The Wildhearts – live review

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The Wildhearts played Glasgow’s O2 ABC with support from The Von Hertzen Brothers and Hey! Hello!. Review by Stuart Iversen

the wildhearts
[The Wildhearts - file photo: Facebook]

Playing with two bands on the same bill is always dangerous. For most musicians it would lead to calls of self-indulgence, but then most musicians are not Ginger Wildheart. With sevens albums released in the last two years, under a variety of monikers, it just feels right that he should open up this Wildhearts show under the guise of Hey! Hello!

It is also clear from the start that in this particular band he is taking a back seat to the fantastic Victoria Liedtke. Her affection for the hook-filled power pop this band have made their hallmark is clear, and by the end of the set most of the venue appears to have fallen head over heels for her and her perfect voice.

Following that is always going to be tough, but with three number one albums in their home country of Finland, The Von Hertzen Brothers are up for the task. This is not your average support slot, but instead a band that are obviously already aiming their sights at selling out stadiums.

With a collection of tracks inspired by Led Zeppelin, Queen and Pink Floyd, they certainly have the potential to do exactly that. There is a bit too much of the dreaded Nickleback effect in a couple songs and they do not quite receive the reaction of Hey! Hello! But there is no denying that this is a band ready for the big leagues.

The Wildhearts are like a musical Avengers. Yes, they all go away and do their own thing, but at the end of the day, the world is just a better place when they’re together. With Scott Sorry back on bass – this tour being the first set of gigs he has played in five years – they certainly seem to be on heroic form as they hit the ABC stage.

Opening with a track taken from a mini-album back at the start of their careers would be live suicide for many bands, but with The Wildhearts it is just part of the game and ‘Nothing Ever Changes but the Shoes’ sounds huge no matter which album it can be found on.

From there on it is catchy chorus after catchy chorus, with all the wild riffing and punk rock attitude that makes this band so unique. Tracks like the sing-along ‘Sick of Drugs’ stand next to the thrash-filled adrenaline shot of ‘Caffeine Bomb’.

The appearance of Ginger Wildheart’s son Taylor for vocals on ‘People Who Died’ and ‘Nexus Icon’ is made all the more impressive by the fact that before he’s hit his teenage years, this kid is already better than most musicians are at 30.

Ginger Wildheart is obviously doing fantastically well at the moment following a string of successful Pledge Music campaigns, but nights like tonight are proof that no matter what happens, he should always spare a bit of time for his own team of Avengers.

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Stuart is an Edinburgh-based music writer

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