The Wildhearts: ‘BRITROCK MUST BE DESTROYED' at Manchester Academy
I’ve loved The Wildhearts ever since I first laid ears on their 1992 EP, ‘Mondo Akimbo A-Go-Go’. The debut album that came out a year later, ‘Earth Vs The Wildhearts’, saw their popularity rocket and a 1993 tour with The Almighty cemented their position as one of the best and most promising Britrock acts on the scene. The unique sound they’d developed was so up-tempo, full of energy and attitude that there was simply nobody else around quite like them and they steadily built up a hardcore following of dedicated fans.
Twenty-five years on and the ‘Britrock Must Be Destroyed Tour’ (a play on words of the band’s 2003 album, ‘The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed’) sees The Wildhearts’ back together again, like a long-overdue family reunion. The tour includes three 90s Britrock bands on a different running order at each venue, consisting of The Wildhearts, Reef and Terrorvision, with Dodgy supporting.
On the opening night of the tour, The Wildhearts were on stage at the very early time of 6:30pm, kicking the evening off with a bang! Judging by the crowd’s overwhelming enthusiasm and sheer joy at seeing them, you would have been forgiven for thinking that The Wildhearts were headlining, with all the other bands there as support.
They started with I Wanna Go Where The People Go, from their second full-length album ‘P.H.U.Q.’ which drew a huge roar from a packed-out Manchester Academy. Everyone delighted in seeing bassist Danny up on his feet for the first song and the magic kept on coming with catchy classics such as Suckerpunch, My Baby Is A Headfuck, Greetings from Shitsville and an outstanding version of Everlone. Hurtling along at breakneck speed, Caffeine Bomb quite literally took everybody’s breath away!
The band played an hour’s set, but they could easily have played for three hours straight and still smashed it. The punk-rock-power-pop onslaught was immense. Ginger leading the line, flanked by Danny and CJ for the first time in years - this was so much more than a nostalgia act. This was The Wildhearts reunited and ready to tear the place up once more. Ginger is a rock n’ roll treasure, his performance alone was superb, effortlessly belting out riffs and dizzyingly fast vocals. Roll on July when they support The Levellers at Castlefield Bowl!