It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since the release of The Wildhearts much celebrated second album.
Tonight sees the homecoming of one of Newcastleâ€™s most successful hard rock bands, The Wildhearts. The Geordie rock faithful are out on force and they don’t have to wait long before they catch a glimpse of the band’s frontman Ginger Wildheart whose side project Hey! Hello! opens the show.
A recent personnel change sees Hollis J from the Love Zombies taking over from Victoria Liedtke on lead vocals. The band delivered a set of catchy, energetic, feel-good rock and roll. They smashed their way through the likes of crowd favorites “Swim Wear” and “The Thrill of It All”, as well as treating the audience new material in the shape of “Don’t Stop Loving The Music” from their forthcoming album.
Having had the privilege of catching The Wildhearts on tour in the mid-90’s it was a pleasant surprise to find that Baby Chaos who opened for the band back in 1995 are on the road with them again following a 17 year hiatus. The Glaswegian outfit is still sounding great, their brand of alternative QOTSA-esque hard rock winning over the audience. A new album is on the cards from Baby Chaos soon, although that didn’t stop the band from dropping old favorites like “Go To Hell” and “Sperm” in their set.
Back in their native Newcastle, The Wildhearts take the O2 Academy on a walk down memory lane, playing their second album P.H.U.Q in full. The band take to the stage with all guns blazing as they launch into “I Wanna Go Where The People Go”. Their energy doesn’t subside throughout the show, nor does the crowd as they pogo along.
The fans hanging on every word of the likes of “Nita Nitro” and “Jonesing For Jones” before they launch into the fast and furious “Woah Shit, You Got Through” which lights the blue touch paper in the room. The band bring the first half of their set to a close with the superb “Getting It”, leaving the crowd singing along.
The band’s encore is packed full of Wildhearts classics. Kicking off with “TV Tan”, Ginger Wildheart quips ‘You sound sexy tonight Newcastle’. The band rock their way through “Jackson Whites” from Chutzpa, “Stormy in the North Cloudy in the South” which was never featured on a Wildhearts album, before launching into the first song they ever wrote “Turning American”.
Being in Newcastle “Geordie in Wonderland” has the crowd clapping and singing along. The Wildhearts close out the show with “Love You Till I Don’t” leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
Even after all this time P.H.U.Q still sounds as fresh as it did back in the day. The band are at the top of their game and sounding tight and having a lot of fun in the process. The Wildhearts are high octane rock and roll at it’s best, long may they continue.