By Ginger | July 13, 2016
BRISTOL, Exchange – Tues 12th July – Day 1
First date of the headline tour. Well, we’ve been on the bus all weekend with two Hey! Hello! festival gigs done and dusted, but this is the big drag, so I thought I’d start keeping a diary.
I always regret ever starting these things, but I’ve heard that people like reading them, so it seems fitting to keep a log of all happenings on this tour. And in the best tradition of first show gremlins there was plenty happening at Bristol.
I’d been anticipating this one, seeing as someone apparently painted over an original Banksy last week. I love Bristol, but this would be the first time in a long while I haven’t made a traditional pilgrimage to see the two Banksy pieces round the corner to Bristol Academy.
With a dressing room about 5 times the size of the Academy, the Exchange is a very cool little venue that suits the ambitions of this tour perfectly. A little set up that packs a big punch, the walls of the Exchange carry gorgeous artwork that greets you on arrival. Pity they seemed so keen to kick us out after the show, cleaning the dressing room around Conny and I as we sat still dripping from the show and asking if we were ready to leave. Great venue, then, but not such a great welcome. Made me long for the days when aftershow celebrations, in places like Dudley JBs, were legendary affairs that often overshadowed the show itself.
Hey, it’s the first show in so maybe the receptions will get a little more genial as we go?
First show glitches plagued the set, naturally, as the in-ear gizmo I’m using insisted on jumping out of my ear under the extreme humidity of the stage. I mean, I’m admittedly a sweaty bastard when I play, but surely these headphone contraptions are designed for that? Whatever the reason, this rubbery little fucker hung like a limp penis unable to fully penetrate my ear-hole. I will persevere with it though. The times it has worked properly has made singing an absolute pleasure. I will make this stubborn little squid my bitch.
Then there’s the guitars. I’ve been using these two brand new BC Rich guitars all week without any trouble. Tonight, in front of a packed venue, the pick ups decided to unscrew themselves and stick to the strings, rendering any attempt at a guitar solo a clipped apology of barely audible notes. The next day Dunc will tear them apart, gaffer down the supernaturally unscrewed loose parts, and get these things in a playable condition for the next day’s gig. I guess humidity really does fuck with things in a way that no amount of rehearsals can prepare for. But we will not be thwarted. These guitars will be transformed into cyber guerrilla bastards ready for decibel destruction and heat assault. Just watch us. You will not beat us, BC Rich.
Great to meet Ryan Hamilton, finally. We’ve become web buddies so meeting in the flesh was a good way of making our bromance slightly less creepy. His band are lovely too. As are Massive Wagons. Brilliant bands to be touring with, and I’m sure lifelong friendships will be cemented by this tour.
And the crowd. Fuck. I’ve spent the last 8 months in recording studios, and I clear forgot how this music thing unites the players and the audience. I’ve missed this in ways that I was utterly unaware of. I want to walk round the room thanking everyone until I lose my voice. Which wouldn’t be a good idea, mostly for the audiences to come who would like me to arrive at their town with a voice in tow.
So I’ll thank everyone in silent gratitude, while I’m pummelling their eardrums with music. Thank you for buying tickets to come see the shows on this tour. I wanted to take a big rock show into little venues. That’s where the concept came from, and that’s how pretty much all my activity begins. I get an idea and I try to act on it. And the audience are the beautiful bastards that make this happen. We’ll play our arses off on this tour, because they people there deserve nothing less.
Which brings me finally onto the band and crew. Our moveable team of miscreants, all trundling from one town to the next in our mobile hotel the HMS Wildheart.
Conny, Toshi and Denzel smashed it last night, and for first night performances this was on another league. It’s hard to believe that this band have never played live together, the onstage chemistry is so genuine. And our crew work tirelessly to make this happen every night. Fucking Gods to a man.
I’ll go now, before I turn this message into metaphorical papier-mâché.
Hey Ho Iko
The Ginger Wildheart Band is still out on tour for the following remaining shows:
– Mon 18th July, Manchester Deaf Institute (support from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors and Massive Wagons)
– Tue 19th July, Wolverhampton Slade Rooms (support from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors and Massive Wagons)
– Wed 20th July, Cambridge Portland Arms (support from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors and Massive Wagons)
– Thu 21st July, Cambridge Portland Arms (support from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors and The Main Grains)
– Fri 22nd July, London Brooklyn Bowl (support from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors and Hey! Hello!)
Tickets for all shows are available from thewildhearts.probitymerch.com/listings