The chance to see rock royalty like The Wildhearts in a venue like Bradford’s Nightrain doesn’t come along that often, so even if it’s a socially distanced, fully seated show, it’s still an absolute treat. Especially in this day and age, as we slowly get back to some kind of normality. In Ginger’s words ‘It feels weird, but I like weird’.
It speaks volumes of the quality of this venue that they chose to host their warm-up show for the Download Pilot festival there. Even seated the audience was going wild as they ran through their festival set which included classics like “Suckerpunch”, “Everlone” and “My Baby is a Headfuck” pretty much straight off the bat. It appears the band will be retiring many of these classics from their live set soon, so these shows and the tour in September may be the last chance you get to hear some of the best songs ever written played live.
The seven-legged rock n’ roll machine, as their t-shirts describe them, looked sharp and sounded tight, with riff after glorious riff filling the air. The energy never really died down at all throughout the set, from the furiously spat lyrics of “Caffeine Bomb” to the volume of the thunderous double guitars melding with each other on “Sick of Drugs” or “I Wanna Go Where the People Go” – it’s no wonder their shows have been described as incendiary. The only thing missing was a crowd drenched in sweat, singing along to every word and surfing over the barrier to get a bit closer to their heroes – but that day will come again soon. It won’t be long until we’re all rammed together watching them hurtle through an hour-long set and leaving us wanting more.
Closing the set with “29x the Pain” it’s pretty clear The Wildhearts aren’t in much need of a warm-up show, but we were more than happy they decided to have one. For the audience it must have been a weird experience and for the band, even weirder. But at least it was an experience, and one that got a bunch of people together in the same room to enjoy – because, holy crap, have we missed that!
There’s new music to look forward to with a new album titled 21st Century Love Songs coming soon, and a host of festival dates and headline shows lined-up. So, get your tickets, keep your fingers crossed that the pilot festival and all the restriction lifting goes as planned, and we’ll see you there because the world needs as many doses of The Wildhearts as it can get.
09/03 – Tramshed – Cardiff
09/04 – SWX – Bristol
09/05 – Phoenix – Exeter
09/06 – Cheese & Grain – Frome
09/08 – Academy 2 – Manchester
09/09 – Electric Ballroom – London
09/10 – Waterfront – Norwich
09/11 – Chalk – Brighton
09/12 – Madding Crowd – Bournemouth
09/15 – KKs Steel Mill – Wolverhampton
09/16 – Guildhall – Gloucester
09/17 – Boiler Shop – Newcastle
09/18 – Stylus – Leeds
09/20 – Mac Arts – Galashiels
09/21 – Tolbooth – Stirling
09/22 – The Lemon Tree – Aberdeen
09/24 – Foundry – Sheffield
09/25 – Engine Rooms – Southampton