One way of getting people through the doors early on a gig night is to put the headliner on first. Well, one part of the headline act anyway…
Ginger Wildheart played all the instruments on the Hey!Hello! album, and with the addition of some vocals from Victoria Liedtke, created a powerpop wonder-force. Talented as he is, he can’t pull this off in the live arena so he’s joined by a touring band as well as the bubbly and zaney Miss Leidtke for Hey!Hello!’s debut UK tour.
It’s Victoria who does most of the talking. Ginger takes the proverbial backseat, shades on and suited up, he allows the rest of the band to wallow in the adoration bestowed upon them by the enthusiastic and well versed crowd.
Predictably they go down a storm, as do The Von Hertzen Brothers before the main event.
It’s exactly fifty-three weeks since The Wildhearts last played Nottingham Rock City. Since the two legs of the ‘Earth vs.’ shows, not a lot has happened in The Wildhearts camp. There’s a CD on sale tonight of the show from last year recorded at Rock City but there’s no new proper album to promote, just the promise of one to come…
One significant draw for this tour is the return of Scott Sorry to bass duties. He puts the punk into The Wildhearts and spends most of the night beaming with smiles and launching himself up to the ceiling with every riff explosion. To break out a cliché, after a five year break, it’s like he’s never been away.
The show is split into two distinct halves. The first set is a greatest hits set filled with favourites from all eras. From ‘Nothing ever changes…’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, Vanilla Radio’ and ‘Mazel Tov Cocktail.’ They have all bases covered and hits coming off the conveyor belt faster than they can play them.
The second set is filled with tracks that don’t get an airing that often. A little more for the hardcore Wildhearts fan, but that covers the majority of the crowd tonight. The crowd sing the first verse of ‘Geordie…’ without the need for prompting and then it’s on to some obscure selections.
Scott is welcomed back properly and takes the vocal duties on for ‘The Only One’ from the latest ‘Chutzpah!’ album. ‘Junkenstein’ from the distortion filled days of ‘Endless Nameless’ is a pleasant surprise as is ‘Nexus Icon’. There’s a Jason And The Scorchers cover too, before ’29 x The Pain’ brings a close to another great Nottingham show for this band.
The Wildhearts have had a career filled with peaks and troughs. They seem to be very much in favour again at the moment and a new album can’t come soon enough. Ginger reminisces about his and CJ’s first time singing at Rock City way back in the past. Andy Copping tipped them to headline the next time they returned. He was right, and Nottingham Rock City has had the pleasure of this band headlining many times over since. No matter what scale tour the band undertake, you can always guarantee a filled main hall here… here’s to plenty more!