Tag Archives: The Wildhearts

When you realize THAT is the band of your life

Hi guys! How you doing?

Very busy lately and with too much stuff in my head which prevents me from focusing on writing something readable and interesting. Been travelling, finishing summer in the best way possible, and enjoying my Panama way of life…till now.

Finishing October at the moment, here in Barcelona good weather is still struggling to remain against cold, but with the time change, you can almost feel the terrible winter whispering in your ear: “Fuck you. Now it’s my time.”

But I’m not in the mood of explaining how this midseason is getting me crazy and how confused makes me feel, unable to settle a daily routine. Well, the fact that I’ve been travelling a bit does not help either. I’m a bit messy now, trying to catch the train of sanity? Whatever you want to call it. Fuggedaboudit!

Even though it’s just been a month since I attended the Wildhearts show in London, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their second album P.H.U.Q, it’s been impossible to write about it earlier. It’s not fair, considering it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, thus I’m in the mood of writing about The Wildhearts once again, as it’s been too long since I don’t bother you with probably my favorite active band on earth. Well, since last year, telling about their show. This could be kinda déjà vu, but it’s not going to be.

Wildhearts-PHUQ-Tour

Ginger Wildheart is become my curse. The damn bastard is so creative, he’s all the time involved in projects to take our money. For good or for bad, work delivered is outstanding, so as far as I’m concerned, he can suck me dry. Lucky I’m not a collector, otherwise I’d be fucked up. I’m waiting for a book he’s written which should have been finished by March, but apparently is being shipped at the end of the year. I’m patient, because I feel curious about the content, but maaaan! C’mooon!

He’s currently recording a new album with Hey! Hello! Which will be released in April 2016, meant to do more Mutation stuff, and in September, as advanced, due to the 25th anniversary of PHUQ, he brought the band together, except for the bass player, put them to rehearse, and announced a UK tour.

After our experience last year, Jaume and I couldn’t miss the event, and as kind of silent agreement, we decided that whenever the band reunited for several shows, we’d move our asses to Shitsville, London, to see them. So that was it. We saw the shows announced and didn’t have to discuss anything, just apply for a couple of days of vacation at work, and the rest would be done.

Whenever a band play an album at its entirety, there’s no doubt on the set list. From the beginning to the end, song after song, will be played, but the surprise comes with the encore, and once again, it drove us nuts: ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Red Light Green Light’, ‘Sick of Drugs’, ‘29X the Pain’… What a blast!

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Emotion is the key. A band can be a piece of crap but if you feel moved, excited, passionate and crazy, then for you it can be as good as The fuckin’ Rolling Stones, or even better. During the show, there were several moments and songs which made me stop and think to myself “this is it. This is the reason why I love rock.” Moreover, I realized there’s no band currently in active which moves me in the way The Wildhearts do.

During many years you know I’ve reckoned by fave band is Guns N’ Roses. I grew up with them, and they’ve been in my life since I was 15 or so. I still blush when I hear ‘Rocket Queen’, ‘Coma’ or ‘Estranged’ at a bar, and due to so many experiences and years we’ve shared, they’ll be the band of my life, and Appetite For Destruction the best album in my record collection.

Nevertheless, once this been stated, I gotta confess that it’s The Wildhearts the band of my life, and Earth Vs The Wildhearts my favorite album. The process was slow as first, it took me years to realize they were a great band, and second, I had to develop my own status of fan on my own, because I was highly influenced by diehard fans. And I love that all the way I’ve been doing it alone, enjoying the pleasure of discovering and falling in love with a band little by little.

Can you imagine my tears dropping while yelling ‘Everlone’, or ‘Sick of Drugs’? It happens to me every time I listen to those songs being played on stage. Same as whenever I watch the Death Star trench battle of Star Wars I start crying. And I’m glad such thing happens from time time, because it means I feel alive.

God bless The Wildhearts!

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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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!

ALBUMS OF WEEKS 30-31: EARTH VS THE WILDHEARTS / THE WILDHEARTS MUST BE DESTROYED

These past weeks have been nonstop with my agenda booked with many events regardless my current situation. Live shows, visits from friends staying at the Hellhouse, me spending some time with friends at a town by the sea, new album releases with Handwritten catching my attention on week 29…with so much movement I’ve listened to much music, but being the calendar so crazy, it’s also difficult to mark an album I’ve listened over the others lately.

For the past two weeks, and excited about the special program on Viva Las Vegas radio related to The Wildhearts, I’ve just realized I’ve been listening to this band like crazy. As I’m not sure which was first, I’ll tell you about their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, and then my last purchase to complete the studio albums collection, The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed.

I’ve never hidden my passion for this band here in Since My Baby Left Me, telling different stories related to their show in Barcelona, the purchase of a single, naming a list of MUST have albums to start with this band, and following every movement performed by their leader, Ginger.

I will never stop thanking my friend Jaume for recording me their Best Of album 10 years ago, I didn’t pay much attention the first time I listened to it, because The Wildhearts are not easy at the first hearing, due to the extended length of their songs, including many different parts and rhythms, and also the melodies in vocals, completely influenced by The Beatles. I wasn’t ready for that, but, once I was in the right mood, I was converted into Wildheartism for good.

Nowadays I’d reckon The Wildhearts have a place in my personal Top 5. It is so unfortunate this band is cursed and have never reached the level of popularity and recognition they deserve, it makes me feel bad, so I’m trying to convince people to appreciate their talent all the time.

If you want to know what real pain is, try to collect all their items, vinyls, singles, LP and CD editions… it’s almost impossible, and quite frustrating, and the money investment would be insane. At this point I have all the studio albums and some of their compilations, and little by little I’m acquiring live CDs and DVDs, but it’ll take some time.

I’m super glad of finding their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, in Japanese edition, precisely in the land of the rising sun, the only country, together with UK, where the band has an outstanding success, and consequently special editions of their stuff has been issued.

Perhaps the timing had to do with the starting of the curse on the band, as 1993, the year this first album was issued, was 1993, and looking back in the day, there was the dominance of Seattle sounds and all this grunge wave, thus, this mixture of metal with Beatles melodies was a cocktail only worth tasting for the Brits.

Most likely a diehard fan of the band will tell you this is their best album, full of singles, we consider hits, starting from Greetings from Shitsville, followed by TV Tan, Everlone, My Baby Is a Headfuck, Suckerpunch…Absolutely necessary in our existence. As my friend Artie said the other day, the energy of the songs deliver uppers regardless of the negative subjects certain songs might deal with. You listen to the album, and won’t be able to do it laid on the couch bored because your heart beats will accelerate their rhythm.

After many drugs, few studio albums, and lots of compilations, a dark period started with the absence of CJ from the band, to end in a long break (1997-2001). In 2001, the bassist Danny McCormack was fired from the band due to its alarming and un controllable heroin addiction, and CJ was back in.

The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed was released in 2003. Ginger was responsible for the recording of the bass lines, until a new replacement was found (Jon Poole and Scott Sorry would come later) and being the situation under control, the band recovered, so to speak, part of the classic sound that had become their trademark. Thus, milder and more easy listening tunes such as Someone that Won’t Let Me Go,  Top of the World, or Vanilla Radio were delivered.

This album is less complex regarding structures, timing of songs is shortened, melodies are predominant, and the harder parts are reduced, being this their pop album, and consequently becoming commercially more successful and popular than the previous ones.

One week ago, Artie, Javi, the leader of the punk rock band based in Madrid, The Diesel Dogs, which opened for The Wildhearts two nights in their last visit to Spain back in 2008, and I, packed with CD’s, some beers, and lots of anecdotes, pending conversations and great mood for it, went to Radio Enlace headquarters, for recording a special program for Viva Las Vegas revisiting the career and history of this band we love so much. The result was one hour mainly talking stories, and listening to some tunes. An hour wasn’t enough, as you can imagine, yet the experience was delightful, and the company high class.

Not many cult bands followed by minorities can count with so many passionate and dedicated fans. This could be labeled as a brotherhood. Once you are in, there’s no turning back and you’ll be devoted of the band for good. I’m proud of supporting and adoring The Wildhearts, and although there’s always a sense of frustration every time there’s a hiatus, or a tour which never calls off Spain, just playing any of their albums out loud, reminds me of their greatness, cheering me up to the max. This band is like a gift, a priceless treasure.

You should trust me, and give them a try…you won’t regret.

ALBUM OF WEEK 26 – PURE

When I first heard of a band named 3 Colours Red, I immediately dismissed them because of Kieslowski’s sad film. You know, that’s one of those names which imply depressing stuff or too pop or emo sound. As usual, my prejudgment was wrong.

Back in my London days, this band was highly prominent, and they were appearing on Kerrang magazine on regular basis, but never paid them much attention. It took me more than 6-7 years to get acquainted with this band, and it had to be through a diehard fan of The Wildhearts. Why? Because former bassist Danny McCormack’s younger brother, Chris, was one of the members of the band.

Coincidences, coincidences and Toi living in her own universe… a week ago I discovered I had actually attended a 3 Colours Red show and to be honest, digging in my memories right after, apparently  kinda liked them.

And when did such event take place? June 1999, in one of those Big Day Out’s at Wembley Stadium. The lineup was pretty rad: 3 Colours Red, Stereophonics (boring to death), Lenny Kravitz, The Black Crowes (By your Side era), and Aerosmith. Of course it wasn’t the most suitable place for having the first encounter, but they really sounded powerful, and positive much better than Stereophonics.

Anyway, 13 years later, and approx 7 since I discovered and got acquainted with properly, now I feel a slight regret for ignoring them back in the day. Also, not surprised though, it’s a shame bands like this, or The Wildhearts, are simply ignored in this country and their scope is reduced to none.

It was two weeks ago, after the dj’n night @ Psycho, when I recovered their debut album. I had played Copper Girl that night, and since a friend asked me about this band, I felt like listening to it again.

First time I had listened to Pure and Revolt albums, the first ones, I had the same feeling as with The Wildhearts. Because of their melodic tunes, I thought of them as the typical band for teenagers. I’m not sure to be clear enough, but long time ago I used to relate punk rock combined with melodies bands to music for teens, at the same level as Greenday, The Offspring and others. I still think these bands have this childish scent, while my opinion has completely changed regarding the first two ones, being The Wildhearts one of my favorite bands.

Soooo, 3 Colours Red debut album definitely kicks ass. Songs are powerful and rhythm is merciless, there are changes which enhance their intensity, chorus are super catchy as in Nuclear Holiday, Copper Girl, This Is My Hollywood, and melodies led by Pete Vuckovic backed up by McCormack and Ben Harding match perfectly.

To be honest, I think of this band as the direct sons of The Wildhearts, many resemblances can be found, melodies, song structures, powerful riffs, and bass and drums also provide an incredibly compact rhythmic ground to build strong compositions over.

It’s a pity I haven’t consciously enjoyed on stage, and worse that, due to issues among the leaders of the band, McCormack and Vuckovic, this project didn’t work out any longer. At least I have their records, and I’m glad the energy spread is contagious because at strange days uppers are what I should be looking for.

GINGER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, PLEASE WELCOME…

A couple of weeks ago, Ginger’s departure from Michael Monroe Band was officially announced. Such news didn’t surprise his fans that much, in fact, eventually we knew this was going to happen.

Ginger is an artist who needs to take the lead of every project he’s involved with ,and despite his active part in composing Sensory Overdrive, confirmations of his gigs with friends were more frequent. Personally I should add, comparing to the attitude he offered in Islington Academy last year, he looked tired, and somehow distracted, during  the shows I attended last month. When talking to him, his answer to the question about future plans ahead for The Wildhearts was short and conclusive “No future plans right now”.

This doesn’t mean the band over, I think he’s just taking a break, first by joining the Monroe Army, then to go on solo…eventually he’ll feel the need to rejoin with his band, and at that point, The Wildhearts will deliver another kicking-ass album, for sure.

Who was going to be Ginger’s substitute then? Everyone started wondering, and the band kind of created some suspense setting a date for confirming the new member of the band.

The date has arrived, the news funny spread, with the hands of the band members (remember the picture of the feet before the original lineup was confirmed?) including the mysterious guitar player.

And the winner is…

DREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!

Xavi, a friend, had suggested this possibility I initially rejected, without putting much thinking on this matter, but if you stop for a minute, it makes complete sense, bearing in mind Backyard Babies are in temporary, yet undefined period of hibernation (Nicke’s released his solo album, I haven’t heard a single tune of yet, by the way).

I’m really glad for the choice, Dregen has such energy, he’d fit in the band perfectly, and sure the shows will be even more explosive.

It’s true we’re gonna miss Ginger, and his departure means a great loss in terms of new songs compositions, but hey! Let’s see what Dregen can do, and please welcome him on board.

HAIL TO THE NEW CAESAR!

THE SOUNDTRACK OF A DIFFERENT DAY @ WORK

My apologies for pouring my hormonal rage episode last week, when talking about radio and general music taste, it wasn’t my week at all. Certain things altogether can bring out my dark side, hahaha! No regrets regarding the message, I still mean what I said, truth is could have been told in a better way though.

Today has been totally different, despite it was local holiday and I’ve been working on watch. i don’t feel like going to work when the day arrives, but I reckon it’s worth, because I advance lots of stuff without being interrupted with stupid phone calls or incidences.

Yet, the best of working on a local holiday day, apart from the two extra days I add to my vacation calendar, is that I bring my own CD’s to the office, and believe it or not, I get much more concentrated and focused on what I’m doing, plus I don’t have that frequent feeling of boredom and waste. I feel fine no matter how much work I have to do.

Sergio is my best pal at work, and I think we’re becoming good friends. Let’s say he’s my soul mate for 8 hours, 5 days a week. Although we have different points of view regarding stuff, and different musical taste, it’s true he’s the one I can share most of my passions with, you know, we can comment on films, music, experiences…we’re different, but have quite much in common.

As we had to work together today, and because he’s more open minded regarding music than the rest of people and he’s into metal, I’ve brought very different CD’s. Despite what I said the other day, I’m very respectful towards people’s taste in music, thus I never play too noisy stuff, but just the opposite, selection is of the quietest type.

But as Sergio was the one to swallow my session, I knew he’s more tolerant and up to harder stuff.

We haven’t played all the CD’s but here is what we’ve been listening to, while dealing with our containers, space issues in vessels, and incidences with China, Indonesia and other places  :O

BIG STAR – #1. This has been my latest discovery and I’m totally hooked to it. I’ll tell you about it later, as finally it’s become the album of the week, but as a quick introduction, I’ll tell you these guys are told to be the pioneers in power pop style.

STEVE EARLE – EL CORAZON. The hard-core troubadour is amazing, Earle is a rock n’ roll outlaw for real, he did jail time, has been playing with drugs real hard, and  married 7 times. You can label his style as country, folk, bluegrass…this guy’s lyrics have something to say. El Corazon is a MUST.

THE BLACK KEYS – BROTHERS.  This is modern stuff, don’t know how to define it. Pop? Alternative? I thought these guys from Akron were a temporary hype, but cannot deny I’m changing my mind and find their stuff very enjoyable. Dan Auerbach’s voice is particular and very special, I love it.

RYAN ADAMS – 29. 8th album delivered by my favorite music workaholic, I’m specially delighted with it and listening to it on a daily basis. If only clones of Ryan Adams were sold, I’d be the happiest person in the world, singing for me these beautiful songs. 29 is magic and compiles many of his finest songs. Strawberry Wine, Carolina Rain, Blue Sky Blues…whenever I listen to this album I wish I was in love with someone.

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – THE ’59 SOUND. I’ve talked enough about this album. Obviously I love it, huh?

THE WILDHEARTS – EARTH VS. THE WILDHEARTS. I reckon this is my favorite album together with The Wildhearts. Their debut album is one hit after another, every riff is a pleasure, every rhythm change is wonderful. Everlone, My Baby is a Headfuck, Greetings from Shitsville, News of the World… there’s no song here expendable.

I was worried Sergio would eventually get tired of my music, but surprisingly, not only he’s been asking me about the bands I was playing, showing interest and commenting as we were listening, so I could provide some feedback too, but he’s asked me to lend him stuff of The Wildhearts. Hell yeah! Whenever someone follows my suggestions and ends up enjoying and liking them, I feel like the queen of the world, and not because I believe myself to be any kind of guru, but because I’ve manage to share my passion for something as to someone becoming passionate too. So, Sergio, probably you’ll read this, thus right here I warm welcome to The Wildhearts’ world! I know you’ll end up loving them, hahaha!

You see? There’s nothing like working in good atmosphere and comfortable. Hours have gone really fast, and to be honest, I think I’ve been more productive than any other day last week, so boss…let me play my stuff from time to time, and you’ll have a happy worker by your side 🙂