Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners, Live at Bush Hall, London, October 25 2022

'Code Of The Road' gave us all something to smile about and, as I write this I'd like to point out that whatever I've written about Ginger, I've never called him a sell-out or drunk his beer... 

Words and Pictures Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media

A grey Monday night in Shepherds Bush, down the road, past the market, past several shelves of yams and assorted other veg that I have no idea what to do with (suggestions not required thank you) and eventually you stumble across Bush Hall. A first for me and as a result, navigating assorted public transport mean that opener Boss Caine (Daniel Lucas) was on his last song just as we walked through the front door. 

A huge shame as, by all accounts, Lucas provided the perfect warm up for the crowd, a series of intimate songs, a deep soulful voice and a setlist that was known by the majority of the crowd present. If there’s one thing a Ginger Wildheart show offers, it’s a line up that not only seems suitable but the loyal fanbase always makes the effort to dig deep into the supports and it truly makes the gig all the better for it. 

Similarly, Last Of The Great Dreamers Marc Valentine when he came onstage, did so with a smile, a nod and looking around the room, the recognition that the crowd were supportive from the off. 

Marc Valentine Band

Valentine’s dandy-esque persona, and the genuine wonder of “does he ever take his hat off?” as I’ve yet to see him without on atop his head, gave us a memorable set even if you’re not familiar with his works with LGD. It was quite an eclectic set from the band but it saw them do more than enough to keep the cheerful crowd moving but, the smart move, albeit hugely unexpected, was to hear them perform a cover of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow [The Shirelles pop classic]. It doesn’t matter what music you’re into, when this blasts out of the speakers, everyone discovers their unconscious memory triggered and the crowd duly sang along (many with huge grins during the chorus) with a delighted Marc. 

With good lighting, good vibes, good beer courtesy of the reasonable priced bar at the front of the building, an early week school night show in London was shaping up to be quite memorable. 

SETLIST: 

Last Train Tonight
Linear Slopes
Arcades
Zodiac Hotel
Mornington Avenue
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (The Shirelles cover)
Break My Heart Anyway
Electric Chains
Swiss Launderette

Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners

And so to the headliners. With the band’s debut album recently released and a second all but completed, The Sinners had the opportunity to blow the roof off Bush Hall. It boded well, the sound and lighting for Marc Valentine saw the band draped in glorious colours with just the right amount of white light to allow us to see the band and truly watch proceedings with ease. 

When Ginger and the Sinners came on stage, some wag thought it would be a great idea to quietly change all of the white light bulbs and replace them with red ones leaving the stage look like a brothel planted firmly in the centre of Amsterdam. It was a real shame as half the set endured this unnecessary lighting style and it really did the band no favours whatsoever. This was a set of classic rock and Americana not an offshoot of Ginger’s extreme Mutation project. Good lights, good vibes and great music. Thankfully we got 2 out of the 3 and according to the late, great, Meatloaf, that ain’t bad. 

The set contained a mix of originals and also tracks that have inspired the band, helped them form a common bond and the end result was a glorious run through the best of Status Quo, The Georgia Satellites, Nazerath, Little Feat (inspiring no doubt Ginger’s wish to work with Ain’t It Cool records), The Band and Wilco. Mixed in with that, a natural fit from Ginger’s own ‘The Words Are Gonna Have To Wait’ and we got a night to remember. No histrionics, no concerns about band members, just 4 blokes on stage enjoying the collective music they all brought to the show. 

The highlights included Quo’s ‘Dirty Water’ which Neil Ivision does more than pay homage to, he makes the song his own (cliched I know but true) and it remains a highlight on the band’s debut album as well. ‘Wasted Times’, the recent single absolutely shines as does personal favourite ‘Footprints in The Sand’ showing that, come album number 2, covers won’t be needed as the originals produced by the band stand shoulder to shoulder with the music that gave them their inspiration. 

‘Code Of The Road’ gave us all something to smile about and, as I write this I’d like to point out that whatever I’ve written about Ginger, I’ve never called him a sell-out or drunk his beer… 

A good start to the week and a suitable hangover the next day at work…. sigh (worth it!) 

The Road
That Smile
Dirty Water (Status Quo cover)
Six Years Gone (The Georgia Satellites cover)
Lately Always
Wasted Times
Key of Love
Broken Down Angel (Nazareth cover)
Walk of Shame
Willin’ (Little Feat cover)
Arms of Love
Footprints in the Sand
Code of the Road
Breakout
The Words Are Gonna Have to Wait (Ginger Wildheart cover)
The Weight (The Band cover)
I Got You (Wilco cover)

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