Well, what’s the old saying “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. For this reviewer that’s certainly been the case as due to the pandemic it’s been 18 months without live music and to say I’ve missed it would be a huge understatement.
So what better way to get back in the saddle than a live concert by the mighty Wildhearts.
The lads come on stage to a huge applause and BOOM it’s the sound I’ve been missing for so long, Ritch’s room shaking drums, Danny’s thunderous bass and the sonic assault of guitars that only Ginger and CJ can muster.
The band start as they mean to go on with a stunning rendition of ‘Diagnosis’ that has the band and audience coming together beautifully, all of us singing “you are not your diagnosis” as one.
Up next we have “Vanilla radio” followed by “Sick of drugs” and what a glorious racket we are being treated to.
Today is also a great day as The Wildhearts cracking new album ’21st-century love songs’ has been released and we get a rip-roaring version of new song ‘Remember These Days’ which if that isn’t special enough the guys manage to squeeze in an old favourite in the shape of the epic ‘splattermania’ in the middle breakdown before returning to finish the above-mentioned song, breathtaking.
It is physically impossible not to jump around to ‘Caffeine Bomb’ and then there is no rest as then the band launch into ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ at breakneck speed. ‘Dislocated’ was up next off ‘Renaissance Men’ which finds Ginger in great voice to be fair. Next the band aired another track off the new album in the shape of ‘Splitter’ and wow, what a riff! I knew it was going to be loud, brash and in your face punk’n roll. But this takes no prisoners, what a gem of a song this is going to be and a live favourite.
‘Let ‘Em Go’ is dedicated to people we can all let go of in our lives a sentiment not lost on people I’m sure and ‘Mazel Tov Cocktail’ they’re both numbers with huge choruses and are sung along to by tonight’s enthusiastic audience.
Old fan favourite ‘Caprice’ is next and sounds huge with its colossal riffs echoing around the Tramshed which is turning into a bit of a theme tonight the band keep rolling out those big riff guns. Is it really that time? The band walk off the stage before returning for the encore as ‘Inglorious’ with its many twists and turns is ushered in.
Time for a ‘Suckerpunch’ which has the audience again going for it before sadly it’s time for the swan song of the night, the classic ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ brings this splendid evening to a close.
As a first concert back I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from such a great band. It was truly a magical night of loud music and great entertainment. All that is left to say is do yourselves a favour go and see the beast that is The Wildhearts live.
If the last 18 months has taught us anything it’s that you never know what is around the corner so please support live music.
Author: Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper
I sent the riff to Ritch straight away, as I always do when I get an idea I’m excited about, and he was into it right off the bat. That’s the thing with new Wildhearts songs, until there’s a big, dirty riff in the bag you can’t move on and write the rest of the album. It all starts with a righteous riff and some shouting. And I hope it always begins that way. If you ain’t got the riffs then you ain’t got shit.” explains Ginger Wildheart.
Seconds out round two its the magnificent Bronx and a track off the new album.
Listen + Pre-order our new album ‘Bronx VI’ out August 27 here: https://thebronx.lnk.to/bronxvi
The new Dirty Denims video for their Action Rock Jukebox single “Rock N Roll All Night”
Screaming Crow Records have gathered up some of the best Rock N Roll bands from all over the world to bring you an awesome new 45 series call Action Rock Jukebox. Each band has submitted a rockin’ version of a song that would have been found on your local jukebox in the 70s & 80s backed with an original track from the band. These large holed 45s are perfect for that old jukebox in your basement. Each single comes with a jukebox title card and a custom 45 adapter in case you don’t have one of those cool old jukeboxes. Each release will feature 100 color vinyl and 200 black vinyl versions. The first 50 copies sold will be autographed by the band. Right now the singles will only be available on Screaming Crow’s and the bands’ websites. (links below) There are 8 band scheduled right now. Once all the singles are out, Screaming Crow will compile them into one killer double LP and CD and release them through our normal retail channels.
Another day another Wildhearts album to review (it seems like only a few months since the last album and subsequent follow-up EP, even though it wasn’t) Along with a UK tour that actually tours the UK, imagine that folks. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, The Wildhearts. A great British institution in their own right, never mind if Motorhead moved next door and killed your lawn imagine what your lawn would look like with these likely lads rocking up and sonically blasting this bad boy out – every blade of grass on your garden and any other surrounding properties would be gary gonners. It’s time for them to mellow out and do an album of ’21st Century Love Songs’ or something like that (Not!) One look at the superb artwork might be a glimpse into whats coming.
’21st Century Love Songs’ is opened by the title track and like a pack of rabid dogs, they’re all over you, barking and straining at the leash – kicking the living crap out of your ears before you have time to get comfortable and settle into the bloody record. Sonically speaking, it’s a full-frontal assault but the melodies herein are lush and totally at odds with the aural barrage you’re getting from the thunderous rhythm section and dart attacks off Ginger and CJ who, let’s be honest, are on fuckin’ fire! I’m not kidding its like hearing an album in one song – like a rollercoaster of riffs and melodies that feel like your head is going to explode you wonder where the hell this is heading and can it be sustained. A fantastic opener and a real statement of intent – Ladies and Gentlemen you are now experiencing the new Wildhearts record, and its intense, beautiful, wonderfully loud and fuking exciting. Welcome!
Now get ready for some serious Wildhearts Bop with some fine bass runs that make your feet move on ‘Remember These Days’ with some great harmonies and gang vocals which the band does so well. The song twists and turns throughout filling every corner with music like an explosion of colour.
Take a sharp breath folk because the grunt on ‘Splitter’ is off the scale. The mix is nuts with the lead vocals way down and competing like battling tops for space which adds to the controlled chaos that’s burrowing into your head. fan-fucking-tastic tune and one that will go down well live as the slide guitar spins round and dive bombs through the mix and this is only a few songs deep.
If you thought the band touched on heavy on ‘Renaissance Men’ then hold on to your knickers because ‘Institutional Submission’ hacks and slashes like a frenzied killer. It’s like early Mayhem but done by big boys who aren’t wet behind the ears as it goes in for the kill with an underlying melody that Ginger does so so well as it drops and takes a breather. I think it was Wayne who said intensity intensified he must have been onto something because that’s what this is. Wildhearts disciples will love it and as the song meanders back up to speed.
We’ve all seen the video for ‘Sleepaway’ right? now I went to boil the kettle at the start and even though the neighbours closed their curtains I thought it sounded like a Who track with a swinging pair of bollocks and plenty of clout but that might just be me but it has a bit of boogie in it as well, great track.
It would be fair to say that ‘You Do You’ is the closest the record gets to what one might consider a Wildherts album track. Nothing wrong with it at all and I’m sure it will grow and melodies and lyrics will jump out on me but its sandwiched between the two tracks that I’d already heart dozens of times so I might revisit it in due course but ‘Sort Your Fucking Shit Out’ is a belter and a song I loved the first time I heard it. Big chug on the riff-o-la and some terrific vocals to be fair. As far away from the grunt and rowdiness elsewhere perfected on the album but here is what one might describe as a toe-tapper.
With three tracks left the band crank it up with some filthy guitars cranking out the riffs on ‘Directions’ it’s like showing off the way the band goes from heavy as a breeze block to the head to lush melody and back again with a change in tempo and direction like twisting the top off a pop bottle and then the fizz gushes – well, that ‘Directions’ that is. Calling the penultimate track ‘A Physical Exorcism’ it’s pretty much what you’ve just experienced my friends an exhausting, mentally draining, emotionally uplifting, life-affirming, joyous listening experience courtesy of these four Wildhearts bastards. Rock and Roll can be all things to all men and women but it’s fantastic that we still have functioning bands like The Wildhearts who just keep rolling with the punches and churning out albums that challenge and bring happiness and something to look forward to in tough times. A cheeky smile here, a wink there and some heads down go for it loud Rock and Roll bringing it all together. Thank the lord for the Wildhearts and another most excellent album.
Author: Dom Daley
Watch the ‘Sleepaway’ video here, but be warned this is not for the faint-hearted! Based on Ginger’s love of horror and gore movies, it’s a bit… DARK
CAROL HODGE RELEASES NEW SINGLE ‘THIS’
NEW ALBUM ‘THE CRIPPLING SPACE BETWEEN’ is OUT SEPTEMBER 24th VIA MIDNIGHT STAMP RECORDS
“One of the best songwriters in existence at the moment” – Louder Than War
Yorkshire-dwelling singer-songwriter Carol Hodge is a wonderful musical dichotomy. With her roots and ethics firmly set in punk as keyboard player and long-term collaborator with Crass frontman Steve Ignorant and his current band Slice Of Life, Carol is also a uniquely gifted song-writer and as able to conjure up beautiful pop-infused, heart-wrenching melodies as she is screaming into the face of authority and injustice
She describes herself as a ‘seven-fingered pianist’. Carol was born with a rare condition called cleft type symbrachydactyly, which means Carol has just two fingers on her left hand. This hasn’t held her back as her impressive CV is testament to. Carol also performs as a keyboardist/backing vocalist with various touring bands including Ryan Hamilton (signed to Stevie Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records), Crass/Steve Ignorant, and has also guested with Ginger Wildheart, Headsticks and The Membranes.
Today sees the release of ‘THIS’, the first release from the forthcoming ‘The Crippling Space Between’ album, due September 24th via Midnight Stamp Records.
‘THIS’ is an uplifting rock anthem that packs a positive punch. Lyrically, the song references W.H. Auden’s Funeral Blues, and charts the deterioration of the spirit throughout 2020. Dramatic low-key verses give way to huge and heavy guitars in the choruses, reflecting the rollercoaster of uncertainty life has become of late. Carol explains:
“I’ve never felt such rage, such grief, such uncertainty. We all like to think we are in control of our own lives, and have a hand in our own destinies, but 2020 pulled the rug out from under us. It has absolutely taught me to accept that there are forces in the world beyond my control. I have dug deep and found the positives. When it seems like there is nothing left, there is hope. Always.”
The official music video stars Nashville-based dancer Erik Cavanaugh. Erik’s unconventional style and crusade against the stereotype of the ‘dancer’s body’ (his philosophy: “Do you dance? Do you have a body? Then you have a dancer’s body”) has won him over 13 million likes on TikTok. He also features in music videos by The Avalanches (feat. Rivers Cuomo) and Tim Chadwick. He dances up a storm throughout the video, ending the finale in 5 inch heeled red latex boots.
Produced by Dave Draper (Jazmin Bean, The Wildhearts, The Professionals), ‘The Crippling Space Between’ is an unashamed exploration of the emotional rollercoaster that was 2020. Carol flits between musical styles, bridging the gaps with her astute lyricism. A fierce believer in remaining independent, the album will be released on Carol’s own label Midnight Stamp. Previous albums Savage Purge (2020) and Hold On To That Flame (2018) featured on several Top Album end-of-year lists, and 2020 single Stopped Believing In You received significant indie and online radio play, including from BBC Manchester and BBC Bristol.
Find Carol Hodge online Here
EXCESSIVE FORCE – ‘Live Life For Idiots’ (Riot Records) Hardcore as fuck. Old school Agnostic Front style hardcore from down under. To claim it is one of the more mellow songs on the album (soon to be released) it’s an ode to those fools blinded by bull*hit. This is one angry slab of old-school hardcore. What’s not to love? It’s got a breeze block heavy guitar riff and lyrics to boot. Get on it kids it’s a belter.
The Wildhearts – Sort Your Fucking Shit Out’ (Graphite Records) The second single lifted from the brand new September released album from The Wildhearts is a bonafide banger. Don’t believe me then take a listen on the youtube link. Hookey (is that a word) as fuck from the thumping Danny bassline to Ginger’s melody to the humorous but serious message in the title and lyrics. Everything a Wildhearts fan wants to hear. Summery as fuck but with the heaviness like a pint of Guinness on a 27-degree day’s sunshine. Take off your shoes and dance – indeed. Bring on the album it’s what we all need. To purchase / stream Sort Your Fucking Shit Out go to: https://ffm.to/syfso whilst your at it hit this up to pre-order and pre save 21st Century Love Songs go to: https://ffm.to/21stcenturylovesongs
The Dirty Denims – ‘Rock and Roll All Night / Better Believe It’ (Action Rock Jukebox 45 single)(Screaming Crow Records) A perfectly passable cover of the Kiss Klassic from The Dirty Denims. Their original submission is an uptempo rocker ‘Better Believe It’.
Each band has submitted a rockin’ version of a song that would have been found on your local jukebox in the 70s & 80s backed with an original track from the band. These large-holed 45s are perfect for that old jukebox in your basement. Each single comes with a jukebox title card and a custom 45 adapter in case you don’t have one of those cool old jukeboxes. Each release will feature 100 color vinyl and 200 black vinyl versions. The first 50 copies sold will be autographed by the band. Right now the singles will only be available on Screaming Crow’s and the bands’ websites. Once all the singles are out, Screaming Crow will compile them into one killer double LP and CD and release them through our normal retail channels.
Website /Bandcamp / Facebook
Black Sheriff – ‘Centerfold / Johnny’s Fight’ (Action Rock Jukebox 45 single)(Screaming Crow Records) A stone cold pop rock classic gets the Sheriff treatment and in fairness its gonna be tough to beat the original but points are awarded for daring to go there and in truth pulling off a pretty impressive take on ‘Centrefold’.
The band sounds more comfortable on their own turf kicking up a shitstorm with ‘Johnny’s Fight’. With a rumbling bassline that heads into a gang-filled chorus that’ll have the boys and girls windmilling and pogoing.
Little Triggers – ‘YEH MAN’ (ingrooves) With influences stretching from Humble Pie and the MC5 to The Hives, Wolfmother and QOTSA. Tom Hamilton (lead vocals & guitars) and Jay Radcliffe (drums & backing vocals) make one hell of a din for a duo. ‘Yeah Man’ is a thumping headache the morning after with a chaotic claustrophobic sound that gets exciting after the brain fog clears. From the rasping vocals to the distorted bass and thrashing guitars. Very exciting times for the Liverpool-based pair. Check em out here
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘Crescent Man v Demolition Man’ Those south Wales rascals are back and as barking as ever with a brand new one for your listening pleasure.
So here we are. The first Wildhearts live show in over a year. Yet the floor is not stick underfoot, there is no queue for the toilet and the general aroma is way more pleasant than the usual mixture of body odour, alcohol and dry ice. What gives? Well, this just happens to be The Wildhearts live ‘By Request’. An online virtual gig, going out live on a Saturday night. It’s a pay-per-view show, a one-off gig experience that will not be shared or released to the general public. The rice of a ticket gets you access to the show for one live viewing only, £30 gets you a 30-day deluxe pass with over 2 hours of bonus videos.
With a set list chosen by the fans and the promise of a new song from the soon to be released ‘21st Century Love Songs’ opus, tonight promises to be the best time many of us have had since this shitstorm hit the world. So, I hook up the laptop to the TV, and sit down for the virtual doors at 7.45pm with a few tinnies and a bag of Haribo to take in the virtual live Wildhearts experience.
‘The One Before The Lights Go Out’ intro music plays as the camera pans around the dark depths of some Tudor building. Past silhouetted band members stood as still as statues, headphones on and instruments at the ready, before Ginger leads his band into a roaring version of ‘Dislocated’. Much like the coveted ‘Live In The Studio’ DVD, the cameras are close-up and personal and its actually like being down the front at a gig (remember them?). The band are in a small room facing each other, but this isn’t obvious for the majority of the 1 hour and 15-minute gig, as the camera focus is on the band members faces and their instruments for the most part. The wobbly camera work and the way the camera shots change quickly, mixed with the strobe lighting in a dark room, just adds to the drama and the intensity of the Wildhearts performance. Giving the sensation of being knocked about down the front but without the lasting bruises or the sweat and beer-drenched clothing. “Fuckin hell!” quips Ginger as the final chords of the opening song ring out.
While the show is going out live, it has been pre-recorded and mixed by Dave Draper and I must say The Wildhearts look and sound phenomenal on my TV screen. Their debut album ‘Earth Versus..’ features heavily in a fan favourite set that doesn’t really leave much to the imagination. The likes of ‘TV Tan’, ‘Shitsville’ and ‘Suckerpunch’ transporting us back to 1993. That breakdown and outro in ‘Everlone’ remains to me one of their finest moments all these years later.
‘Sick Of Drugs’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ follow…you know the score, no real surprises, but every song a stone-cold classic, delivered by one of the tightest bands on the planet. Ginger and CJ’s vocal harmonies are spot on, the pair’s guitars crunch just as you want them to, one in the left speaker and one in the right, just like ‘Live After Death’, baby! And the bass and drums combo sound like there’s a war going on coming out of my speakers.
Fan boy Frank Turner joins the band for the sing-a-long anthem ‘Let ‘em Go’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’. He gives a performance that is as passionate and excitable as any true fan would give getting to sing with his heroes. And then it’s all over. Job done in 1 hour 15 minutes… leave ‘em wanting more!
Did I say more? Well, if you purchased the deluxe pass, you get a wealth of extras. Not only can you watch the gig whenever you like on your chosen media for 30 days, there are bonus interviews to watch, including Frank Turner discussing songwriting with Ginger, mental health with Danny and Rich going over his drum set up. Theres even a curry cooking lesson from CJ.
Then there’s the encore, did I mention the encore yet? New song alert! ‘Splinter’ is an intense burst of punky goodness riding on a mesmerizing 2 chord riff. Its instant, catchy as hell and well, you could say this sets things up nicely as a taster for the album of the year, which you can pre-order right now!
Usual symptoms the day after a Wildhearts gig may include: Loss of hearing, sore head, neck and throat and a pocket full of change where 50 notes used to be. Oh, and a massive grin on yer face of course! While most of those symptoms are absent for the first Wildhearts show of 2021, the grin is as wide as it was in 1993! A resounding success by all accounts, but bring on real live shows and ‘21st Century Love Songs’, we are ready and waiting.
Author: Ben Hughes