Although The Wildhearts have been playing shows here and there over the years, their involvement in the “Brit Rock Must be Destroyed Tour” with Terrorvision and Reef felt like it was the start of a full-on return for the band. Now, with the release of their first studio album in 10 years, Renaissance Men (read our review here), that feeling came head-banging into reality! Coupled with the fact that Ginger Wildheart was joined by the full ‘90s line-up of CJ, Danny McCormack and Rich Battersby, the four men that set me on my path to the love of all things rock, really delivered a huge hit of nostalgia.
Joining The Wildhearts for this fine return to form, was Towers of London, a band who saw moderate success, but sadly became another victim of a wave of groups that vanished with few remembering their very existence. Having said that, to have them back and playing together for the first time since 2009 was a gift to all those stood beer-in-hand at London’s Brixton Electric. As a World War II siren echoed around the venue and Towers of London took to the stage for a triumphant set. The pure, unadulterated hard rock 4-piece blew the roof off the venue and sent shock waves through the audience playing with a rekindled passion that clearly returned during their hiatus from music.
Massive Wagons have an awesomely high “Ratio” of rock in their tunes. Check it out!
Following on in the second support slot was Massive Wagons, the youngest of the nights three acts but, like Towers of London, they took to the stage playing like it would be their last go. A riff-heavy, rock n’ roll party was taking place on stage, and the audience was invited! Having heard of the band, but never actually listed to any of their music, left me feeling like I had missed out, suffice to say, all three of these lunatic’s albums are now on heavy rotation in my collection!
Now, to the main event, the band that is the very reason we are here, The Wildhearts! Entering the stage as “Don’t Worry ‘bout Me” plays they then burst into the opening track from Renaissance Men, “Dislocated” to the joys of the audience. Now Ginger and crew know that although the fans wanted to hear new material, they were still itching for the classics and we are rewarded with “Everlone,” “Vanilla Radio” and “Sukerpunch” in quick succession. It was at this point CJ’s guitar decided to go on strike giving Ginger the opportunity to comment that “tradition dictates that whenever we play London, CJ’s guitar goes wrong.” Thanking the fans for their support over the years and commentating “it’s amazing we’re still alive!” gesturing over to Danny who can now stand during the set instead of being confined to a stool following the unfortunate amputation of his leg.
The Wildhearts released their new album, Renaissance Men, on May 3rd, 2019, via Graphite.
After the mishap with the guitar was rectified the fans are treated to another fan favourite with “Sick of Drugs,” followed by more from their back catalogue of great tunes at which point, a very proud Ginger introduced another song from the sensational Renaissance Men album, “Let ‘em Go” highlighting that the album had now hit the UK top 10. It is clear the group are having an absolute blast on stage as is the audience on the ground. As Ginger introduces a tune from the “universally hated” album, Endless Nameless, still even a song from an unpopular album is greeted with tremendous love as “Urge” echoes through the venue. Ginger makes a request of the audience to sing along for the next tune, the fan favourite “Caffeine Bomb.” Even with the fast-paced nature of the tune, the audience seems to hit every lyric with perfection.
The Wildhearts then delivered the longest encore I have ever witnessed with a total of 7, yes, 7, more tunes ending with the one and only “I Wanna Go Where the People Go” to an uproar of cheers from the audience. If I had any gripe with this evening’s set, it would be that the song “Renaissance Men” was missing. A huge disappointment as, in my opinion, this is the best tune off their latest record. Still, the Wildhearts delivered a performance that is expected of such a well-loved group.
Check out the heavy riffage of “Dislocated” here:
Massive Wagons’ Setlist:
01. Dirty Little Secrets
03. Back to the Stack
04. Ballad of Verdun Hayes
05. Hate Me
06, China Plates
08. In it Together
09. Fee Fi Fo Fum
The Wildhearts’ Setlist:
01. Don’t Worry ‘bout Me (intro)
03. Vanilla Radio
05. Sick of Drugs
05. The Revolution will be Televised
06. Top of the World
07. The Jackson Whites
08. Let ‘Em Go
10. Caffeine Bomb
11. Stormy in the North, Karma in the South
13. Love U ‘till I Don’t
14. Don’t Worry ‘bout Me
15. My Baby is a Headfuck
16. Someone That Won’t Let Me Go
17. You Took the Sunshine from New York
18. Mazel Tov Cocktail
19. 29 x the Pain
20. I Wanna Go Where the People Go