The Wildhearts swaggered back into town hot on the heels of a fresh new album, the first since 2009. How will new material go down live? Let’s find out…
I’d heard the new record, RENAISSANCE MEN, a couple of times before the show. ‘Diagnosis’, ‘Let ‘Em Go’ and the title track all stuck out – I’d maybe expect to hear 2 of those at the least but wasn’t sure what exactly to expect.
I should have known that I’d get an excellent show, a couple of wildcard moments and a night where Ginger, CJ, Danny & Ritch genuinely looked like they could conquer the world. I’d saw the Earth vs. The Wildhearts album tour a few weeks prior, and the guys were in form – but nothing compared to tonight.
I can genuinely say I’ve never heard the band as tight, as sharp and as on point as they were tonight. The venue aided and hindered in equal measures – I’m all for intimate shows but perhaps selling even 50 tickets less may have made things feel a little less claustrophobic? It did certainly add to the atmosphere that you were part of something special, I’ll say that.
Flowing the impressive Massive Wagons, a band I need to keep an eye on, opening with the first release from the new record was a gutsy call. ‘Dislocated‘ was welcomed like a long lost brother with a winning lottery ticket and a bottle of Jack. All of a sudden everyone was back in time, to when The Wildhearts were in full of fight and ready to take the world, whether the world wanted it or not.
The riffs were massive, the hooks were huge and the vocals in your face. And the best part? If you’ve followed Ginger on social media over the past year, you know he’s not had an easy time of it. Tonight, he looked energetic, sharp, relaxed and best of all… happy.
Ginger Wildheart is the Lennon AND McCartney of rock riffs and melodies, and seeing him swaying and smiling was so good to see.
Throwing ‘Urge’ into the mix and prefacing it as a ‘a song you thought you didn’t like, because you never listened to it properly’ was unexpected, but welcome. Old favourites like ‘29 x The Pain‘, ‘Suckerpunch‘ and the immense ‘Caffeine Bomb‘ kept the show flowing around the new material – not even the slightly bizarre feeling of watching the band play along to ‘Renaissance Men‘ to record a video could dampen the reception for the new track.
The end came way too soon, and despite the well chosen set list, you were left wanting more, perhaps the way you should always leave a gig? To me, this felt like a special moment. The Wildhearts are back, they’re as good as ever, and this could be the beginning of something special… ARRIBA!