Ginger (Wildhearts) – Glasgow Garage

[For the full slew of pictures, please see this Flickr set]

And time for the annual Ginger gig. Well, bi-annual seeing as he did an acoustic set in Glasgow about 6 months ago that I missed. This year’s shindig was moved from the Garage to the smaller G2 which is a shame, but it’s still not bad and meant the crowd could definitely be described as “intimate”.

We caught the tail end of one of the support bands and they weren’t much cop. A lot of effort, but just nothing that great. Sorry to whoever they were.

Last December, the gig was pure Wildhearts numbers. I knew every one and it was fantastic. This year… I didn’t even recognise the first couple of songs at all. I assume they’re from Ginger’s current band, though I’m not sure if the musicians on stage with him were part of that. Let’s face it – historically he’s not had the greatest records at keeping a band together! I think I recognised the bassist from last year though.

Eventually, Ginger wiped off some rather obscure facepaint and the band launched into “I Wanna Go Where The People Go“, a nice bouncy number that I could finally get into. The set was a mix of predominantly older material with a few more recent tracks. I overheard a couple of guys after the gig. One was telling his mate that he had the recent albums and had listened to them a couple of times, that they weren’t bad but that they weren’t a patch on the old stuff which he’d enjoyed the most. Pretty much what I was thinking.

Ginger, however, is such a good entertainer because his between-song banter is so good. He’s very much “one of the lads”. Rather than preaching about record executives and how the government shouldn’t be involved in US foreign policy like some bands, he just informs everyone that the “hurricane” they braved to get the the venue was “well, a bit **** really”. Then launching into a song about Hurricane Bawbag that the band had written than afternoon.

He spent a large portion of the show singing into a microphone adorned with a pair of y-fronts thrown from the audience, which apparently had a phone number written on them. Such is the nature of a Ginger gig!

The rest of the band were pretty good apart from the rather strange woman who took up one of the microphones. The sound wasn’t great, so it’s hard to tell if she was there for harmonies or what. Regardless, she looked pretty and everything, but also looked ridiculously out of place. You know the way someone looks when they’re just not really sure what to do? Like a competition winner dragged out of a crowd to stand next to one of their heroes? That’s the impression she gave. Strange.

The gig finished a little earlier than I think the band had expected as they were informed of the Garage’s early curfew after they went on stage. A shame as it obviously meant missing a good number of classic tracks out. Amongst them “Geordie in Wonderland”. I’m gutted that my favourite – and a regular int he set – had to be skipped just so flipping students could get a couple more cheap drinks in.

Life goes on. As does Ginger. And I’m sure he’ll be back next year – hurricane or not!

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Big gig update

I have five gigs to attend this week. In fact, I’m just in from the first (Machine Head at the SECC). However, due to this silly “work” thing I have to go to each day I’m going to struggle to get the reviews up shortly afterwards, so expect a deluge over the weekend.

In addition, I got a new toy – a Panasonic Lumix TZ20. It has a cracking zoom and the photos from the gig tonight are definitely a step above what I’ve been getting in the past. Not professional level by any shot, but definitely more “keepers” than “chuckers” out of the 200+ I took. This means more upload time to Flickr, but what the heck. It’s all fun!

I also promise that I’ll try my best to get back to some general posts on here rather than the constant film and gig reviews.

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Ginger (ex-Wildhearts), Glasgow Garage

Ginger (ex-Wildhearts)
Image by Iain Purdie via Flickr

[more photos in this Flick set]

“So, stop talking about Scottish people and just play some ******* music, yeah?”

This one took me back a few years. I wasn’t 100% sure about going as it was on a school night, and the weather was closing in. However, my lovely other half bought me a ticket for my birthday so I just had to drive through for it.

Oh, I am so glad I did.

Ginger is a legend. He fronted The Wildhearts for years, a band which broke up more often than a packet of cheap digestive biscuits. In fact, the last time I saw them was at Newcastle University a lot of years ago. He stormed off stage somewhere around halfway through the gig after arguing with the other guitarist.

He couldn’t have been any more different tonight. I honestly don’t think he stopped smiling the entire evening. Ginger’s first appearance was to guest guitar on Baby Chaos’ last song – a band themselves who only got back together to play support for the man himself.

After a short break, he took to the stage with his own band and launched into a set consisting predominantly of Wildhearts classics – of which there are many. The crowd were bouncing within two songs, and I have to confess I was pleasantly surprised by the turn-out. I’d honestly thought that the world would have forgotten about The Wildhearts, but it seems I was thankfully mistaken!

My Twitter feed became a slew of song titles, I was so excited. I’m glad to see I made so many people somewhat jealous! “I Wanna Go Where The People Go“, “If Love is Like a Love Bank”, “Vanilla Radio“… and after a short break the first encore song, “Geordie In Wonderland“. Oh ******* wow. As I said, the last time I saw Ginger live was in Newcastle itself. This performance was every bit as good. As the song kicked off, two girls behind me were talking to each other. “That guy in front’s going to love this one”. The fact I was wearing a Newcastle United shirt (which I began waving over my head!) may have given this away.

To break up the songs, Ginger had a great line in patter. Hell, I think he could have stood there and just shot the **** with the audience for ninety minutes and sent everyone home grinning. Quote of the night was probably the short exchange with someone in the middle of the crowd.

Ginger: All I heard was “something something something ****.”

Voice: Just get the **** on with it!!!

Ginger: Aye, reet. I heard that.

A great guy, with great rapport and a huge collection of material to wade through. So glad I went and for any old Wildhearts fans who missed it, do keep an eye out for further tours. I’m sure he’ll be back.

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