When this tour was officially announced I think just about everybody connected with RPM, booked their tickets for a venue somewhere in the UK, not just for a re-invigorated Wildhearts, but to check out the late addition of Towers of London to open the proceedings.

 

As the time approached I got really excited by the thought of a night with such a variety of music on one bill!

 

It’s been a while since I caught up with the Wildhearts live, I’ve dipped in and out of them since the early days, (I remember catching them supporting a fledgling Manic Street Preachers in Cardiff University) as well as numerous festival and venue appearances, even catching Ginger on his Ghost in the Tanglewood foray into Americana. But the real kicker for me was the addition of Towers of London to this 3 band bill. I’d never managed to catch them back at the height of their notoriety, when they were being touted as Britain’s answer to G’N’R, it seemed like every week they’d hit the press with their latest outrageous incident or behavior, building to a frenzy that resulted in the group exploding, the music they created actually getting lost in the carnage.

Opening with “I’m a Rat” I think you could have picked my jaw off the floor, and I think the smile just got bigger as the gig went on. I couldn’t believe how tight and in your face the music sounded, how focused the musicianship and how much the band seemed to be enjoying things. Do you know what that enjoyment spread to an ever-increasing crowd and by the time we hit set closer “Fuck it up” the audience was well involved. To me, it seemed that the band had relaxed, stopped playing up to a tabloid image and were there for the music, for the crowd and to give things a real shot. It will be interesting to see in the future the support slots they pick up and if rumours are confirmed there’s a real biggie coming up which will connect them to an audience better suited to their brand of Punk/R’n’R. But ultimately if the new LP due hits the heights of this live performance they’ll be headlining SWX in their own right.

 

In the lull between Towers of London and Massive Wagons, I had cause to smile at a conversation between two Massive Wagons fans, noticeable by the T-Shirts about how easy it had been to get tickets for the Pink gig in Cardiff! Made me think about how diverse their audience is and how easily they could cross into the mainstream, which they seem to make a hell of a fist of doing. Now at this point I feel I have to be upfront and honest, I don’t particularly like their take on classic Rock, don’t get me wrong they are great at what they do but for me music has to have a sprinkle of stardust, something that sets it aside, an edge if you like, there is no edge to Massive Wagons.

Nothing I saw in the stage show changed my mind in any way, but I was very much in the minority, they went down a storm.

Waiting for the main Act to hit the stage thoughts drifted to what type of Wildhearts performance we were going to get, I needn’t have worried, with the p.a. turned up to 11 they hit the stage to a storming version of “Dislocated” from the new LP Renaissance men, and the drive and energy of the band hit you straight away, what an aural onslaught! Every time I catch the Wildhearts live my thoughts is always how clever the band is, how catchy the songs and how huge they should be, maybe this LP will put them right on the top of the pile.

Rolling into “Suckerpunch”, leading on to “Sick of Drugs” you could feel the paint peeling from the wall’s, this was one of those performances that made a statement. Without going into every song, I don’t think there was a weak track played or performed tonight, standouts in the main set for me? “Urge”, “Caffeine bomb” and “Love you til I don’t”.

But the band weren’t done we had a monster encore with “The Renaissance men” followed by “Someone that won’t let go”, “You took the Sunshine from New York,” “Mazel Tov Cocktail”, “My Baby is a Headfuck” and the evergreen” I Wanna go where the people go”.

The Earth definitely needs the Wildhearts/ Rock and Roll needs the Wildhearts, especially a Wildhearts, flat out, throttle down, focused and delivering an LP as consistently powerful as this newbie. Happy days!!!!!

Author: Nev Brooks

Buy ‘Renaissance Men’ HERE

 

 

 

 

 

The Wildhearts are riding on the crest of a wave right now. ‘Renaissance Men’, their first album in 10 years is an absolute monster, it’s currently at number 11 in the album charts and at least 3 of these 8 dates to promote it are already sold out.

It’s not just a good time to be a Wildheart either; it’s a good time to be a Wildhearts fan. With a sizeable chunk of the back catalogue getting re-mastered and re-issued on deluxe vinyl and the promise of plenty more dates this year, it is also an expensive time to be a Wildhearts fan, but we wouldn’t want it any other way would we? In 2019, there is more interest and more excitement about this band than I can ever remember.

Re-united and re-invigorated, the classic line-up of The Wildhearts is back, but are they back for good? Only time will tell. While this current wave of excitement could open doors and see great opportunities for a band who, let’s face it, have certainly paid their dues, I keep getting this niggling feeling that it could all go drastically tits up at any moment. So let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Talking of things going tits up… fuckin’ Towers Of London are back! Where the hell did that come from?  The original line-up that recorded the most excellent debut album ‘Blood, Sweat & Towers’ and then proceeded to burn out in a blaze of arrests and fisticuffs, are back together. There’s new music on the way too, they have unfinished business to attend to. What a time to be a rock ‘n’ roll fan!

Donny Tourette and the boys take to the stage with air raid sirens blaring and fire straight into ‘I’m A Rat’. It sounds fuckin’ ace! Dressed in matching black boiler suits and shorn of the gravity-defying hair of ten years ago, they may look a bit different, but with a newly reinstated The Rev delivering cool licks and a bare-chested Snell bashing seven shades of shit out of his kit, the band are on fire and looking like they really mean it.

While Donny’s nonchalant punk attitude is more Gallagher than Iggy, the delivery is still fantastic. ‘Beaujolais’ is punked-up to the max goodness, and newbie ‘Get Yourself Out Of Here’ with its chanting chorus and sleazy delivery is full of the right kind of attitude, it promises much for the new album.

A blistering version of ‘Fuck It Up’ surely silences any non-believers in the room and ends a high energy set from a band that is truly back to their best form.

While Towers Of London are not the fucked up kids of yesteryear, they have matured, learned a few things, but still have that edginess I desire from sleazy punk rock. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, no one can deny they were spot on tonight.

Whether they’ve got the new songs to rival the likes of the fantastic ‘Air Guitar’ or ‘On A Noose’ we will see, but I for one can’t wait to find out. Bring on new music, headline gigs and world domination then.

Now, if someone could please explain the appeal of Massive Wagons I would be most grateful, as I don’t get them at all. I’ve tried, but they are just not for me. A band fronted by a diminutive Game Of Thrones extra who sounds like Biff Byford, backed by a band who look like they scan your shopping in Aldi, call me fussy but…

Joking aside, in a live setting I can’t really fault them. They have energy, I’ll give them that much. Baz is an animated frontman and a loveable character, who can work a crowd and The Wildhearts crowd seems to love them. But that’s not enough. It would probably be ok if they had the songs, but for me, Massive Wagons just don’t have the songs, pure and simple.

I’ve seen them live several times now and my opinion hasn’t changed. I’m afraid to say I head for the bar not long into their set. Most Massive Wagons reviews I’ve read are positive, with many citing them ‘retro’. Me, I cite them ‘dated’. And in my defence I present their closing song ‘Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum’ as evidence, the cheesiest song I’ve heard in many years, and on that note I rest my case.

In all my years of seeing Wildhearts live shows, I can honestly say I have never seen a bad one, come to think of it I have never seen even an average live performance from Ginger and co, whatever the line-up has been.

Tonight is no exception, in fact tonight is probably the best I have seen them. It’s up there with the hot and sweaty Bristol Bierkeller show of ’94, its as heavy and loud as Edinburgh and Glasgow were in 2004, and it’s even as euphoric as the Chutzpah! show in Leeds 10 years ago.

From the moment Ginger cranks out that opening riff to ‘Dislocated’, the place goes nuts. Such a great response to a new song. A relentless cacophony of riffs and melodies that has the pit bouncing as one, signaling that this brand new song is already classed as a fan favourite.

It leads perfectly into ‘Everlone’, ‘Vanilla Radio’ and ‘Suckerpunch’ all delivered in quick succession, leaving no time to talk or even breathe. Going with the theme of ‘Renaissance Men’ it is a well chosen, heavy set of songs tonight. Mixing it up nicely, there are a few surprises in amongst the usual live favourites. ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ and ‘Jackson Whites’ are especially awesome and even ‘Urge’, which I imagined would be a disjointed mess, actually sounds amazing.

Bearing in mind that most people have only had ‘Renaissance Men’ in their ears for a week, the new songs get a great response. ‘Let ‘em Go’ was always going to go down well, it’s got a stadium-sized chorus that is up there with their finest hits. But it is ’Diagnosis’ that probably gets the best response of the whole night. What a fucking tune live! The way they build that AC/DC style riff to gain momentum, before releasing that main hook on an unsuspecting crowd, who in turn go absolutely bat-shit crazy for it. It’s a great feeling being right in the middle of the chaos for the duration. Like being a teenager discovering live music for the first time, all over again.

The band seems truly invigorated and on fire. Ginger and CJ’s vocals are spot on and the pair are full of energy, bashing out riffs and jumping in unison, giving photographers every opportunity to capture that elusive jump shot.

With bassist Danny McCormack now fit enough to make it through a whole set without needing his stool is a big, big thing. The loveable Geordie with a big heart and an even bigger bass sound just brings something special to The Wildhearts and it’s a joy to see him back where he belongs.

Post encore, the band mime through a version of ‘The Renaissance Men’ which is being videoed for a commercial single release on each night of the tour. Bit weird for all concerned, but the show doesn’t suffer or lose momentum.

A five-song encore is pretty good value at any show and with the likes of ‘Mazel  Tov Cocktail’, ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’  rounding the evening off nicely, who could ask for more?

 

Where The Wildhearts go from here is anyone’s guess, but my advice is to go out of your way, sell your children or steal money if you have to, but whatever you do, do not miss The Wildhearts live right now, as they are on top of their game.

 

Buy Renaissance Men HERE

Author: Ben Hughes

Photographs: Neil Vary

As part of one of my son’s activities at school, I was recently in a theater filled with elementary school age children and parents watching the new kids’ movie ‘Ugly Dolls.’ It obviously would not be a movie I would be watching if my wife and I didn’t have children, but the time as a family is priceless. I am sometimes amazed by how much I know about Peppa the Pig, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the like. I have seen Thomas the Train and the Cat in the Hat get eclipsed over time with these other shows and movie characters.

 

I have lamented the lack of importance and value of music in today’s world. There seem to be fewer and fewer well-known bands and artists creating a legacy and leaving an imprint than in previous generations. Over the years, music has been a powerful tool for people from a personal level to a societal level. It has provided comfort to us when needed to help us in our times of need as well as been a soundtrack for great moments. It has courted the ire of the powers that be due to its ability to unite people behind a common goal   It has been condemned as a tool of a devil and the inspiration for teenage debauchery. I love going back through time and discovering old music. Time machines do not exist, but there is something magical about losing myself in old songs and imagining life at that time, whether it is Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five, Chuck Berry, Janis Joplin, or another artist. I love knowing what was happening at the time, what inspired the songs, and information about the artists. Those artists have also transcended time and continue to be widely known.

 

I do not see music resonating with as many people the same way today though. Music has become an inessential afterthought to the mainstream in many ways. With the internet, we have lost some of the iconic moments such as what it meant to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, being the musical artist on Saturday Night Live, having a video world premier on MTV, etc. These were significant things in our culture in the past. Musical genre did not matter as there were stars in seemingly every genre who would cross lines in terms of popularity. For example, I did not listen to country but knew who the artists were. In the 80’s, I was mainly a metal head, but my seeds of listening to everything were also planted at that time. I was listening to oldies as well as bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, INXS, and NWA. I didn’t realize at the time just how costly this form of salvation would cost me in the years to come. I even got an electric guitar around the age of 14 and had to come to grips with a hard truth- I have not one ounce of musical talent anywhere in my body. It did not stop me though from creating my own rock band in my head, writing songs (lyrics), and imagining giving interviews. After all, I had read that was what Joe Elliot of Def Leppard had done when he was younger.

I wasn’t thinking about any of this when the movie started the other night. I was wondering how loud all the kids would be during the movie, how bad the storm was outside, which way to go if one of my kids needed to go to the bathroom, and a hundred other thoughts. We sat through what seemed like 20 previews before ‘Ugly Dolls’ finally started. Almost immediately, we had the main character starting to sing a song and then other characters were contributing lines to the song. While I will say the poppy genre didn’t do it for me, I appreciated that it began with a song. Pretty soon, we had another song and then another.

 

Each song propelled the narrative in a way to engage the kids’ attention. My mind began to go down other avenues now where I thought about so many of the other animated movies and the songs that are attached to them. I have never been unfortunate enough to sit through ‘Frozen,’ but I know the hook from ‘Let It Go’ like it has been cut into my brain with a rusty nail. I can still hear the ‘Thomas the Train’ theme in my head. Just think of all the music in ‘Shrek,’ it is one of the reasons I really liked the movie. When ‘Trolls’ was recently released, both of my kids loved the music and wanted the soundtrack so they could sing along. If they hear any of the songs from the movie, they are dancing, singing, and letting me know it is from ‘Trolls.’ With all this flooding my mind, I started wondering where we are losing our passion for music and our willingness to support the artists. Kids obviously still love music. On a side note, one of my favorite scenes from ‘The Hangover’ is when Stu sings his short song while the tiger passes out from the roofies.

 

Twice per week, my son has a music class where he is exposed to different musical instruments and songs. They learn to sing songs, and some of them perform for us during the school year. I remember doing the same thing when I was in elementary school and thinking ‘Silver Bells’ was the best Christmas song in the world. I can’t tell you why; there was just something about it at that time. Band was important, even at that age to many students as they were already playing instruments, even if it wasn’t always what they wanted to be doing. Now, we have education budgets under fire with the arts being one of the first to always be on the cutting board. Perhaps, that was the same in the ’80s, and it just wasn’t part of my world at the time as I was too busy in sports to think about trying to play music. I can’t help but think though that it is part of where music as a cultural phenomena is struggling. It is being minimized, and that message is making it down to the kids.

Another possible factor is truly ironic to me. We have too much music which truly spreads popularity across so many artists that there are fewer and fewer icons. For those of us that love music, we are constantly discovering new bands and artists from all over the world. Within a day, I may discover several bands that I love such as the Dead Furies from Estonia or the Fadeaways from Japan. I might not have ever heard of these bands though back before the Internet. I am incredibly happy to have found them because I love the music. It can start to spread us thin though because there are only so many hours in a day. This month I find myself extremely excited that there are four new releases released I have been anticipating- the Darts, the Wildhearts, the Sweet Things, and the Glam Skanks. I imagine there will be someone else that suddenly appears which will also connect with me. How do I find the time to listen to all of them? Seriously, I am open to ideas on this one as the Darts and Wildhearts are already on constant rotation.

 

As the final song in ‘Ugly Dolls’ set up the final scene where the doll’s dream of being with a child is realized, I was pulled out of my thoughts and back to the hustle and bustle of getting out of the theater. I ultimately have hope that kids today will help us rediscover music and get it back to where it belongs in society. There is something to be said about people being able to remember more through the power of music such as recent studies of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have revealed.

 

I don’t think the platform to truly demonstrate the power of music has found itself again yet. Print magazines have sadly continued to disappear with the decline of book stores making that even more prevalent. We have wonderful music sites like this one, but we need to be in front of more people. We can be an excellent conduit for new music to the people who try and say there is no great music being made. It is being made, and it can be found all around the globe. It just takes a little more digging because it is not in heavy rotation on MTV or all over magazines at the check stands. People also do not have the record stores to lose themselves in and discover a hidden gem. The music is out there though. Let’s each make sure that we remember to tell others what music means to us, what music moves us, and why we need it in our lives.

 

Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

It’s been 10 long years since The Wildhearts released their last album ‘Chutzpah!’ If there was any justice in the world it would’ve been a massive hit album for them, and Ginger would have the recognition he deserves as one of the UK’s most prolific and constantly creative songwriters.

But lady luck has never shone down on The Wildhearts, she just threw shit in their general direction. Drugs & alcohol, in-band fights and shitty record labels got in the way. Even though they scraped the top 20 and featured on TOTP multiple times, sadly it was never meant to be. It would seem that sometimes, even the greatest bands are destined to never make it.

But the Wildhearts have a legacy, a fucking great musical legacy that will never be erased whatever the future holds. While they disbanded after ‘Chutzpah!’ (for the umpteenth time), there have been sporadic reunion gigs and anniversary tours. And with original bassist Danny McCormack back where he rightfully belongs, the classic line-up of The Wildhearts entered the studio to record the album many fans thought they would never get to hear.

It seems you can’t keep a good band down, and The Wildhearts are back in your face, fighting fit and stronger than ever before.

 

The metallic riff to ‘Dislocated’ blasts open the album like ‘Live Wire’ opened ‘Too Fast For Love’. Did I just reference Motley Crue in a Wildhearts album review? Yes, I did! But that’s where the resemblance ends, as ‘Dislocated’ goes off on a musical tangent to itself, as The Wildhearts are well known to do. Tackling mental health and alienation, the lyrics are spat with the vitriolic, reckless abandon of a man literally teetering on the edge of sanity.

Fuck me, that chorus! It builds and builds and keeps on giving. Then there’s the welcome return of Danny’s unmistakable bass rumble, as much a part of The Wildhearts sound as anthemic choruses and crunchy guitars. ‘Dislocated’ is a song for the outcasts in an age where Ginger’s lyrics are more relevant than ever.

Next, we are straight into ‘Let ‘em Go’. Classic, anthemic Wildhearts at their finest. A football terraced style anthem with an uplifting chorus you will be singing on first listen, and long after the needle has lifted. “Let ‘em go, let the shit-filled rivers flow”  the whole band chant, as you wonder how you have survived for so long without this melody in your head. A future live favourite for sure. No one does it better…no one.

The following title track is a weird one, not sure about this yet. The almost tribal beats and backing chants bring to mind the film ‘Madagascar’ for some reason. With a cool riff and a great euphoric chorus, it’s a song about the band being back in your face, and hopefully, they are here to stay.

‘Fine Art Of Deception’ is a song I first heard Ginger and CJ play acoustic at The Fulford Arms in York last year. This is a tune that could have been lifted from the ‘555%’ sessions, I feel. The “bullshit” refrain stands out as pure Wildhearts fodder though and harks back to their early days.

‘Diagnosis’ builds on an AC/DC style riff before morphing into classic Wildhearts crunchy goodness. Air guitar and goosebumps (see Pilo Erection below) come hand in hand as Ginger and CJ’s vocal harmonies intertwine to create the magic we love and crave from The Wildhearts. It builds to a euphoric, killer chorus set to be a mainstay at hot and sweaty future gigs.

 

‘My Kinda Movie’ will kick off side two (if you are listening on cassette or vinyl). It comes on like a classic Wildhearts B side, and we all know how good those are, right? A metallic, staccato riff makes way for intense, urgent drums from probably the most underrated drummer in rock music, Ritch Battersby. Chugging, dampened guitars match the rhythm of the verse that makes way for a gang vocal chorus, a wild as fuck wah-wah solo and a section that goes up the musical scale again and again. Holy shit, that’s a workout!

‘Little Flower’ is again, a song I heard previewed acoustic last year and one of the most instant songs on the album. CJ penned I believe, it certainly has his knack of pop sensibilities stamped all over it. A hook as catchy as anything out there, it will bury deep into the subconscious on first listen and threaten never to leave, job done.

That signature Wildhearts dampened, crunchy regimental riffage introduces ‘Emergency (Fentanyl Babylon)’. The subject matter is pretty self-explanatory, here Ginger even name-checks Tom Petty and Prince before laying waste with a brutal chorus that will incite the listener to shout the “emergency” refrain and bang their heads until the beats abruptly cease. Glorious in all the right places.

‘My Side Of The Bed’ is disjointed riff-o-rama in god knows what time signature, with sublime vocal harmonies that suck you in on first listen. There is so much going on in this crazy song it’s hard to describe, but imagine Cheap Trick jamming with Primus for starters. So much love for this tune already.

The “one-two-fuck you” count in signals the closing track ‘Pilo Erection’. Crunch, bang, wallop! We are up and running for the final time as the band get a full-on workout, riff after riff and chanting gang vocals aplenty, a powerhouse performance especially from Ritch as his skills are tested to the max.

If you are wondering what Pilo Erection means, Google the fucker like I did! Let’s just say The Wildhearts give me a Pilo Erection everytime and you can quote me on that.

 

The arrival of a new Wildhearts album has always been an event. Call me biased, but it makes me realise that most other bands pale in comparison and it has been so long that I nearly forgot that!

I was expecting this album to be a cross between ‘Earth Vs’ and ‘Chutzpah!’, yet surprisingly it sounds like neither, in fact, it sounds like no other Wildhearts album that has come before it.

Like ‘Fishing For Luckies’ and the self-titled ‘White Album ‘, ‘Renaissance Men’ takes multiple listens to sink in and every time I listen, something new jumps out. My favourite track is changing on a daily basis and even though it’s early days, I can’t imagine I will hear anything better this year.

Hopefully, this is as much a resurgence as a renaissance and we can expect more from this band in the near future. But for now, bask in the glory that is the new Wildhearts album and come back in 6 months when it’s all sunk in and tell me how great it is.

 

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Author: Ben Hughes

Buy Renaissance Men Here

The Wildhearts 
release Dislocated 
the first song from their forthcoming new album 
Listen Here
  

The Wildhearts release Dislocated, the first song from their forthcoming album ‘Renaissance Men’. Listen to the cathartic Dislocated 

On 3rd May ‘Renaissance Men’, The Wildhearts’  first full-length studio album in 10 years is released by Graphite Records.

The Wildhearts’ classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny, recorded the energetic and diverse ‘Renaissance Men’ at the Treehouse Studio. Produced by Jim Pinder  ‘Renaissance Men’ finds The Wildhearts at their full creative tilt delivering hard-hitting, retooled classic rock with a modern twist.  Bristling riffs and jagged, riotous hooks are their poison and the 10 songs are the perfect manifestation of the band’s immutable wit, charm and righteous anger.

The album cover for ‘Renaissance Men’ was painted by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Iced Earth, Sodom).

The honest and irresistible ‘Renaissance Men’ is an unequivocal triumph, which encapsulates and distils perfectly The Wildhearts’ live energy.
To pre order ‘Renaissance Men’  and stream Dislocated go Here
The album is available to pre-order in usual CD and vinyl, with T-Shirt bundles available, plus in exclusive limited edition transparent red vinyl and orange tape cassette formats. iTunes preorders will receive Dislocated as an instant track download.
Renaissance Men’ track listing 
01 Dislocated.
02 Let ‘Em Go.
03 The Renaissance Men.
04 Fine Art of Deception.
05 Diagnosis.
06 My Kinda Movie.
07 Little Flower.
08 Emergency (Fentanyl Babylon).
09 My Side Of The Bed.
10 Pilo Erection.

 

To coincide with the release of ‘Renaissance Men’  The Wildhearts play an 8 date UK tour. This intimate tour will start in Manchester at the Academy 2 on Friday 3rd May and concludes at the Riverside in Newcastle on Sunday 12th May.

“Well fuck me it’s only been 10 years since our last release and we have a monster album on its way. Danny is back in the band and we hit the road in May, playing new tunes and all the old hits. Can’t wait and I know the boys are super bloody excited for this. ROCK!” – CJ Wildheart 
Before the Renaissance Men UK tour, The Wildhearts play 2 festivals: the Winters End 2019 in Chepstow and Great British Alternative Festival in Minehead, plus a special warm up show at the Exeter Cavern on Friday 8th March, which is sold out.

Creatively brilliant, The Wildhearts play a distinctive fusion of hard rock, perfectly complemented by contemporary melodies. With a career spanning 30 years The Wildhearts helped change the landscape of British rock through the ’90s, and to this day they haven’t shown any sign of slowing down. Miss these shows at your peril.

The Wildhearts March tour dates
Fri  8th        Exeter Cavern    SOLD OUT 
Sat  9th        Winters End 2019
Sun 10th Minehead Great Brit Alternative Fest

The Renaissance Men May UK tour dates
Fri 3rd  Manchester  Academy 2
Sat 4th Edinburgh  Liquid Room
Mon 6th Cardiff  Tramshed
Tue 7th Bristol  SWX
Thur 9th London Brixton Electric
Fri  10th Norwich  Waterfront
Sat  11th Leeds Stylus
Sun  12th Newcastle  Riverside
Tickets are available Here
The Wildhearts are also playing:
May
Thur 23rd  Blackpool, Waterloo Music Bar SOLD OUT
Fri 24th Derbyshire, Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering
Sat 25th Lincoln, Call of the Wild Festival
Sun 26th Sudbury, LeeStock Music Festival
July
Fri 19th  Ramblin’ Man Fair
Well as far as new bands go the UK has always thrown out fantastic underground bands and many burn out rather than fade away whilst there are a few who manage to stick around not through sheer bloody-mindedness but because they’re good at this Rock n Roll business and actually make great records.  So after The Main Grains sort of called it a day when Danny rejoined The Wildhearts a couple of Main Grains went over there and started to write some songs. Low and behold they were paying attention! We now find out they’re bloody good at it (as their debut album will testify) RPM has a duty to bring you the best bands currently making music so it was the right thing to do and speak to The Spangles so here is our interview with not one, not two but three Spangles…

Firstly tell us a little history of the band? Who contacted who?  Whos who? and how did it come about? 
Polly– I’ll let Ben and Ginna tell ya, it was all their idea. I’m just the bass player – I just stand around looking louche and pretending I’m hard. 

Ben– It’s me and Ginna from The Main Grains and Polly from The Idol Dead. After Danny re-joined The Wildhearts and they started filling the calendar, me and Ginna wanted to do something separate to keep ourselves busy. Polly and Ginna used to play together in Phluid and he’d helped out on a couple of Main Grains tours so we all knew we got on well together – it was a no brainer really.


Ginna– yeah basically what Ben said and we all get on so well it gave the band a really happy vibe which I’d been missing for some time.

You’ve recently done a pledge campaign where you hit your target, what made you choose the pledge platform to release your debut album?
Polly – Well, I’m the singer in The Idol Dead and we’ve had so much success with PledgeMusic that I’d been bothering these two to get The main Grains to do one for years! PledgeMusic has, historically, been amazing fro underground bands. It’s a great way to get followers involved, increase your fan base and foster a brilliant sense of community. 

Unfortunately, I think PledgeMusic has made a few questionable business decisions and they have really fucked stuff up for a lot of bands, including us! We are still waiting for money from them and I think they’ve killed the goodwill they have spent 10 years creating. 

Ben– Polly made us do it. I was sceptical,  Ginna and I have never released anything on Pledge before, but I think we did pretty good.
They’ve made some questionable decisions but they’re working on it. I’ve still got faith. I’ve spoken to a few people about it. We’re still waiting for money too, but they handle their finances differently to how they did a year or two ago. If they iron out all the creases I think they’ll be back to how they used to be. Honesty is the best policy, if they’d have let everyone know beforehand, people would be more understanding, but they didn’t. Time will tell.

Ginna–  Polly had previously smashed pledges with the idol dead and we needed help raising the funds to do it so it was a no brainer…. shame they seem to have dropped the ball with payments etc.

About the album. Tell us a bit about the songwriting?  who wrote what and how did the songs grow – what’s the process?

Polly– I wrote one!! Hahahahaha …. BEN!!! 

Ben– For like the first week, it was just me and Ginna. Someone had to write some songs!! I’d never written a song before, but I think they came out pretty good! The bulk of the album was written in about 48 hours when me and my ex fell out. I’m really getting into my songwriting now, I’m really looking forward to the next one.

Ginna– Ben is the main songwriter but everyone chips in, Polly with his own songs and I write some lyrics. The good thing is no one is precious about anything so everyone gets a say and to throw ideas in the mix.

When it came to recording was pledge a driving factor in how much time and energy you could throw at the recording process?

Polly– Not at all. The time had been booked and we were gonna record anyway – I think it was more – the recording dictated the Pledge.

What about live shows – you have a launch show coming up and the support slot in the black heart with an amazing line up of Rags there’s also more kicks and the speedways on the same bill.  That’s four really exciting new bands right there and people say rock n roll is dead?

Ben– Didn’t Gene Simmons say it once? Who gives a fuck what he thinks.

Polly– Bloody love The Speedways! Yeah, rock n roll is a long way from dead, it’s just people are dead inside and can’t find it. Rock n Roll lives and breathes in the people who make and consume it – it’s everywhere and we’re drowning in it. The minute Ginna smashes that first 1,2,3,4 on the high-hat we are transported to that magic place full of promise, so, good drugs and loud guitars – fuck what anyone else thinks. 

Ginna– yeah it’s a wicked line up! Rock n Roll ain’t dead its just been taking a nap ready to explode again. Haha!

Growing Up – The Spangles

Looooooook!!! A lovely new teaser video made by the lovely Fuzzy to give you all a little peek into the album if ya didn't pledge! We still have tickets, but no venue, for the launch party too – The Spangles #SweetFA Album Launch Partyaaaaannnnnnd we're heading to that there London the week before to play with our good buddy Rich Ragany and his delicious digressions at their launch party – tiz the season to be rocking n that!

Geplaatst door The Spangles op Zaterdag 5 januari 2019

You’ve had some great feedback for the album what next after these shows?  Is it the record helps play shows or shows help push the record and keep you guys making music?

Ben – More shows. Another album. Maybe a handful of limited run EPs. Who knows? I just wanna keep releasing music. I’ve got an ever-growing list of tunes that need finishing and I wanna release them all in some form.

Polly– a bit of both – gigs are better when people know the tunes but no one buys the album if you’re shite live! We just wanna keep playing and building up a following – we’re only 6 gigs in so far so we’re still well up for hitting the road and spreading that Spangle sweetness all over the country. 

Ginna– More of the same… Gig this album to bits and get back in and do another album when we’re ready. Which the way we’re knocking the songs out won’t be too long.

Seeing as its January What immediate plans do you have for 2019?

Ben– Get another album out and play a bunch of shows. Aside from The Spangles, I’ve got a busy year with the Warner E Hodges Band and a few other things I can’t talk about yet. Trying to get myself as busy as possible. Anyone need a guitar player?

Polly– Play bass in The Spangles, make an album with The Idol Dead, make an album with The Spangles, stop Ginna breaking his ankles and watch Ben become the most sort after guitarist in the UK. 

Ginna– To have Great fun with amazing people.

So there you have it, folks, The Spangles.  If you’ve never heard them – go take a listen of the debut album and then make your way out to a venue they’re playing at preferably on a night when they are playing obviously and let em know RPM sent you.

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Album Launch Party

The Wildhearts are proud to announce the release of Renaissance Men on 3rd May, their first full-length studio album in 10 years.
To coincide with the release of Renaissance Men the Wildhearts’ classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny, are to play an 8 date UK tour.
Before this tour, the band play 2 festivals in March plus a special warm-up show at the Exeter Cavern on Friday 8th March.

The Wildhearts are proud to announce the release of Renaissance Men on 3rd May, their first full-length studio album in 10 years.

To coincide with the release of Renaissance Men the Wildhearts’ classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny, are to play an 8 date UK tour. This intimate tour will start in Manchester at the Academy 2 on Friday 3rd May and concludes at the Riverside in Newcastle on Sunday 12th May.

“Well fuck me it’s only been 10 years since our last release and we have a monster album on its way. Danny is back in the band and we hit the road in May, playing new tunes and all the old hits. Can’t wait and I know the boys are super bloody excited for this. ROCK!” – CJ Wildheart 
Before the Renaissance Men UK tour, The Wildhearts play 2 festivals: the Winters End 2019 in Chepstow and Great British Alternative Festival in Minehead, plus a special warm-up show at the Exeter Cavern on Friday 8th March.

Creatively brilliant, The Wildhearts play a distinctive fusion of hard rock, perfectly complemented by contemporary melodies. With a career spanning nearly 30 years The Wildhearts helped change the landscape of British rock through the ’90s, and to this day they haven’t shown any sign of slowing down. Miss these shows at your peril.

The Wildhearts March tour dates
Fri  8th        Exeter Cavern – Tickets 
Sat  9th        Winters End 2019   Tickets 
Sun 10th Minehead Great Brit Alternative Fest – Tickets

 

The Renaissance Men May UK tour dates:
Fri 3rd  Manchester Academy 2
Sat 4th Edinburgh  Liquid Room
Mon 6th Cardiff  Tramshed
Tue 7th Bristol  SWX
Thur 9th London Brixton Electric
Fri  10th Norwich  Waterfront
Sat  11th Leeds Stylus
Sun  12th Newcastle  Riverside
Tickets are available Here 
For limited tickets and new album preorders (discounted bundles available) please go to The Wildhearts’ website

 

Not Just your regular summer, no sir, this one is hot! and its only getting hotter!

June 2018

 

Whilst May was relatively quiet (slang) June was positively bristling with releases and live shows for the RPM crew and the beginning of the festival season was open.  But we couldn’t mention June 2018 without a few tributes to fallen comrades in Rock and Roll.

Firstly, Heavy Drapes frontman Garry Alexander Borland passed away the first week after returning from Holland after a really successful show at Rebellion over there.  Garry’s passing was a huge shock to people close to him obviously but his passing was also felt in the wider alternative community with his band on the verge of much bigger and better things what with the up and coming decent billing at Rebellion UK and their debut album ready to go so its only right we record this moment and pay tribute to Garry.  May he rest in peace.

Another sad passing was that of  DJ Fontana who was Elvis Presley’s drummer for many a year, Dominic Joseph Fontana was responsible for laying down the backbeat on almost 500 songs with the king which is no mean feat and a really impressive CV by any standard also it’s only right we recognise his contribution to music.  Rest in Peace DJ.

Sadly a third influential musician passed away in June this year, none other than Nick Knox the second but longest-serving Cramps drummer. Nick joined the band from the Electric Eels and occupied the drum stool from 1977-1991, Knox toured with the band and appeared on some of the Cramps’ best recordings, ‘Songs The Lord Taught Us, ‘Psychedelic Jungle’ and ‘A Date With Elvis’. Rest In Peace Nick Knox the man behind Lux and the man behind the shades.

Sadly the fourth person to pass away in June was none other than West coast punk rock legend Steve Soto of The Adolescents. Steve was originally the bass player in Agent Orange back in ’79 he then served as bass player in the Adolescents until passing.  the most recent album ‘Cropduster‘ being his final piece of work and easily one of 2018 finest albums.  The band went on to tour the summer around Europe with stand-in player and dedicated the set each night to Steve where they had a backdrop replacing the band’s logo and replacing it with SOTO at Rebellion in August Tony Reflex dedicated the show to his bandmate in a touching speech and subsequent performance that was electric and memorable,  Rest In Peace Steve 54 is way too young. 

 

Right hopefully onto much happier matters for the month of June 2018. With Festival season in full swing Fraser headed to Download and watched The Bronx, The Hives and Turbonegro show the festivals other acts how Rock and Roll was meant to be delivered to the people. elsewhere it seemed like the world and his Mrs were off to see the Rolling Stones play some enormadome or should that be a field?

IT might have cost the GDP of some countries to get close enough to see the band measure up to the size of a subbutteo player but it has to be said nobody was disappointed in either the performance or the setlist the band was knocking out on this leg of the tour. Jagger was ever his peter pan like self careering from one side of the huge stage to the other like he was a child with more energy than most performers more than half his age and some.

Nev decided he’d bowl darn London way and take in what Camden Rocks had to offer.  Basically, all the pubs of any note and the dive bars, as well as the more famous landmarks such as Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom etc throw, open their doors to live Rock and Roll for the day and if you have a wristband and there’s room at the inn then uh, you’re in! Just wear some comfortable shoes and a stage planner.  You might just happen across your favourite new band or someone you’ve been meaning to catch and hey presto there they are. (Deep Breath time) This year Nev caught The Ramonas at the Dublin CastleDirty Thrills at The Underworld Talia Dean in Brew Dog then back to the underworld for Sonic Boom Six and some knees up skanking ska which went down rather well with Nev. It wouldn’t have been right had our roving scribe not caught Urban Voodoo Machine down at the lock where the place to be was indeed Dingwalls then to finish off a marathon of live entertainment it was Camden Assembly for some Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors before the Rifles was a curtain call for Mr Brooks but he wasn’t banking on bumping into Paul-Ronny Angel either so his night wasn’t quite over!

Not wanting to be a party pooper Nev still had to take in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds playing the All Points East Festival along with an impressive support cast of Patti Smith, St Vincent and Courtney Barnett.

Ben went to Rambling Man Fair and enjoyed the performances of such heavyweight rockers as The Cult and also managed to catch RPM favourites  Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind as well as the real mock rockers Steel Panth..Nah I can’t type it sorry folks I’d be doing RPM a disservice even mentioning them. anyway, Ben also managed to take in the large club gig of the month that was the triple-headed Britrock Must Be Destroyed touring carnival that featured a rotating line up of Reef, The Wildhearts, and Terrorvision. there were multiple dates to be fair and it was decided on the day how the running order would play out. I reckon each band made new fans on the night as reports were coming in of all three raising each others game and an excellent way to tour. The night Ben had in Leeds also saw Dodgy added to the lineup.

 

Our intrepid European correspondent or one of them Craggy got to see Repetitor live at Kabinet Muz, Brno I said Craggy got to see Repetitor in Brno…oh forget it he enjoyed it anyway said it was one of his highlights of the year to be fair.

Now with a sharp intake of breath June was positively overflowing with album releases that would bother top tens come the end of the year. Just a few of those contenders has to be The Interrupters with their ‘Fight The Good Fight’ that saw them leap up the rankings with a fantastic collection of tunes that was shaking up not just fans of the bands previous two albums but new music fans who heard one of the many potential hits on the radio or tv with the album set to just keep on selling and selling we are looking at the next big thing as they won’t be playing clubs for much longer.

Getting Tim Armstrong in to produce the record is a great move as the guy oozes class and knows his way around a ska-punk record and if he had a hand in any of the songwriting or arranging then boy pat yourselves on the back because the infectious ‘A Friend Like Me’, ‘Shes Kerosene’ and the awesome ‘Got Each Other’ are three reasons why this record will deservedly be in many ends of year top 3’s and rightly so..

Elsewhere June saw the release of London Towns Portuguese legends The Parkinson’s return with the LP ‘The Shape Of Nothing To Come’ that confirmed that these gentlemen still had it and it was a fine return to the fold in every way. Now expanded to a five piece you can take the boys out of punk rock but you can’t ever take the punk rock out of the boys and that boys and girls is a fact. the Parkinsons still have the chops.

Another couple of worthy mentions in the albums released in June has to be Smash Fashion and their ‘Rompus Pompous’.  Which has gone down a right storm at RPM as they’ve really hit their stride on this one and joioning them would have to be Nottingham’s The Speedways with the fantastic slice of power pop that is ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ the brains behind the idea to write an album was Matt former guitarist of The Breakdowns he’s since formed a band after the success of the record and has played  a number of shows and next year they’ve already planned some shows in Spain and London.  It really is power pop perfection and a record we highly recommend.

The old school shouldn’t be forgotten either because June was also the month when the phrase you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was debunked because The Uk Subs once again released a new album ‘Subversions’ of some of their favourite songs by other people – sure a cover album.  there might well be some you could see coming but there are others on the album that you would never have seen coming. 

Over in NYC the birthplace of hardcore and home to some of the best bands around Madball made a new record they put out in June 2018 and the brutal ‘For The Cause’ was unleashed on the world and immediately felt at home with the RPM crew.

Finally a mention of records released in June this time for the magnificent London power poppin’ punk rockin’ Los Pepe who released their long playing Greatest Hits on Snap Records! it came with a CD of the album and they also got to knock out a single this month as well which was nice. Don’t get me started on singles that appeared this month because ther were plenty with my pick of the pack coming from the Randy Savages who were ‘Guilty Of Nuthin’ .

 

February 2018

Foulmouthed Filthy February or something like that.

February began with a road trip to see a band who for me has been my go-to pilgrimage in North Wales for The Gathering weekend for the last quarter of a century (almost). A weekend celebrating the music of Mike Peters & The Alarm reached a high point on the Saturday night as a Four-hour performance rounded off an impressive weekend. I’ve enjoyed going for almost quarter of a century where special guests have included Billy Duffy, Craig Adams, Steve Diggle, Pete Wylie, Dave sharp, Ian McNabb, Eddie McDonald and a whole bunch of other musicians I’ve forgotten and I’ve managed to attend without missing a single year.

I must admit the thought of such a marathon performance on a Saturday night filled me with dread can any fans watch for four hours? The answer is a resounding yes! It flew by and was one of the best Saturday night shows I’ve ever seen Peters perform especially when he was joined on stage by Craig Adams for the final hour (that still doesn’t sound right – the final hour). Roll on February 2019 when I can do it all again.

 

Staying on the live front, Other RPM scribes went to some far-flung countries to catch their Rock n Roll with Craggy taking in an excellent show from Fertile Hump live at Kabinet Muz, in Brno. but a large gathering of writers took in a show or two when the Damned went around the UK this time with the added excitement of Paul Gray back in the fold for the first time in decades which was rather nice.  Seeing the Damned with a new album in tow and playing sold out shows all across the UK in decent sized venues was awesome and it has to be said so were the band.  Gray seemed to give them a right shot in the arm just in time for this stint of dates was easily the highlight of February. But with the recent news of our Brother Scott Sorry battling a serious illness the Rock and Roll community rallied and a series of benefit shows were arranged to raise funds for Scott at such a difficult time what with the American Health system being what it is  The likes of Role Models, Main Grains and  The Empty Page rocked out at The Parish to rave reviews whilst Wakefield Warehouse saw the Professionals, the Wildhearts, Massive Wagons and Sonic Boom Six take care of business and send Positive vibes across the ocean as well as money raised at these spectacular shows.

Before Feb was done The UK also saw the return of Bullets And Octane and Ben attended a memorable show in York that proved that Gene Louis had lost none of the fire he had inside his beating heart when he first toured the UK.

 

As for recordings to hit the shelves, historically early in the year, things open slowly in the music business and January being about new resolutions before finally seeing new releases hit the shelves, so, Feb saw an avalanche of really big hitters for RPM writers.  We had the release of Imperial State Electric’s Live album ‘Anywhere Loud’ as well as some garage awesomeness from the likes of the Cavemen and The Bellrays getting round to release records. 

Several writers were also impressed by the latest Buffalo Tom long player ‘Quiet And Peace’ with Craggy picking it as one of his albums of the year. February belonged to a few foul-mouthed releases, the first came in the shape of Jonesey with their self titled long player with its down n dirty sleazy punk rock n roll and song titles and lyrics that would make a sailor blush no doubt about that. But one of the years highlights hit us like a sledgehammer between the eyes has to be Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers with ‘MFFFMF’ (I think that’s the correct amount of F’s) inspired by Supershit 666 and the idea of some friends from the most splendid Bitch Queens and Oz and Lee from the mighty Hip Priests recording a mini album packed full of songs that were written in the shortest of times. I’ll let Lee Love tell you, good people, what happened, ” Ah the dumb Lee Love story. Well, me ‘n’ Oz went To Basel for a few days to hang out with our mates from Bitch Queens and we ended up getting pissed (as you do) and I was winding them up saying I could write and get em to record a mini album in a day. So we went into the Queens studio the next day and played through everything once maybe twice and hey presto it was done”.  Creating that Copters supershit 666 vibe.

To be fair this pack of loons rose to the occasion and absolutely knocked it out of the park in fact they didn’t just knock it out of the park they followed out tied it to the back of their pick up truck dragged it around the wood then kicked any life left in it out then did it all again for shits and giggles.  An absolute giant of punk rock n fuckin roll – make no mistake about that! Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker should and one day will rightfully be seen as a classic of its genre.

 

Also, The motherfuckin’ Dwarves were taking back the night in February as well and a jolly fine record that was.  Maybe it should be renamed Fuckin’ foulmouthed February from now on.  What a month. Outstanding stuff.

 

Ginger swings from rock genius to self-indulgent pledge monster, crafting some of the finest tunes the UK has tasted in the last 25 years or so, but seemingly a social media time bomb primed to explode. Either way, whenever I’ve met him he’s been a totally nice guy so in I guess that’s just the internet for you…

Kicking off with the low key “May The Restless Find Peace”, I can’t quite place the songs it reminds me of but it’s a nice downer of a tune much greater than the sum of its parts.

On to “Why Aye (Oh You)”.  I could be facetious and say this is pound shop Jimmy Nail or I could be constructive and compare it to Del Amitri. You decide.

The album carries on in a similar vein. I guess the slide guitar gives it a country kind of vibe. You could say it’s a companion piece to 2018’s previous outing “Ghost in the Tangle Wood” It certainly sounds like an extension of that acoustic driven folky introspective sound.

Along with the aforementioned “May The Restless Find Peace”, “Better Love” is another standout track. To my ears it has a Crowded House feel, with perhaps a bit like Billy Bragg’s “Don’t Try This At Home” era. A great tune none-the-less.

The title track “The Pessimist’s Companion” has a bit more going on but remains on the “sounding up but feeling down” theme.

Like many of the tunes found here, “Sweet Wanderlust” and “In Reverse” feel like sketches of classic (Wildhearts) tunes, proving without a doubt that below the self-destruction is a great songwriter trying to find his way out of a chaotic mind.

Last up is the dark and desperate “There Is A House”. Another stand out tune and certainly one you’ll want to skip back to once the album ends.

Ultimately, if you’re a paid-up disciple of Ginger’s gang you’re gonna love this album. whatever I or anyone else thinks about it and more power to you.

 

 

Buy Ginger Wildheart Here

Author: Fraser Munro