The Wildhearts / Hands off Gretel – Brickyard, Carlisle.
Wednesday 26th June 2019.
The announcement of this gig filled me with trepidation, hand on heart I can say The Wildhearts are my favourite band, I have followed them from Mondo, I have witnessed the highs, lows and every substance in between on a stage somewhere around the U.K. and their debut album Earth vs. is still my go to album for a pick me up!
Would they let Carlisle down, would Carlisle let them down, Ginger had done an acoustic show here last year and fell out with some members of the audience who insisted on chatting throughout his set, so much so that he even offered to refund them if they didn’t like it, (to be fair to him he had an assault charge pending in Ireland and his court appearance was the following day), would all their gear fit on the rather miniscule Brickyard stage, would they sell out, could The Combo blag their way onto the bill? Questions Questions Questions!
Cut to the chase, Ginger, C.J., Ritch & Danny appeared on time looking fit and well, walking through the audience from behind the bar to the stage and promptly kicked a 90ish minute set with Dislocated from the new album Renaissance Men, all my fears wear allayed as both band and audience went for it! We got a good selection of classics, singles and new stuff, best of the oldsters was Everlone and the newbie was Let ‘em Go for me, Ritch narrowly missed putting his eye out when his stick split in two and the sharp end glanced off his face, he looked at the crew stage side, pulled a face and never missed a beat! Danny is fully mobile again after the trauma of losing his lower leg and seems to relish being back in the band, and as usual he got the Danny Danny chant! Both C.J. and Ginger smiled and joked with each other throughout the show; the latter giving us an insight into the world of a hernia in progress.
The gig finished with the call to arms of ‘I wanna go where the people go’ and we all went home with a spring in our stride, and the band were happy to sign and selfie as they went out of the venue back to the tour van – so if you love big riffs and killer choruses with lots of chanting in between these are the boys for you – they most certainly are my boys, God bless ‘em all one, two, three and four!