Celebrating 20 years of the release of The Wildhearts’ debut album, the classic “Earth vs The Wildhearts”, the band announced a series of dates, and as with almost everything Ginger is involved with these days, the news spread and dates began being moved to bigger venues within days of being on sale.

Baby Godzilla and Eureka Machines provide the supports for this tour and fans of Ginger will already be aware of these as they have worked and toured with him and his many projects in the past. By the time I got into the Academy, Baby Godzilla were nearly finished but sounded good and seemed to get a decent reaction from the crowd. Eureka Machines followed and with a knowledgeable crowd from their previous tours, they enjoyed a good reception and allowed fans a chance to get their first live experience of songs from their recent pledge funded album “Remain In Hope”.

The Wildhearts appeared on stage to little fanfare and blasted straight into ‘Greetings From Shitsville’, ‘TV Tan’ and an unbelievably heavy version of the classic ‘Everlone’ and almost instantly the crowd came alive. One of the best parts about a Wildhearts gig is as good as the band are, the crowd are always 100% into the show, singing along word for word for the whole night. The band continued to fire through the whole of the ‘Earth vs…’ set (minus ‘Caffeine Bomb’, airing the rarely played ‘Shame On Me’ and ‘Drinkin about Life’ alongside favourites such as ‘Suckerpunch’ and ‘Miles Away Girl’ and introduced ‘News Of The World’ with the line “here is a song about the Daily Mail”

Once the band had finished the gradual drawn out ending to ‘Love You Till I Don’t’ for a short time and appearing for the audience choice part of the show. A mystery off stage voice (later revealed to be Eureka Machines frontman Chris Catalyst) gave the crowd a choice of two songs, the order of which was unknown to the band and the crowd reaction to each song decided which one would be played. This lead to some difficult choices and strange results.

First up was ‘Caffeine Bomb’ vs ‘Sick Of Drugs’. As it was the only track from the debut that had yet to be played, ‘Caffeine Bomb’ won what could normally be a difficult choice. After this there were another six choices where b-sides beat singles, classics beat other classics and even drummer Rich Battersby got up and gave us a short tune.

It was like they had never been away, with the line up of Ginger, CJ, Random Jon Poole and Rich showing that even after a few years away, there are few bands that can live with these on this type of form. On any other night, one of my favourite bands playing one of my favourite albums in full would be one of the best things I could hope to see surely? But tonight, the second set just beats the first, for the atmosphere, choice of songs and randomness that saw Rich’s ‘The Duck Song’ beat ‘Hate The World Day’. The night finished on a choice between ’29 x The Pain’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ and this for me was the only downside, how do you choose between the two of them. A great night, they have since announced more shows in June, I may have to go again.

The Wildhearts setlist:

Set One: Greetings From Shitsville – Tv Tan – Everlone – Shame On Me – Loveshit – The Miles Away Girl – My baby Is A Headfuck – Suckerpunch – News Of The World – Drinking About Life – Love You Till I Don’t

Set Two: Caffeine Bomb (bt Sick Of Drugs) – Schizophonic (bt Got It On Tuesday) – Beautiful Thing You (Red Light Green Light) – Dangerlust (bt Naivety Play) – Mood Swings & Roundabouts (bt Now Is The Colour) – Turning American (bt Deep In The Arms Of Morpheus) – The Duck Song (bt Hate The World Day) – Geordie In Wonderland (bt Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes) – 29 x The Pain (bt I Wanna Go Where The People Go)

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