A year after the ‘Earth vs’ anniversary shows, The Wildhearts returned to the stage for a much anticipated tour giving the fans a chance to hear some of the more obscure tracks from the past twenty years. And as with any tour that they do, the support acts were enough to guarantee a healthy crowd and atmosphere right from the start of the night.
First up were Hey! Hello!, in support of the excellent self titled album released last year through one of Ginger Wildheart’s pledge campaigns. With a full band supporting the regular duo of Ginger and Victoria Liedtke, their short excellent set featured seven tracks from their debut album plus a cover of ‘Wacky Women’ by Sparks. An energetic start to the evening, with a very animated Victoria bouncing round the stage adding to the already upbeat pop blast that is Hey! Hello! With doubts about whether another album will ever happen, hopefully there would at least be more shows in the future.
The much-acclaimed Von Hertzen Bros followed and backed up the high praise they have received with a fine set of prog infused hard rock. The three brothers Mikko, Kie and Jonne combined their three very different vocals to create some amazing harmonies, which would impress anyone on an album but hearing it done so well live was something else. They battled through a couple of early sound issues, which thankfully disappeared quickly. An excellent show which had plenty to offer from mellow moments to the more raucous sound of other tracks.
A lot had been said about Wildhearts sets at the early shows on this tour, most of it negative, and the general consensus seemed to be that they weren’t firing on all cylinders. Luckily there were no such worries here, as the band put on one of the best performances I have seen from them in around 20 years as a fan. As soon as the band walked onstage the fans erupted, and the band showed a similar energy back. With the setlist having a little tweak from previous shows, the 90 minutes covered every album and showed the variety of songs the band have produced from crowd singalong ‘Geordie In Wonderland’ right through to a ridiculously heavy ‘Junkenstein’, from the often maligned ‘Endless Nameless’, which we were reminded is Gingers favourite Wildhearts album.
Scott Sorry’s return to the fold after 5 years got a great reaction, and the bassist returned the adulation by diving into the crowd, which only increased the atmosphere, with the crowd then chanting each of the band to dive in. His vocal turn on ‘The Only One’ also impressed, one of five tracks from “Chutzpah” during this set of mainly faster and heavier material. Guitarist CJ weighed in with his own vocal effort too, during an excellent cover of Helmet’s ‘Unsung’. The choice of a set of classics and a set of the bands own favourite tracks worked really well.
I would definitely being interested in seeing more bands do these two set shows, rather than just a main set and a short encore, as they open up the possibility for a wider range of material. Everyone left the Academy with a smile on their face and feeling a little bit bad that they even believed that it would be anything but another great show.
Hey! Hello! setlist:
‘Feral Days’, ‘Burn The Rule Book (Fuck It)’, ‘Black Valentine’, ‘Wacky Women’, ‘Lock For Rock (And Other Sporting Cliches)’, ‘How I survived The Punk Wars’, ‘The Thrill Of It All’, and ‘Swimwear’
Von Hertzen Bros setlist:
‘Insomniac’, ‘Writings On The Wall’, ‘Flowers And Rust’, ‘Always Been Right’, ‘Coming Home’, and ‘Let Thy Will Be Done’
The Wildhearts setlist:
‘Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes’, ‘TV Tan’, ‘Nita Nitro’, ‘Sick Of Drugs’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘Vanilla Radio’, ‘Someone That Won’t Let Me Go’, ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’, ‘Mazel Tov Cocktail’, ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’, ‘Suckerpuch’, ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’, ‘Geordie In Wonderland’, ‘The Jackson Whites’, ‘The Only One’, ‘Nexus Icon’, ‘Tim Smith’, ‘Junkenstein’, ‘Unsung’, ‘You Took The Sunshine From New York’, ‘Carmelita’, and ’29 X The Pain’