Sounds of Silence

Now if there’s one band I’ve really been waiting for all weekend it’s The Wildhearts, partly because I’m a big fan but also because I know how good they are live and I relish the opportunity to see them surprising a few of the sceptics in the big crowd over on stage two.

They kicked off in fine style with the excellent ‘I Wanna Go’ after which Ginger began the first of numerous long chats with the crowd between songs. This was all very entertaining and he’s a funny guy but after a couple of minutes I found myself just wishing they’d get on with it and play another song! Eventually they do and you can’t really argue with a set list that includes old favourites ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘Vanilla Radio’ and ‘My Baby is a Headfuck’. There is just time to get one newer song in and ‘The Revolution Will be Televised’ shows to any doubters that The Wildhearts can still write damn catchy tunes but deliver them with real grit and power.

Before ‘Sick of Drugs’ Ginger invites the crowd to throw stuff onto the stage (something that he has been goading them to do throughout) but he can’t have imagined some of the stuff he got pelted with, which included somebody’s mobile phone! There’s more humour as the one item he manages to catch turns out to be an egg, after which one of the roadies brings him out a hard hat. It’s all good fun and everybody’s smiling but alas it seems that the lengthy between song banter has proved to be their downfall as Ginger introduces ‘29 x The Pain’, plays the intro to SLF‘s ‘Alternative Ulster’ and then has the plug pulled on him as they have run over time. Initially we think it’s for health and safety reasons when immediately before the song he asks the crowd to throw anything that isn’t nailed down onto the stage!

The crowd respond with a chorus of boos and the band look visibly surprised at what’s happening but they’ve still had long enough to turn in an excellent set and won a lot of new friends and perhaps restored the faith of some older ones. Another good performance and talking to many people afterwards the general consensus is that The Wildhearts should be back next year but on the main stage and who are we to argue with that?