info on what’s next for Baby Chaos after they’ve completed this tour, but will reach out and find out!
By the time The Wildhearts took to the stage, the venue was as hot and sweaty as I can remember. The packed audience had been properly warmed up by two tremendous support bands, but now it was the turn of Ginger, CJ, Ritch and Random Jon to really turn up the heat.
Ginger has said in the past that he’d quite happily never do another Wildhearts gig, but continues to do them out of loyalty to the fans (or the Boss as he refers to them). So you’d be forgiven for asking yourself is he gonna put 100% into these gigs, or just turn up and go through the motions?
The answer is simple: Ginger plays these gigs like it’s the last one he’ll ever play. And Sunday night was no exception. Plus he was clearly enjoying himself as much as the audience, and this enthusiasm rubbed off on everyone around him. The whole band just revelled in the atmosphere and absolutely nailed it.
The opening bars of ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ was all the encouragement the audience needed to get their fists pumping and from that point on it was 1995 all over again. Well, for about an hour anyway. ‘V-Day’, ‘Just In Lust’ and ‘Baby Strange’ followed on as per the original track listing and it was really hard to believe that these songs are now 20 years old. I’d heard a fair number of the songs on the album at previous gigs, so I really enjoyed hearing tracks like ‘Cold Patootie Tango’, ‘Jonesing For Jones’ and ‘Be My Drug’ performed live for the first time.
Best bit of the gig for me though was ‘Woah Shit, You Got Through’. Which apart from being a great song in itself, saw Ginger coaxing the audience into repeating the last line of the song about a dozen times. They would’ve gone on all night if he wanted! Palm of the hand stuff…
I know bands have their reasons for creating their setlists the way they do, but it’s really cool to hear an album played live in it’s entirety, the way the band created it in the first place. It’s just a shame that most of the time we have to wait a long time for the privilege!
The Wildhearts were flat-out awesome. End of. It’s impossible to comprehend there will ever be a day in the near future when there’s no longer a demand for their shows. So fingers crossed Ginger will continue to heed the wishes of the Boss and more tours will follow. Because there’s very little out there to touch The Wildhearts in full flow.