The Wildhearts, Rock City, 27th January 2017 @TheWildhearts

Words: Richard Mackman

Photos: Fi Stimpson

The Main Grains bill themselves as timeless rock and roll, and they are just that. With similarities to Danny McCormack’s former project The Yo-Yos, the Grains smash out half an hour of brash and rambunctious four chord Ramones-esque sub-punk. Considering the man has only one leg these days, Danny is not only clearly very glad to be on stage, but also grateful for the love and support he gets from tonight’s crowd. He did, after all, used to be bass player for The Wildhearts. He is also in the possession of what looks to be his old yellow Fender Precision, the sound of which could eviscerate a stegosaurus at 30 yards. Jobs a good’un, and thank you very much.

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Massive Wagons are a long haired, flying V type quality rock band, in some ways an atavism in this day and age, but they pull it off with panache. Lead singer Baz looks fresh from the cast of Vikings, whacking his mike stand around like a bloodied broad sword. For a fella of small stature, he has a big gob and an even bigger personality. I would like to hear these guys on record so that next time I have more of an opportunity to sing along. Clearly a hard working and tenacious band, and one would think another of Ginger Wildheart’s wise choices as support. We will be seeing you again, boys!

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And so onto The Wildhearts… I think this is my 38th time seeing them since November 1992, and Rock City belongs to The Wildhearts. Despite the ridiculous early curfew time, they pile into tonight’s set with confident gusto.

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We are hearing some songs hear tonight I don’t think I’ve ever heard live before. “Fishing for Luckies” was the decadent, peacock-like companion to “Phuq” and we get the lot, pretty much. Inglorious” IS glorious. “In Like Flynn” kicks enormous quantities of arse.

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My favourite for this evening is “Do the Channel Bop”, coming across like Bird’s dream topping. “Sky Babies” was also splendid – and unless I am much mistaken, we got all 11m24s of it.

Jon Poole was on bass again tonight – an incredible player, also a former member of The Cardiacs. Respect.

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The encore tonight commenced with Danny’s chair being dragged out and McCormack treating us to some extra bass contributions alongside Poole. Ginger and CJ are locked in and synchronised – effortlessly as usual. I guess that’s what happens when you play shoulder to shoulder for 25 years.

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The only thing missing tonight was Ginger’s old sticker-infested Les Paul custom – I’ve always loved the sound of that guitar.

Yep – another great Wildhearts show.

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