Hey! Hello!, Von Hertzen Brothers and The Wildhearts – Manchester Academy 10th April

Three bands for the price of one? A busy night but why not? Quick rush over to the Academy and the camera was ready … and off we go.

Never a man you could accuse of laziness (his seventh (!) record in two years was just released), Ginger has really pushed the boat out this tour – deciding to support The Wildhearts with one of his other projects. Hey! Hello! are first up andtheir blend of catchy power pop/punk/rock is a great way to start tonight’s proceedings. Victoria Liedtke comes across like a Debbie Harry for the new millenium and is the perfect foil for Ginger’s awesome song ideas. Clearly a great way for the band to win over some more fans (assuming they were not already aware) a great, punchy set to really get things moving – my favourite was the single “Swimwear” but all goodstuff

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Sf4ryFP7w]

Second on the bill were the rather wonderful Von Hertzen Brothers. Apparently the last 12 months have seen me become a prog fan and these guys are clearly part of the reason for this. To some (well, me) they appeared from nowhere with their Nine Lives album – but that was album number five. This was the second time that I’ve seen these Finnish progmeisters. Live they bring all the soundscapes from the records alive and Mikko is a fully engaging frontman. Mixing their set up, what initially could have seemed like a weird support was genius – you can see why Ginger likes these guys. Sure, they do not produce throwaway pop but this is not trippy 70s prog. This is thoughtful, clever but totally accessible rock. My favourites were “Flowers and Rust” and “Insomniac” (more cowbell, anyone)  but all equally great songs.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tAYCTZt6bA] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faTtBBDE5Es]

And so to the main event, The Wildhearts. Right from the off they held the crowd in the palms of their hands. Selecting a great set of songs (and welcoming CJ Sorry back on bass) this was the kind of high energy performance Wildhearts fans have come to expect … and clearly, both they and the band love it. The main set was made up of old favourites and created a non-stop swirling ass of grinning fans. The encore started with the perfect one for me and I was “A Geordie in Wonderland”. After that Ginger said that they were having such a great time they were going to play some stuff that were the band’s favourites – and why not? The crowd would have been thrilled if they’d sung the telephone directory (ask your mum and dad) but this was awesome stuff.

Wildhearts (9 of 11)

A fabulous three band package that presented a night of thought provoking, entertaining, mosh fuelled fun.

Set List:
Nothing Ever Changes but the Shoes
TV Tan
Nita Nitro
Sick of Drugs
Caffeine Bomb
Vanilla Radio
Someone That Won’t Let Me Go
The Revolution Will Be Televised
Mazel Tov Cocktail
My Baby Is a Headfuck
I Wanna Go Where the People Go

Geordie in Wonderland
The Jackson Whites
The Only One
Nexus Icon
Tim Smith
Unsung (Helmet cover)
You Took the Sunshine from New York
Carmelita (Warren Zevon cover)
29 x the Pain

Hey Hello (2 of 4)

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