Tag Archives: Hey! Hello!

Greetings from Shitsville, London.

Every time I visit London the same doubts and uncertainty rise in my head. Will it be even more different than the last time? Will my own London still remain the same? Will I still be in love with the city?

jaume and toi

I don’t go to London to see friends anymore, even though there are still some I’m in touch with, and don’t go as a tourist either, as I already know what I needed to know about the city. Beside, in the last years, London is not the affordable destination it used to be, with accommodation and public transport at outrageous rates. Shows are my current motivation. Up to date, I’ve never enjoyed live shows most but in London. Venues are cool, beer is affordable, audience is extremely livid and intense, and bands love playing there. The gig culture reigning is, in my humble opinion, the best, and I always love the vibe and the atmosphere, no matter what kind of show I’m about to see.

This time there were many factors which helped this trip to be special. On one hand it was my friend Jaume’s first trip to the old city, so I had to be some sort of cool guide, with the responsibility it implies, and on the other because the show we were attending featured Hey!Hello! and our beloved The Wildhearts, band which Jaume introduced thanks to a best of, in my life.

april and london 070

The stay was terrific. We enjoyed very good weather, had tons of laughs, joined my friend Ana, who is currently living and working there, for drinks, and I had a great surprise when coming out from the venue after the show, suddenly I was facing my best friend in my London years, Lukas, who is adorable, but a complete disaster getting in touch. Coincidence? Nah, I don’t think so. It was awesome, all the same.

I’d like to leave the leisure side of the trip aside, as the most remarkable event was no doubt the show. It was officially the 4th time I was seeing The Wildhearts. I remark  officially, because I happened to see them in one or two festivals in UK but since I wasn’t acquainted with them, didn’t pay them attention. Anyway, one of the shows was also in London in 2007 at the disappeared Astoria club, before Christmas, which also was full.

This time it was at Electric Ballroom in Camden, a venue I had only been before for clubbing and on Sunday market. A guy told us capacity was approx 1200people, less than Astoria’s, and tickets were sold out.

red stripe

We visited The World’s End pub for the previous drinks and it was then when I got my London vibe back. Classic British metal out loud, the pub packed, Ritch, The Wildhearts’ drummer was hanging with friends there, and this party atmosphere was so intense it really cheered me up.

After being warmed up enough we went to the venue as we wanted to see Hey! Hello! Ginger’s project with Victoria Liedtke. Their act featured 8 songs, included their hit ‘Swimwear’, and ‘Feral Days’, ‘How I Survived the Punk Wars’ and ‘Black Valentine’. We immediately noticed the impressive voice of Victoria, and the quality of sound at the venue, making it easy to distinguish and perceive the melodies of the different members in the band. She really looked nice, the way she jumped and danced, and the funny way she introduced the songs, making jokes all the time. A funny contrast between American and British. I liked it.

heyhello

We were a bit tired after our intense morning walk and decided to chill out a bit, while the second act was taking place. Mainly because it was a Swedish prog band playing, and at that moment we needed an upper, rather than something complex, musically speaking.

wh3

When the time came, we couldn’t be more excited. The fuckin’ Wildhearts were playing and we were there ready to rock. And it was a hell of a show, damn! Never seen Ginger so happy, and the band so solid, compact and powerful. No doubt it was the best performance I had seen, in terms of quality. What a blast! They chose ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ as the starter, probably one of my top 3 favorite WH songs, and ‘TV Tan’ followed. By the third song, Jaume had already lost his voice and I was bawling all the songs as if that was my last day on Earth. The set list was perfect, hit after hit after motherfuckin’ hit, and the crowd was insane. Oh, man! It feels so good to be surrounded by unknown people mad about the band in the same way or even more passionate than you do!

It’s almost impossible a band like this comes back to Spain, when only 100 people attend their shows. It’s not worth it. We are not worthy. And it’s a pity, but we don’t have a proper rock culture and philosophy, supply/demand is nonsense here. And of course, The Wildhearts are one of the most underrated rock bands on Earth.

I feel pity for those who are not acquainted with this band, because I’m positive their lives would be much better if they could enjoy the work of The Wildhearts.

I only hope I manage to see them next time soon.

Bless Ginger, CJ, Scott and Ritch, and those who were left behind. Long Live The Wildhearts!

MY TOTAL 13

Happy holidays to y’all!

Once the few family Xmas commitments successfully finished, it’s time I start focusing on closing this 2013. I’m gonna start with the easiest part, which is the list of my 13 favorite album releases.

I reckon this year has been marked by harder sounds and styles compared to the last years. Somehow it seems that my current mood is also looking for more energy in music. Truth is that, as usual, there are many albums I haven’t listened to yet and perhaps with the passing of time the list would change, but right now these are the albums I’ve been enjoying most this strange 2013.

13. VALIENT THORR: OUR OWN MASTERS

vt

Rage and pure energy, Valient Himself and his guys nailed it once again with this album. Lyrics with message, so to speak, wrapped in exploding riffs and superfast speed. Very happy I could attend another of their burning shows last month.

12. SUN & SAIL CLUB: MANNEQUIN

ssc

This is the project of Scott Thomas Reeder, Kyuss former bass player, Bob Balch and Scott Reeder (the drummer) of Fu Manchu. Vocoder robotic voice melodies can prevent some people from loving this album which is a masterpiece of powerful riffs, intense bass lines and kickin’ ass drums. Respect for the veterans!

11. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ: IS SURVIVED BY

touche amore

Post-hardcore bands are not within my usual range of music, however some of them manage to step into my universe from time to time. This time was Touché Amoré, recommended by my dear friend (and mentor) Jordi, personally and through the magazine. Confessional lyrics, lots of yelling, weird writing, but with an overwhelming intensity.

10. MONSTER MAGNET: LAST PATROL

last patrol

The return of Dave Wyndorf and his gang to the fields of psicodelia. I had the chance to interview the leader for Rockzone magazine and thanks to his explanations and remarks I could enjoy the album even more. As a whole, as a journey, some sort of confession of experience and release of emotions. There are great songs such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘The Duke (of Supernature)’ of ‘I Live Behind The Clouds’. A great comeback superior to their previous releases. Can’t wait to see their show in February.

9. NEKO CASE: THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT , THE MORE I LOVE YOU

neko case

This is the hardest album of the artist and the most confessional. She leaves the story telling aside and focuses on expressing what’s she’s going through, marked by the loss of important members of her family, and a state of depression she eventually underwent to for some time. it is Neko, the woman, the human being here, you can feel closer to her, identified with some of her songs. ‘Man’, ‘Nearly Midnight, Honolulu’, ‘Calling Cards’ are thrilling.

8. ORANGE GOBLIN: A EULOGY FOR THE FANS

eulogy

This live album is the celebration of the success achieved with their last and most solid up to date studio album A Eulogy For The Damned. The only BUT I find here is that sound doesn’t capture their performance 100%, but still it’s a good document to confirm that not only their at their best moment but also that the Brits are a live band.

7. AMERICAN SHARKS

american sharks

This crazy trio from Texas blew my mind with their single ‘Overdrive’ and reached my thrashy side with their debut album. Every time I have a dj session I play one of their songs. Energy and fun, sometimes they remind me of Gluecifer for some reason. Wish I can see them playing in Spain in 2014.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/09/19/the-power-of-a-single/

6. DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD: STAY TRUE

danny

I feel ashamed for not having written about this wonderful album already, because it deserves a special attention and I don’t think many people are aware of this wonderful work. I couldn’t find the proper time or the mood to write about it as a week album, however I’ve been constantly listening to them when looking for a realm of peace and relax. Danny and the Champs leave the Bruce Springsteen formula so present in Hearts & Arrows and focus on more rooted sounds.

5. MICHAEL MONROE: HORNS & HALOS

hh

The blonde Finnish is a God of some kind. every time he releases a new album everybody’s expections end up completely fulfilled. This time I was a bit afraid of the change from Ginger Wildheart to Dregen of Backyard Babies as the main guitar and writer, but the result has been very positive, in fact Horns & Halos is superior to Dregen’s first solo album which has left me completely indifferent and not interested at all. Listening to any Monroe’s album means feeling  something inside you unsettled, which at the end of the day you realize it’s the need for partying crying for good times. I don’t understand the reckless energy of the singer, and I don’t care. I just take it as it comes and enjoy the most of it.

4. RED FANG: WHALES AND LEECHES

whales and leeches

No need to comment much about this album after what I wrote. It’s brutal and can’t stop listening to it. I really needed this badass music in my life. Exactly one month remaining for their show in Barcelona. I know it’s gonna be insane.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/11/10/album-of-week-45-whales-and-leeches/

3. HEY! HELLO!

heyhello

Ginger is a sort of Kind midas in music, but fortunately every project he starts is worth listening and the results are usually great. This time teaming up with Victoria Liedtke, he’s surprised the fans with more partying and very fresh tunes, and perhaps it’s been the key to retake and resuscitate his main son, The Wildhearts.

Hey! Hello! will open for The Wildhearts in April and I’ll be at The Electric Ballroom to tell you about it. it’s gonna be awesome, probably one of the best 2014 shows.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/08/29/album-of-week-32-hey-hello/

2. CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER

earth rocker

Clutch has been the greatest discovery of this year. They’ve become a complete reference and have also awaken the spirit of the fan which was a bit in stagnation. Earth Rocker came demolishing and I devoured it with devoted passion. The impact of the self titled single on my was one of the most intense I remember in the last years. It left me breathless, and when I recovered I had the full album which was an injection of energy I really needed. I also relate the album to many personal highlights this year, among others writing for Rockzone magazine and coming back to the company I had been fired from last year.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/03/19/album-of-weeks-10-11-earth-rocker/

1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: …LIKE A CLOCKWORK

Well, after not so much thinking I’ve finally reached the conclusion that Like a Clockwork is my favorite album of the year.

like

It was an instant crush since the very beginning and has been settling throughout these months. When I first listened to the album I compared the experience as dating someone you idolize, therefore now I could regard my relationship with the album as a consolidated. Yeah, we’re a couple, we can flirt with others but at the end of the day it will be Like a Clockwork the one I’ll always choose.

Josh Homme has improved not only his singing but also his writing, and his evolution, very criticized by many of his fans in Kyuss, is fascinating from my point of view. Probably ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’ is my favorite song of the year, but I love the whole album and regard it as an indivisible unit.

https://sincemybabyleftme.com/2013/05/17/like-a-clockwork/

THE WILDHEARTS STRIKE BACK!

Not many things can turn me on in the way I am right now, but the announcement of a UK tour of The Wildhearts with Hey! Hello! as the supporting band has just turn me temporally demented. The news has been a pure Caffeine Bomb. I’m totally excited.

twitter ginger

There were late rumors coming from the band members themselves about a possible new album next year. Ginger declared he was a bit tired of solo projects and wanted The Wildhearts to work together again, and CJ also expressed his wish of recording a new album soon. I’ve always knows this was gonna happen eventually, as after near 10 years following the British band, one can read between lines and realize that Ginger is not only a mood swinging guy but also so intense and active that he needs to change things from time to time to avoid frustration and boredom. It he was a decorator, probably he’d be involved in projects all the time, would enjoy all the pre-project and the execution, but once finished, he’d feel the need to change everything again. This is Ginger. He’s been working on several albums, crowdfunding supported by the fans, Hey! Hello! has been a blast, and it was closer to a band as Victoria Liedtke was his other half, but at the end of the day this guy loves his band, and needs his mates by his side.

the wildhearts

Needless to say my mind is working like a rocket thinking about where to go. My travelling mate is out of question: Jaume must come with me or I’ll kick his balls. He was the one who recorded me that Best Of CD 10 years ago, and he’s the one to blame for me thinking of another flash trip.

In case you’re interested in living a Wildhearts experience here are the tour dates:

Tue 8th April Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
Wed 9th April Bristol, Academy 1
Thu 10th April Manchester, Academy 1
Sat 12th April Nottingham Rock City
Sun 13th April Newcastle, Academy 1
Mon 14th April Glasgow, ABC
Wed 16th April Cambridge, Junction
Thu 17th April London, Electric Ballroom

Drop me a line if you wanna meet me somewhere. Tickets will be available on Friday (and I’m sure shows will be sold out that very same day).

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH! LONG LIVE THE WILDHEARTS!

ALBUM OF WEEK 32: HEY! HELLO!

I’m not a musical guru. Never been and never will. In fact, I regard myself as a complete ignorant in some styles, and don’t like posting proper reviews here, because I’m only interested in showing what pleases me the most.

This been said, the album of this week will surely be repeated when I post the list of my favorite albums of 2013 at the end of the year, because I’m totally devoted to it.

heyhellofrontcover

Not sure whether I finally expressed my opinion regarding this fashion of raising funds from your supporting fans to release albums without being submitted to the tyranny of the major record labels. While I still have opposing thoughts, finding this crowdfunding abusive in most cases, truth is that I have to feel grateful to Ginger Wildheart and his fans for making of this project a reality, being Hey! Hello! A really nice surprise, and the fresh fix I needed this summer.

This time Ginger, the do-it-yourself kindma man, who’s recorded all the instrumental parts, is  not alone. He’s enrolled New Yorker Victoria Liedtke into his project to share vocals, helping to create catchy melodies for the 9 tracks of the album. The redhair and the blonde really form a very solid and attractive couple, and everything seems  works fluid and easy between them.

Somehow Liedtke heps soothing the wildhearted riffs thanks to the power pop melodies, building up a very easy listening album, full of riffs and energy, yet keeping freshness at the highest level.

With every listening Hey! Hello! gets deeper into your skin, every song has something addictive, and you listen once and once again until you finally get hooked, and can’t get the chorus of Swimwear out of your head no matter how hard you try. Hell of a summer song! It’s terrific!

Black Valentine, which always makes me think of Cheap Trick, Feral Days,  or Lock For Rock (And Other Cliches) are simply irresistible.

I reckon it’s compulsory to talk about How I Survived The Punk Wars separated from the rest of the album, as this is something different. This song is a declaration of principles, Ginger’s discourse defending the crowdfunding, talking about hard work, his effort to fight against big record labels in order to manage to control his own product away from being corrupted and manipulated, without becoming a slave. Not only the message is worth attending, because it’s crystal clear, but also is remarkable how he’s able to vomit all this into a song, which is powerful, hard, and really good.

kozik hey hello

Now that I’ve finally surrendered to the product of a crowdfunding, still questioning whether it’s good or not, and enjoying this freak Frank Kozik’s artwork, which in the beginning doesn’t convince that much but eventually you end loving it, Ginger has started this third pledge project campaign, named The Practical Musician,  with in less than 2 hours reached 100% of the target, which is insane.  What should I do? Should I support him from the beginning? Should I wait to assess whether the product is good of is the result of the insane proactivity of Ginger? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure and Ginger must be credited for that,  he’s a restless hard worker, an overwhelming prolific composer, and an inspiration for many of us. Well done!