Concorde 2, Brighton 5.10.19

In a year when I gave birth to my one and only ‘oops baby’, if feels good to be fifteen again tonight. I haven’t slept properly for months, my social life generally consists of cake and crazy women pretending to dance with Telly Tubbies (don’t ask) and I have no real clue what is going on in the world outside. The latter is probably a good thing but still, yes – thank Christ for bands like The Wildhearts who make me feel like me and, as it’s standing room only this evening, it would seem quite a lot of other people share the sentiment. With the lingering scent of Snakebite and black and a swish of Ginger’s dreadlocks-that-have-made-a-comeback, the quartet, as usual, manage to achieve a shit ton of nostalgia in their show but still sound as if over two decades haven’t passed at all.

(pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus - see full size here)

It is an absolute joy to see Danny McCormack back on bass guitar too. In fact, it’s the same line up that I saw when I first watched The Wildhearts play live in 1995, then breaking up several times since, publicly struggling with drug addiction and other mental health issues. Tonight, however, the years roll away, despite Ginger stating they are ‘auld c*nts’, and the air is thick with triumph. Playing several tracks from their ninth studio release, ‘Renaissance Men’, though The Wildhearts attract an audience in Brighton that sees men backcomb their hair, use a ton of hairspray and wear their best Primark ladies leopard print jacket, their sound is, of course, classic British rock with a sour view of the world and a killer riff or two. ‘Diagnosis’ is an epic example of their new material, bowing its head to Motorhead particularly. The track hasn’t been played on the radio apparently because it has too much of an opinion, not that it seems to have damaged the success of the album at all.

Danny Wildheart, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 29.9.95
Pic by Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T

“We are shit hot tonight”, Ginger proudly states and he is absolutely right. They are loud too, ploughing through the obvious crowd pleasers ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘Everlone’, ‘Suckerpunch’ and ‘Sick of drugs’ with an insane increase in tempo but also dedicating some impressive B-sides to their diehard fans, including ‘Mindslide’ and ‘Red Light, Green Light’. Their confidence is captivating, while their love for their fans and what they do (at least in the hour or so they are on stage) is humbling. “If it was my world, I would play all night. But it’s not my world. Not yet anyway”, says Ginger as he introduces the end of the set. Whatever the future holds for these stalwarts of the UK’s music scene, it’s certain that no one is ever going to forget them and it’s always good to have them back.

Anna C.

(pic Cris Watkins Photography/PunkInFocus - see full size here)

Thanks to Rebecca for sorting out the guest list (although I wasn’t put on it but was let in anyway!).