The Wildhearts usher in the festive period with a homecoming show of epic proportions.
Tonight the Riverside in Newcastle is packed to the proverbial rafters as The Wildhearts wish the Geordie rock fraternity a messy Christmas. Today also marks the release of the new Star Wars movie Rogue One, but there is no doubt where the people gathered in this room tonight would rather be.
The Main Grains featuring ex-Wildhearts bass player Danny McCormack and Dirt Box Disco kick off the proceedings. The latter of which Ginger states is one of his favourite bands that he has ever played with, and on the strength of tonightâ€™s performance itâ€™s easy to see why. Their brand of outrageous rock nâ€™ roll and their captivating stage presence certainly grabs the attention of the Tyneside audience and leaves them more than warmed up for the night ahead.
The Wildhearts take to the stage and immediately launch into a triple whammy of their greatest hits including â€œSick of Drugsâ€, â€œVanilla Radioâ€ and â€œTV Tanâ€ which in turn whips the crowd into a frenzy. The first half of the bandâ€™s career-spanning set largely centres on their mid-90â€™s material with the likes of â€œEverloneâ€, â€œNita Nitroâ€ and the frantic â€œCaffeine Bombâ€ all featuring. Ginger reminisces during the latter of which that they recorded their first ever video for the track, and during which he got to throw up in guitarist CJâ€™s face.
Tonight the Tyneside fans give The Wildhearts a heroâ€™s welcome and they are indeed in fine voice, with the cheers generated starting to resemble a Saturday afternoon at the nearby St. James Park football ground. Throughout the course of the show, the bandâ€™s infectious punk-tinged hard rock has the audience hanging on every word.
The band take the audience back to the very beginning of their career with â€œNothing Ever Changes But Your Shoesâ€, which lights the blue touch paper in the room. The crowd leads The Wildhearts into â€œThe Weekendâ€ as they sing the first verse acapella before the rest of the band join in. It may well be a school night, but it feels like a Saturday night in Newcastle.
The Wildhearts bring their main set to a close with the anthemic â€œLove You Till I Donâ€™tâ€, before a rather touching reunion with ex-bandmate Danny McCormack, who rejoins the band for an encore of numbers largely taken from their Earth vs. The Wildhearts and P.H.U.Q albums. These include explosive renditions of â€œSucker Punchâ€, â€œI Wanna Go Where The People Goâ€ and â€œMy Baby Is A Head F*ckâ€.
Tonight The Wildhearts came out with all guns blazing, and at no point during the course of the evening did that energy subside. These tracks still sound as good as they did back in 1993. With a career spanning over 25 years, the band are still going strong, and long may they continue.
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