Ginger Wildheart Live at Nottingham Arts Theatre

Ginger Notts i

It’s the theatre for CackBlabbath tonight in a stark change from the usual Friday evening. Not to worry though, this is still very much gig related. It’s the opening night of Ginger’s ‘Songs & Words’ tour where Ginger will give us some backstory to his vast and ludicrously brilliant back catalogue. A story that spans two decades, many different bands, lots of different band mates, half a dozen near death experiences, girlfriends, wives, drugs and… a horse.

CackBlabbath aren’t going to throw in any spoilers here, we’ll let you go and hear the tales first hand. But rest assured you will laugh a lot, probably even when you shouldn’t, you’ll tut in disapproval, you might even be shocked and there’s certainly not always a happy ending to every story. You will come away knowing the man a little bit better. He opens up and tells it how it is/was and whilst it’s not always pretty, it is hideously entertaining.

Ginger Notts iiThe theatre is a great type of venue for this tour. Ginger is no stranger to acoustic shows, but previous efforts have sometimes been rowdy affairs. Held in smallish club rooms the band would often be drowned out under the forceful chatter of a well-oiled Wildhearts crowd. In the theatre setting; people are a little more respectful and chatter and banter are kept to a minimum… apart from “We love you” woman down the front, that is.

So the format is exactly what it says on the poster. Songs and words from Ginger, with the songs backed up by long time sidekick Jase Edwards. Ginger takes us through chronologically from the Quireboys to his debut Pledge campaign in seemingly unstructured fashion. Leaving off one story to pick up a side note and generally talking our socks off for nearly three hours. The songs bit comes in the form of mini medleys of where he is at with his story telling at the time as he mashes two or three songs from an album together.

It’s a basic set up for the music part but by far the most fascinating part of this show is the words bit. You can tell that from the audience. Everyone is glued to their seat while the stories are told and as soon as the music starts people get up for a quick toilet break or another beer. That’s maybe little surprising, or just proof that these stories are worth listening to.

Ginger NottsNot that the music isn’t worth listening to. There are lots of favourites in there, with a medley of ‘Schizophonic/Sick Of Drugs/Geordie…’ shining out early in the set. It’s also great to hear stuff from ‘Endless Nameless’ that isn’t brought out on tour too often, albeit stripped of those heavy layers of distortion. Strangely enough, the country twang of Howling Willie Cunt gets one of the best reactions of the night.

Ginger takes to the stand-up role naturally. Anyone who has ever seen him live before will know that he likes to add a little talk time and interaction between songs, CackBlabbath seems to remember him talking his way through a whole set a Download 2008. So it doesn’t seem strange to sit there and listen to him talk all night. The man is a natural chatter box and aided by a few little glasses of brandy (medicinal, of course) you get the feeling that he could probably do six hours rather than the wholesome three we get tonight…

One thing is for sure, with this many stories to tell, no two nights will be exactly the same!