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Live Review: The Wildhearts @ Academy 1 10/04/2014

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Muff relives his "despicable youth" - support slots from The Von Hertzen Brothers and Hey! Hello! 




Another night in Manchester without beer or regrets, but this time I really don’t mind. Tonight is the first time I will ever get to see one of the bands that formed my despicable youth. As I have mentioned in previous reviews for Manchester Rocks one thing I like to do is arrive early, never early enough to hug the doorman but a good enough time to see the crowd build and listen to the rock war stories that get passed around between the waiting punters. I know it sounds a bit geeky but to me it’s pure entertainment and a great way to get the feel of the crowd and the way the gig will head.

Doors open and a quick tickle off the security and we are in, (I’m sure that somewhere, somehow one of these tickles must have led to a romantic clinch). Ahhh the Academy, the first time I ever came to this venue was to watch Flogging Molly who I loved just for the energy alone, and it never changes. It might be my age making me nostalgic but I do love a venue that stays the same over the years when others change or close down. Anyhow I’m rambling (age again), on with the show.


"Hey! Hello! - Candy floss laced with barbed wire."

The night kicked off with a really awesome surprise in the form of Hey! Hello!,Ginger’s side project. As with all multi band gigs the crowd tend to mill around, bouncing between the bar and the loo before they settle in for the night. Now I said awesome surprise because not only did the milling around stop in record time but God can Hey! Hello! rock. In the flash of a song this night turned from a gig to a party, hailing from both sides of the Atlantic in the form of Ginger Wildheart and New York singer Victoria Liedtke, winners of two awards at the Pure Rawk awards Hey! Hello! is one of those bands that whip you into frenzy whether you like it or not with a style of rock that I have decided to describe as Candy Floss laced with barbed wire.

Next up is the balls to the wall Von Hertzen Brothers, now the crowd are more than warmed up by this time so as this amazing outfit tore into their set you would have been mistaken thinking they were the main act of the night. With a hard rock bluesy rhythm that’s so gritty it’s almost evil, this is the kind of band that the Devil would listen to as his Friday warm up song. Formed as a side project in their native Finland The Von Hertzen Brothers have not only blazed a trail through the world of rock but managed to pick up more than a few accolades along the way. With a vast amount of on stage energy and presence, the band left the crowd drooling for more and if there was anybody new to the band like me I’m sure they are now waiting for another chance to see this bombshell again.

"This is the kind of band that the Devil would listen to as his Friday warm up song." 

1993 saw the release of The Wildhearts debut album Eearth Vs, which proceeded to astonish the rock music industry, picking up Kerrang’s number one album of the year and voted number 20 in the magazine’s best rock albums of all time. Fast-forward to 2014 and nothing has changed, all the ups and downs and media crap seems to have done is focus this monster of rock into a lean mean awesome machine. Massive roars saw the lads take to the stage and continued through the start of the set. In the blink of an eye I was a kid again and loving every second of it, the effect that this band have on people of all ages and sexes is astounding (all sexes, the males/the females and I really dunno where I’m going with this hahaha).

I normally try to pick a highlight of the night, but when you’re getting a full frontal assault off a band like The Wildhearts the whole night becomes the highlight, every track is pure magic seeped in raw energy. I stopped what I was doing about half way through and managed to drag my eyes away for a second and looked at the sea of happy smiling faces bathed in the sweat of a bloody good gig. It really is an amazing thing to observe and if you can manage to do it then just see the effect a band like The Wildhearts has on a crowd.

"The whole night becomes the highlight, every track is pure magic seeped in raw energy." 

Blasting through an array of hits from their back catalogue the band commanded the stage with a power that only comes with experience and the experiences that these institutes of rock have. End of the night and not only did I come away with a nostalgic feeling of happiness but I also managed to grab myself a bottle of Ginger’s hot sauce DEVILSPIT, which having now tried I can say it is bottled rock and tasty as hell. At the end of such an amazing gig all I have left to say is that if you haven’t had the sheer awesome pleasure of seeing The Wildhearts live then do your upmost to track them down and change your life!



Words: Muff


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