Been really looking forward to this one as it’s a one-off UK gig where they will play ” Fishing For Luckies ” (I suspect it’s also being taken as a warm up for the Japanese shows coming up where they will do the same). It was a bit touch & go if i’d make it as earlier in the week i got my MRI results & for a second time, my brain tumor had grown. Fortunately, i didn’t have to restart my chemo this day (as they wanted) & we agreed to restart next week.
As ever, i took the train to Nottingham. Only this time i was meeting a friend from London who’d never been to Rock City before. We both stayed at same hotel “Rooomzzz” which is right next door to Rock City. Once again, it was early doors @RC. After numerous phone calls, i was hoping tonight would be some what better than the Pretty Reckless debacle of getting in ! We turned up about 20mins early & all ran smooth. Only slight downer was the balcony wasn’t open. But i still got my bar stool under the stairs.
First band tonight is “The Main Grains “. I’ve not seen them before & all i know about them is that Danny McCormack is the main guy ! Obviously, with his Wildhearts past, i’m expecting something interesting. Tonight, Danny is playing the show sat on a seat (In case you didn’t know, in 2016 he suffered an aneurysm & further complications meant he had to have his leg amputated at the knee). He does look as though he feels at home up there. They kick off with “Unscrewed”, which is also the first song on their debut album “Don’t Believe Everything You Think”(or is it an EP as only 7 songs & clocks in around 20mins). Straight away there’s a good vibe in the room. They continue with “Happy Round Here”. This really has a Wildhearts kinda sound to it. Very upbeat. Next we get “Spend Your Money”. This has a lovely deep bass intro to it. The song’s maybe a bit basic, but it rocks nicely.
“I’d Rather Be In California” is another “happy” sounding song. Again, a very Wildhearts kinda vibe to it.
A couple of drum hits & a familiar sounding guitar riff & they’re playing a cover of The Undertones”Teenage Kicks”. (Gosh that takes me back to my youth! Think i got a 7″ on green vinyl back in the day. Or was it “Jimmy Jimmy” i got ? Old age…). I think they played about 4 more songs after that. It was great to see Danny with a big smile up there. Overall, a great start to tonights proceedings.
Next it’s “Massive Wagons “. Again, a band i don’t think i’ve seen before. I loved the intro they used : “Rock And Roll Preacher” by Slade. Actually, as the night went along, it dawned on me that Baz sounded a lot like Noddy Holder with his vocal style. The band have been around a few years & i’m surprised i’ve somehow missed them. Over all, to me, they have a great classic British rock sound. I’d like to see them again. They dedicated a song to Rick Parfitt,namely, “Back To The Stack” :
So to the headliners, The Wildhearts. This was a pretty last minute gig,tagged on after the rescheduled Manchester gig. It will be a special one as they’re playing “Fishing For Luckies”. I suspect they’re also treating Rock City as a “warm-up” for the Japan shows where they’re playing FFL. When the lights went down the fantastic crowd/family started singing & it was marvelous. Before even hitting the stage,the Wildhearts totally owned Rock City . “Inglorious” really kicked things off nicely. After that, the familiar intro to “Sick of Drugs” had the crowd sounding even louder & Gingers smiles getting bigger. It must be such a rush to have an audience “woah-whoah-ing” like that.
Before “Schizophonic” Ginger thanks everyone for coming down to this special show. He says how it’s “..great to play an album 20 years after you made it & it’s fucking wierd”.
He also says he “…can’t believe it that both Danny McCormack & me are still alive!”. Again, its bloody brilliant how the audience sing along with the guitar at the beginning.
This is such a fuckin great night already ! There’s quite a few fun, or funny moments, moments during the show. It’s cool when Ginger mentions that “…some people think that Dunc got treated badly in Manchester. So throw some money up on stage for him ! ” He quickly realises what he’s let himself in for & says “Notes! Paper money” as a barrage of coins hit the stage ! So funny 🙂 (According to what Dunc has since posted online, he got £17.50)
Another fun moment was after “Soul Searching on the Planet Earth (Different Kind of Love)”. Ginger said something like “…we did something yesterday which was really fuckin freaky so we’re gonna try it again tonight. We want you all to click your fingers “. That was an interesting way to start the next song “Do the Channel Bop”.
We get another 3 or so songs before it’s encore time.
A chair being brought onstage signals the return of Danny McCormack. He stays there for the rest of the night.
First encore song is the ever powerful crowd pleaser ” Suckerpunch”. Unfortunately it seems that Dannys equipment isn’t quite set up as he’d like. It’s till “My Baby Is a Headfuck” that it’s sorted out. A great version of the song is played & the audience seems so loud shouting “Headfuck.Headfuck…” Love it 🙂
For “Geordie in Wonderland” C.J. gets the crowd waving their arms & everyone joins in singing. This is the definition of a community spirit for a band. Everyone sings at the top of their voices (& sometimes are louder than the band!). The last songs of the night are “I Wanna Go Where the People Go” , “29 x the Pain” & the quirky little thing which Rich sings ; “Duck Song”. It’s lovely to see Mr Poole & C.J. hug Danny afterwards. Ginger makes sure everyone stays to pose for a photo or two by Trudi before leaving.
A fantastic night with smiles all around. My only small dissapointment was that i didn’t manage to get an event T-shirt as they’d all sold out.