The Wildhearts Cannot be Destroyed!

Wildhearts Manchester Uni MDH 9/12/04

The Wildhearts don’t do things by halves, I’ve seen them do great gigs & I’ve seen them do bad gigs, you could never call them mediocre but when they’re on form there is no-one to touch them & tonight they pulled off an absolute stonker! Coming through their well documented problems with in-fighting & the mixed reception to 1997’s ‘Endless Nameless’, the last couple of years have shown just how great the Wildhearts really are.
From start to finish tonight they were simply outstanding, from the first notes of ‘Love Shit’ to the intense finale of ‘Caprice’ they never put a foot wrong. The sound was spot on, the crowd loved every second & Ginger needn’t have sung a line as the audience would ably have filled in for him throughout. The set list read like a greatest hits but then the measure of this band is that whatever they had picked to play from their back catalogue would have initiated a similar response.
Following ‘Red Light Green Light’ came ‘Stormy in the North, Karma in the South’, ‘Top of the World’ & a quite brilliant version of ‘Vanilla Radio’ which surely proved to any doubters that the newer material is as strong as the rest of their material.
Toilet breaks & bar trips were postponed in fear of missing the next song, when The Wildhearts get into their stride you just can’t help but get carried along with them, the energy, power & enthusiasm that they generate is infectious.
Midway through Ginger informs us that drummer Stidi has the flu – not that you’d have noticed, he practically bounces off his stool with every beat! Once ‘Nita Nitro’ kicks in you know you’re going to be smiling throughout this gig, ‘Sick of Drugs’ & ‘I Wanna Go’ get the crowd in full voice, there’s even room for Chris Moyle’s favourite ‘Cheers’ (complete with ‘Taxi’ intro). Only one nod to the distant past tonight in the shape of ‘Weekend (5 Long Days)’, during which I admit the postponed bar trip ensues. Recent classic ‘So Into You’ is next, followed by ‘Schizophonic’ before the highlight of the set (for me at least) ‘Everlone’. After that I couldn’t really care what they play but needless to say they keep up the tempo with ‘Someone That Won’t Let Me Go’, the always rousing ‘29 X The Pain’, ‘OCD’ & the wall of sound that comprises the ending to ‘Caprice’.
In front of me are a mum & dad with their daughter (who can be no more than 9 or 10) that sing along & jump about to every note – if this was the daughters first gig then it’s just about the best introduction to music she could have hoped for.
The only thing wrong with this gig (aside from the fact that it wasn’t sold out) was bassist John Poole’s insistence on pointing at the crowd & doing the old devil horn finger salute – stop it!!

Set List:
1. Love Shit
2. Red Light Green Light
3. Stormy in the North Karma in the South
4. Top of the World
5. Vanilla Radio
6. Nita Nitro
7. Sick of Drugs
8. I Wanna Go
9. Cheers
10. Weekend (5 Long Days)
11. So Into You
12. Schizophonic
13. Everlone
14. Someone That Won’t Let Me Go
15. 29 X The Pain
16. OCD
17. Caprice