Live: Ginger (And Friends)

Still Wildhearted after all these years.

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Come the end of I Wanna Go Where The People Go – the 27th and final song in two hours and 45 minutes that began with What Would Henry Rollins Do? – there were more people on stage than had graced the set of Ben Hur. Indeed, I could (but won’t) fill this space namechecking all present for Ginger’s ‘Oh Fuck I’m 50’ Birthday Bash.

If it sounds chaotic, it never was – even after Ginger (early doors, on an unrehearsed whim) duly cut his hand having decided to play drums for one song. As you asked, he was pretty good.

The first half of the set pinballed around his solo/side projects – with Albion’s Body Parts and the old Silver Ginger 5 favourite Girls Are Better Than Boys sounding even better than Hey! Hello!’s Black Valentine, Only Lonely from Valor Del Corazón and, yes, Country Boy by his dubious self-styled hell-billies Howling Willie Cunt. Shoot, even Rats (from the mostly unlistenable Mutation) worked here.

The second half comprising 15 Wildhearts songs, though, shaded it… with rarely performed B-sides (Mindslide and Give The Girl A Gun) rubbing shoulders with hardy perennials such as My Baby Is A Headfuck, Weekend (5 Long Days), Nita Nitro (“My least favourite Wildhearts song”) and the scandalously brilliant Mazel Tov Cocktail from ¡Chutzpah!.

Come the confetti cannons, this had been a joyous and unqualified thank-god-I-got-a-ticket grinfest.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush. Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.