The Wildhearts- Rock City, Nottingham - 6.4.2013
Is there such a thing as a perfect gig? I say it many times, and a lot of shows have been my ‘best gig ever’, but I think tonight could probably rival them all. Apparently, this evening is the 12th time The Wildhearts have headlined the legendary Rock City, and it is the third in a special run of four shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their storming debut, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, still regarded as a bonafide classic.
Starting things off we have 2 extremely highly charged sets from both Baby Godzilla and Eureka Machines. First up, Baby Godzilla who are crazily unconventional, loud, abrasive, full of energy. They barely use the stage, and choose instead to play in the midst of the crowd, who loved every second however confusing it was. Whatever your opinion on their music, you cannot help but take notice of them play, they definitely keep you on your toes. Next up, Eureka Machines, who have recently completed a highly successful Pledge Music campaign, resulting in the brilliant Remain In Hope. Their set is almost like a headline set and the amount of enthusiasm for them from the crowd is pleasing to see. Their music is infectiously catchy, and it is hard not to smile and bounce along.
On walk The Wildhearts, CJ, Ginger, Ritch and Random, no intro music, none needed, just the roar of the crowd to guide them to the stage. From the moment we hear the opening notes to Greetings from Shitsville, the place is bouncing. Earth Vs is such a powerful debut, and still sounds as powerful 20 years on. Fast, energetic, completely catchy and full of melody in all the right places, to hear it live in its entirety is a treat. The band crash through song after song and seem to be enjoying every second, the smiles on their faces give that away. The fans, some who have followed The Wildhearts since the beginning, play just as big a part of tonight, singing along to every word, sometimes louder than the band themselves, it is pretty special to see. Personal highlights from the set for me are Loveshit and Suckerpunch, which no matter how many times you hear it, always invokes such a rush. After the last track, Love U Til I Don’t, the band take a quick break before an interesting encore.
Anyone believing the second set tonight was going to be a ‘greatest hits’ section was mistaken. The interesting thing about the encore, is that we, the audience get to choose the songs we want to hear. The band returns to the stage, bringing veteran roadies Hot Steve and Dunc with them. Each hold up a board with the name of a Wildhearts track, and the track that gets the loudest cheer gets played. It is definitely a fun way of doing things, and the mixture of ‘hits’ and rarely played tracks we got were great. Caffeine Bomb, 29x The Pain, Hate the World Day, Turning American and Naivety Play, which sounded fantastic live, we were even treated to The Duck Song with Ritch Battersby stepping up on vocals. Finishing on the unstoppable I Wanna Go Where the People Go, the place erupts and the whole of Rock City is jumping. The band leave the stage smiling and waving, and the crowd leave equally as happy.
Tonight The Wildhearts remind us why they will always be one of the best live bands you may ever have the pleasure of seeing, they never disappoint and tonight is no different, it may be one of the best shows they have ever played, a perfect gig indeed.
Meat Loaf - Newcastle Arena 5.4.13
As we eagerly await the promise of Spring, here’s some gig recommendations to distract you from the cold.
The moment many of us have been waiting for is finally here, The Widhearts are back on the road! Revisiting their explosive 1993 debut Earth Vs The Wildhearts, it’s going to be a cracker!
Get your tickets here.
Two heavy forces in the glam rock world, UK & Scandinavian quartets Jettblack and Crashdiet have teamed together for one almighty night of rock. With a further three bands to join each line up, it’s going to be a big night!
Join the party and get your tickets here.
A growing force in the rock world, the wonderfully blues infused Rival Sons are back and a brilliant live show is always guaranteed.
Dates and tickets here.
Steve Conte and The Crazy Truth
Steve Conte returns to the UK with his latest project, one of punch and style, it’s sure to get you dancing!
Get involved here.
Suede - Alexandra Palace, London - 30.03.2013
After nearly a decade away, Suede have perfected the art of the successful comeback. Their 6th album, Bloodsports went top 10 last month and their announcement of a special concert at Alexandra Palace saw fans from far and wide come to witness their return. The surroundings of the Palace made it quite the spectacle, but the perfect setting to witness a band who have always been full of such grandeur.
From the second the band grace the stage, the tone of the evening was evident, it was going to be a lively one. Kicking off the evening with a trio of new songs, the crowd sing along lustily and the tracks already sound so familiar. Barriers is huge and the riff from Snowblind echoes throughout the venue. Brett Anderson delivers an exuberant performance from the beginning and remains the focal point throughout the night with his shaking hips and microphone twirling.
Moving effortlessly through their classics, Animal Nitrate, Metal Mickey, We Are The Pigs to name a few, they all still sound so strikingly brilliant and epic live. The crowd of course are pleased to hear such favourites, but are still as hyped up to hear the new tracks live, which sit along with the older material perfectly. Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away is simply beautiful and a breathtakingly long pause in the middle of the track, with the band frozen onstage emphasizes the atmosphere here tonight, we are hanging on every note.
Brett announces “It’s been twenty years ago yesterday since our debut album” and the band launch into Sleeping Pills, much to everyone’s surprise, followed by Pantomime Horse, it is safe to say the crowd are stunned. Both songs are so passionately performed, with all the might and drive they deserve, and they sound wonderful. We are treated to the likes of Everything Will Flow, So Young and the anthemic Trash, before finishing with Beautiful Ones and this all feels much more than nostalgia, it feels like this is a new chapter for Suede, a celebration of the old and new.
It has to be said that the band are at their best right now, they have managed to cement themselves an incredible comeback and show themselves to be an unbreakable force both live and in the studio. They are faultless, tonight, their dedication and excitement evident throughout the show. It just leaves us with the question, what’s next? Suede are most definitely back, and tonight is just the beginning….
The Treatment - Rock City, 31.03.13
On a bright Easter Sunday, Home Grown Rock joined forces with JCF to support the Anthony Nolan charity and the rising stars of British rock.
First up were Northerners Massive Wagons, warming up the crowd with their punchy, in your face rock with added groove. Filled with energy, their charm, coupled with belting tracks such as opener Ride On, got the day of to a booming start. Next up were local lads Wraith, a hit with their loyal fans from back in the day. Their passion shone through as they were having just as much as the audience blasting out their hits filled with their powerful dual guitars and crashing cymbals. Following were fellow locals Sinners Highway bouncing about the stage to their monster riffs and pounding drum beats. Met by great applause, they went down a treat with the strong, building crowd.
Afterlife kicked off the big 3 with their heavy riffs and prominent, commanding vocal melodies before giving away to the ferocious Trucker Diablo. After a slight technical hitch, the trio launched into a brutal set packed with vigour and irresistible blues licks. With the audience eating out of the palm of their hands, they throw in an excellent cover of Proud Mary, leaving the stage to rapturous applause and fired up for tonight’s headliners. The kit adorned in the British flag, Land Of Hope And Glory blasting out, The Treatment walk onstage, themselves wearing the UK flag with pride, bursting into Drink, Fuck, Fight. Their explosive set features new tracks along side hits from their debut, both getting a huge reaction from tonight’s enthusiastic fans. I Bleed Rock N Roll is a brilliant, classic rock anthem complete with a hugely memorable, catchy chorus. The band are in fine form, engaging their audience every step of the way, fuelling their passion and enthusiasm. Finishing on Shake The Mountain, the crowd were left begging for more as they left the stage. Luckily for them, they soon returned inviting all tonight’s band members back onstage for a rendition of Slade’s Get Down With It before encouraging a mass stage invasion with half the audience joining them.
As the bodies filter out, the atmosphere is electric with everyone safe in the knowledge that tonight they were part of something special. Rock is certainly not dead!