I have to say that this was going to be a night not to be missed on the Brighton rock yearly calendar. The Wildhearts were back in Brighton at Concorde 2. They had with them the awesome The Professionals and Janus Stark. It promised to loud and messy. It was!
The Wildhearts are an English rock group, formed in 1989 in Newcastle upon Tyne. The band’s sound is a mixture of rock. punk and at times a more melodic form of pop music, often described in the music press as combining influences as diverse as The Beatles and 1980s-era Metallica. The Wildhearts achieved several top 20 singles and one top 10 album in Britain. The band has also been split up or placed on hiatus by Ginger multiple times. In the 2010s, the band convened occasionally for various anniversary tours. A 2018 anniversary tour by the band’s 1993 line up led to a return to the studio. In February 2019 the band released the new single “Dislocated”, and their first new album in ten years, Renaissance Men, was released in May 2019. And this album was the title of this UK tour.
My first introduction to The Wildhearts was the release of a storming single, I wanna go Where The People Go. That was it – hooked! I loved the sound and the melody of this track. The following year saw Red Light Green Light released. I was fortunate to have seen and met ginger on the release of his solo album, the rather good Ghost In The Tanglewood. I did some photography for that and then caught him and his band at The Prince Albert later in the day.
Ginger: guitars and vocals
CJ – guitars and vocals
Danny McCormack: Bass and vocals
Ritch Battersby: Drums
The fans arrived and tonight The Wildhearts were playing to a sold out packed in tight audience at Concorde 2 in Brighton. This gig saw the continued line up reunion of the band. Scene Sussex had previewed this gig some months before and so we were really looking forward to this one!
The guys took to the stage, the guitar tech guy handed out the instruments, I think I counted 8 guitars in a rack. The Concorde2 smoke machine belted out clouds of smoke and The Wildhearts were set! They kicked off with a track from their new album Renaissance Men, Diagnoses – a super choice, its hard and packs a punch, and if you didn’t know what to expect for the next 90 minutes this gave you a tasty warm up! Hard. Loud. Fast. Naturally – these are The Wildhearts! Let ‘Em Go second track tonight from that album. Ginger vocals buzzed through on this one and of course, the Brighton crowd joined in with the chorus. The crowd joined in shouting along with the chorus and pumping the air. These guys are so good at what they do. They were going at it full pelt two songs in, and dear reader so were the crowd!
Next up was one of the songs I mentioned earlier. The Wildhearts served up for the crowd, who were now going full on bat shit crazy after only two songs, a real face plant with I Wanna Go. This song shook the very foundations of Concorde 2. Hell, did I mention it was loud! Oh yes!! Not a moment to stop. The guitars plucked away at the opening chords and the wild Sick of Drugs smashed its way into our ears! Revolution was in there and also Caffeine Bomb, now that was fast!. Ginger would stop for a chat every so often with his warming accent. He told us that this was the start of a massive tour for them, but then mentioned that Brighton may just have been the best first night of a tour so far. Which went down rather well with the crowd. Another single from the latest album was up Dislocated. Superb rendition and is an absolute killer song live.
RED LIGHT , GREEN LIGHT
The Wildhearts hammer their instruments pummelling out classic after classic. We were being given an absolute storm of a set. As if the crowd needed a shot of adrenaline, which they didn’t we had Red Light Green Light. The crowd along with those in the central mosh pit kicked it up to match the intensity of the music. Sweat was pouring down the happy faces in the crowd. A wide range of ages tonight but it really was a great friendly atmosphere in there. What we got was a finely crafted set following their musical journey, they seemed to pull in something from a selection of their output crossing the years.
The guys left the stage and returned after a brief break much to the relief of the chanting crowd. As The Wildhearts came back and just exploded onto the stage in Concorde 2 the crowd upped it also to match the ferocity of the audio and more surge to the middle of the venue to get a slice of The Wildhearts action. The set ended with the face melter Action Panzer. Guitar picks hurled into the grabbing hands of the battered crowd and it was all over. The crowd wanted more, and I think the guys could easily have thrown more tunes in but the impending curfew meant that was it! All over.
A couple of tracks I would like to have seen and heard My Baby and possibly Suckerpunch. Ah so what – I was more than fully satisfied as was the crowd. The Wildhearts gave it everything tonight and delivered what can only be described as a knockout performance. They ended the night leaving ears ringing for a couple of days, The Wildhearts will do that to you.
A top live set of 2019 for me. I want more! Thank you Ginger, CJ, Danny and Ritch.
I last saw these guys earlier in the year supporting The Ruts. Formed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones – catch up here if you missed it. The Professionals arrived on the scene in 1979 following the demise of the Sex Pistols, but split just 3 years later. In celebration of the release of a three-disc set by the Universal Music Group, The Professionals reformed in October 2015.
Now tonight many folk were here to see The Wildhearts, but tonight a sizeable chunk of the audience were here to also see The Professionals after their storming performance earlier in the year. The re-formed and reinvigorated Professionals were ready. The packed in crowd were ready. An absolute sizzler of a set started off with Join The Professionals and Going Gone. Then we had the just wonderful Silly Thing. The set was quite short, about 30 mins but they packed in a great mix of old and new.
They didn’t waste a second and kicked their way through the set without delay. And yes, they were loud. Just as it should be. The Professionals – yep, they live up to their name. Come back soon guys, Brighton loves you! They gave us some wonderful, energetic rock`n`roll. They delivered it all with attitude and a well deserved and well earned swagger – with a wink and a smile from Paul Cook. You guys nailed us to the floor once again.
Punk Rock with influences from melodic hardcore, post punk, new wave, hard rock ! Check out the debut album “ Great Adventure Cigar” it’s all there. A great choice of bands to open up the night. A blisteringly good set from these guys, you have to keep an eye out for them if they play near you. A perfectly formed 30 minute set started the evening off with a punk bang alright!
Now this Janus Stark, not to be confused with Janus Stark who was an escapologist in Victorian London who appeared to be simply an unusual act on the music hall stage, but who privately used his extraordinary abilities to battle against injustice.
Janus Stark was an experimental punk rock band from Peterborough, England. Their album, Great Adventure Cigar, was highly rated by Foo Fighters and Die Toten Hosen (Vom Richie asked the band to support for the Die Toten Hosen Live tour 2000 and Campino would introduce and praise the band before each performance) and was a fusion of Punk rock, hard rock, heavy metal and alternative with influences from Helmet to The Ruts to The Beatles to The Clash. Fronted by The Prodigy live guitarist Gizz Butt. The band split up in 2002 and Gizz Butt reformed the band in 2018.
These guys delivered a 30 minute set of pure kick ass rock ‘n’ roll. Janus Stark, come back to Brighton soon!
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