Tonight sees the return to Clwb Ifor Bach of Ginger Wildheart, tonight he is flanked by the very talented Jon Poole on guitar and in tune backing vocals and the wonderful Carol Hodge on the keyboards and equally in tune backing vocals and beaming smiles.

Carol has put together a full live band on the back of her last album, ‘The Crippling Space Between’, tonight though it was just her and her piano with added fairy lights for that bit of glam razmatazz. I guess if its just avoice and a piano its tough to mix it up but Carol has a great on stage personality and spirit and when she introduces songs in South Wales entitled ‘The Witch is Dead’ about she who cannot be named around here who snatched milk from kids amongst other far more evil things, written on the day she died, was always going to be a crowd pleaser and to be fair those who turned up early enough were treated to some wonderful songs stripped bare and with respect you could hear a pin drop which was very nice. There was crowd interaction al-a- Mercury at live aid (only joking) maybe she could invest in a keytar and really take it to the audience – next level shit right there. Anyway, I digress. It was a great warm up tern and an artist who deserves investigating.

In a very casual fashion our acoustic warriors moved through the audience (who by now had filled out the venue on a school night), Carol now situated to the stage left Jon Poole on the stage right looking very dapper in his red Docs (only a 9 holer not your Cronos 666 holers) white jeans and fred perryand pop star shades whilst Ginger took the centre and wasted no time in getting on with the job at hand. It was Taxi/ Cheers opener to loosen up with. Then it was a brief introduction before launching into a deep cuts set that was most welcome.

It was a relaxed evening and the audience were very respectful with heckling and shouting for their favourite Wildhearts song and once the flavour of the night was locked in people just got into it and went with the spirit to just enjoy the evenings turn. Much like when Ginger played just down the road in a church with the sinners it was a spectacular evening with a different strand of Gingers music weavings tonight was yet another side and clearly the rehersals had paid off (even with Gingers cold) Jon is an excellent foil keeping the mood light hearted but never going amature and with Carol Hodge adding piano it was a really impressive sound.

I guess it was originally planned as a tour to promote (and flog) ‘The Pessimist’s Companion’ but sadly copies were delayed from the States but Ginger didn’t let that put a dampner on proceedings it was superb to hear songs like ‘Why Aye’, ‘Paying It Forward’ it was also great to hear songs from ‘Yoni’, ‘Gass’ in the shape of the suprisingly good acoustic working of ‘Punk Wars’. There was also supershit 666 and a Silver Ginger Five song thrown in for good measure.

When Jon took the mic for a punk rock workout and give Ginger a break from singing, by the way Gingers voice sounded rested and on point throughout reaching the high notes without it breaking due to his fever. All around were people singing along and beaming smiles it was just good times to be having a good time. We were out of the house and rocking out on a school night and being royally entertained by the trio of talented individuals before us and the Wildhearts fans even go tto sing along to ‘Geordie in wonderland’ but even that was overshadowed by the playing of the Linderfarm hit and according to Ginger the national anthem of Newcastle ‘Running Man’. It wasn’t the end of the covers tonight because there was still time for a wonderful moment as Ginger was joined on stage by his son for a run through ‘Cover Of The Rolling Stone’ by Dr Hook – I kid you not but boy it bloody worked!

After a big thank you for supporting live music and turning up it left just one song that was sung back loud and proud ’29 x The Pain’ and we were done. Always a pleasure never a chore and if these three rolls into your neck of the woods then don’t hesitate it’ll be a rewarding and life-affirming night out with some top tunes from a real genuine talent.

Nights like this where genuine enjoyment is physical and can be shared from the stage to the dance floor aren’t always the case and when Ginger commented how much he enjoyed certain songs when they finished, it was the same for us watching now when can we do this again I enjoyed that.

Carol Hodge Facebook

Ginger Wildheart Facebook