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 tonight’s performance it’s easy to see why. Their brand of outrageous rock n’ 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 “Sick of Drugs”, “Vanilla Radio” and “TV Tan” which in turn whips the crowd into a frenzy. The first half of the band’s career-spanning set largely centres on their mid-90’s material with the likes of “Everlone”, “Nita Nitro” and the frantic “Caffeine Bomb” 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 CJ’s face.

Tonight the Tyneside fans give The Wildhearts a hero’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 band’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 “Nothing Ever Changes But Your Shoes”, which lights the blue touch paper in the room. The crowd leads The Wildhearts into “The Weekend” 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 “Love You Till I Don’t”, 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 “Sucker Punch”, “I Wanna Go Where The People Go” and “My Baby Is A Head F*ck”.

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.

The Wildhearts
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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