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Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Wildhearts - ABC - 14/04/14 (Glasgow)

While Ginger Wildheart continues to release music at an unparalleled rate through his pledge campaigns I have been left as a fan financially destitute and a little bit worried that I am at times doing little more than funding vanity pieces.
In conversations I find myself more frequently saying aloud that sometimes less is more.
The litmus test on this is that initially not many agreed, but of late more are airing the same view in a piecemeal fashion.
Even now with the newly purchased Albion spinning away I’m not getting the sense of all killer and no filler, although that may come.
However of his recent sonic outings I couldn’t really find one negative point to highlight about the Hey! Hello! project that he completed with Victoria Liedke.
The melodic power pop, pop punk, pop-tastic album is pretty much one that hits every button for me. So it was a fantastic bonus when it was announced that they would be opening for the Wildhearts.
My heart sang.
Build up of expectations be damned as I just knew it would be good, and it was.
Ginger unsurprisingly maintained the centre stage position as for many he is the draw, but he only held it physically as the lead was left to Victoria to take, and as a front woman she had it all nailed down.
They powered through their set at breakneck speed with Victoria building up an easy rapport with the audience that must surely dictate that the support will be there for a follow up release to their debut.
The hint that this may be on the cards was the inclusion of a new song that matched the quality of everything else in the set.
With Gingers involvement it is doubtful that the band will have to start at the bottom rung in playing live and they can jump straight to good sized venues, and if that’s the case then I could very well be front and centre.

Following Hey!Hello! were the Finnish curveball thrown by Ginger that was the Von Hertzen Brothers.
It would be fair to say that they are a good band, a very good band with some progressive rock leanings, and it would also be fair to say that they are deserving of an audience, but not a Wildhearts one.
Song after song the lost the interest of the audience and that was tough to watch.
If they opened for the classic Brit rock band Magnum and they would have had the crowd eating out of their hand, add them to a bill with Helloween and not one person attending would have had a complaint - and I suspect they would have done a roaring trade in merch - but the inclusion on this bill was similar to shoe horning 1Direction onto a stage at Download between Killswitch Engage and Bring Me the Horizon.
While they will have picked up some fans from the tour in the main they weren’t what the majority would have been looking for.
It’s a good move to haul a band out on the road in support that will challenge the perceptions of an audience, but in doing so it has to be accepted that it can be a bit hit and miss with this being more miss than hit.

The upside of the lull that the Von Hertzen Brothers provided was that The Wildhearts didn’t have to stand in the wings wondering how they were going to follow a headline slaying band and could simply saunter on and do their thing, and that’s exactly what they did.
It was nice to see Scott Sorry back in the line up as I’ve always enjoyed the punkier stage attitude he has brought to the band, but while I was enjoying myself there was a small voice whispering that it all seemed a bit Wildhearts by numbers.
While one support was an exercise in giving the audience something they didn’t want, this was a headline set made up of giving the audience exactly what they wanted, and maybe I was looking for another curveball with this one being Wildhearts shaped.  
Highlight was the introduction of Gingers son Taylor who along with Scott stormed his way through the classic People Who Are Dead by Jim Carroll before then hanging around to help out on Nexus Icon.

It’s very obvious that Ginger wants to keep the The Wildhearts as a separate entity from his outings as a solo act, but as the last Wildhearts release was the excellent Chutzpah! in 2009 it’s possibly time to step away from experimenting under his own name and take control at the helm of one of the best rock band that this country has seen and give us a new album that will provide fresh material for any future Wildhearts tours.

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