Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, oh we do like to be beside the……… wooooaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh” The thunderous growl of Raging Speedhorn doing their soundcheck through the open side door of the Concorde II immediately destroying all notion of a quiet time under the arches along Brighton’s famous seafront. The main support for the night on a rare headline show outside of the recent Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour for The Wildhearts, I’m afraid the best they manged to do was give me a raging headache proving once more I’m a lightweight when it comes to the more visceral outfits out there.
Still the hot ticket for the evening was The Wildhearts and by the time they came on stage, hot was the word with the heaving venue was sweating from every surface with rivers of fluid steadily trickling down the walls. If you weren’t drinking because you were the designated driver for the evening, you made a mistake as pint after lovely pint of amber re-hydration fluid was most definitely in order.
Thankfully with a setlist to die for and a band that are clearly enjoying playing together as a foursome once again, the last few months have seen The Wildhearts go from strength to strength. A powerful and emotional gig in Wakefield in aid of former bassist Scott Sorry brought Danny McCormack into the fold and since then the band have played some hugely successful shows with Dodgy, Terrorvision and Reef as well as delivering some crowd pleasing festival slots as well. Acoustic shows with Ginger and CJ dotted amongst it all and then we get wind of a series of Britrock shows without the baggage. It’s a Wildhearts show. It’s kind of what we always wanted.. If Brighton is your back yard, be grateful, the boys, turned up, played and destroyed the town.
Opening with a brace of classics, Sick of Drugs and TV Tan got the party started before launching into another pair that really cannot be played on their own. My Baby is a Headfuck and Suckerpunch. If ever two tracks were inseparable it’s these. With Danny on his feet for the first few songs before perching on his stool for the remainder of the set, this looks and feels again like the band that performed at their height in the 1990s. Not bad when you consider a couple of the team are now in their 50s. The number of leaps the pair make into the air defies the onset of middle age and it’s a fact not at all lost on Ginger who seems to relish that fact that he and CJ have reached the landmark and have lived to tell the tale.
Even though a new album is in the works with an early 2019 release mooted, the show sticks to what it knows best and that is an evening of fan friendly anthems. If you didn’t get the chance to see the full Britrock show with the other bands, this was one of several opportunities to see what you missed.
The encore is suitably filled with the anthemic numbers that the crowd sing along to in a mass of sweaty harmony. It all finishes with a chaotic ‘I Wanna Go..’ and we then spill out of the door into the cool Brighton night air. For those with the time, a walk on the beach, a paddle in the sea was still in order. The rest of us get to stick the band on in the car and drive home with more happy memories.
Sick of Drugs
My Baby Is a Headfuck
Red Light – Green Light
Weekend (5 Long Days)
Geordie in Wonderland
Love U ’til I Don’t
Nothing Ever Changes But the Shoes
Greetings From Shitsville
29 x the Pain
I Wanna Go Where the People Go
There’s an upcoming series of shows and the astute amongst you will have already seen that the dates for the 25th Anniversary show celebrating the release of Earth vs The Wildhearts will have the album played in full but the small print also suggests support will include The Amorettes and The Mood Swingers….. Google the latter, you might be slightly surprised at what will be on offer.