She’s probably clairvoyant, but she never got the call

And on to the third gig that week in June, The Wildhearts at the Town & Country Kentish Town O2 Carling Budweiser Benson & Hedges HMV Forum*.

Ginger (right) and CJ, in a cool-off. Photo courtesy Richard Gaya.

Ginger (right) and CJ, in a cool-off. Photo courtesy Richard Gaya.

The Wildhearts were celebrating the twentieth anniversary of classic debut album Earth versus the Wildhearts, playing the album in its entirety. If you only listen to one album from 1993 this year, you’re not a sad old git like me make it this one. (I also went to Shepherd’s Bush for the fifteenth anniversary back in, err, checks fingers, 2008 – a belter of an evening too.)

Here’s ‘Everlone’ from the Manchester night of the April leg of the tour (couldn’t find a good quality video of an Earth vs… song from the London gig).

For the remainder of the set, roadies brought on signs with pairs of songs, asking the crowd to cheer for which one they wanted to hear. There were some obvious winners (’29x the pain’ and ‘Geordie in Wonderland’) alongside a few less-familiar tracks (‘Urge’ from the drug-induced trainwreck of Endless Nameless).

Here’s one of the songs from this part of the set, the last one of the evening. But is it going to be ‘I Wanna Go Where the People Go’ or ‘Vanilla Radio’? Click and see… (or be boring and read the answer at the top of the screen just below)

I even got hit by one of the peerless CJ’s picks.

One of CJ's picks (front, or is it back?)

One of CJ’s picks (front, or is it back?)

I shouldn’t be so sadly happy about it – loads of picks were thrown into the crowd – but (a) it was CJ, and (b) the last object I was hit by at a gig was one of Steve ‘Danger’ Elliott’s drumsticks back in about 1991 (oddly Wolfsbane were supported by the Wildhearts that evening too). I won’t try and scan that.

One of CJ's picks (back, or is it front?)

One of CJ’s picks (back, or is it front?)

Support came from regular support act Eureka Machines (from memory, they also supported for the 15th anniversary shows), albeit absent one guitarist on paternity leave. Chris Catalyst, also a contributor on Ginger’s most recent solo albums, was his usual ebullient, bouncing self, high-tempo riff after riff. They are only let down by their songwriting – solid without ever quite hitting the heights.

And with my amazing research skills, here’s the Wildhearts at Donnington and Reading back in 1994, when CJ had hair and knew how to use it, and Ginger had, err, green goggles?! Nothing changes but the shoes… check out the bands that Ginger name-checks at Donnington that year: Biohazard, Terrorvision, Therapy?, Sepultura, Pantera – I’m 21 all over again \m/

The more observant of you (and those who watch enough of the video) will spot that CJ has been replaced by the time of Reading. Some bloke called Devin Townsend was Ginger’s new friend for five minutes. Danny Wildheart is also playing bass sitting down: he apparently dislocated his knee running on to the stage (!). Willie Dowling (Willie from The Grip) is also on keyboards. (They really didn’t need keyboards.)

Setlist: 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 U ‘til I Don’t, Nothing Ever Changes but the Shoes, Sick of Drugs, Two-Way Idiot Mirror, Just in Lust, Urge, Woah Shit You Got Through, Dangerlust, Weekend (5 Long Days), 29x the Pain, Geordie in Wonderland, I Wanna Go Where the People Go

*or whichever sponsor it’s named after these days; didn’t HMV go bust?


About Mark Anstee

guitarist, Radio Seattle View all posts by Mark Anstee

Share, if it makes you sleep, if it sets you free, if it helps you breathe…

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