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Ginger reflects on 2012, year of pledges

Ginger on stage at Brixton academy, copyright Trudi KnightEnd of the year. Bit of contemplation n’ all that. So, anything important happen in 2012?

It’s funny but it really doesn’t feel like a mere year since the world was an uncertain, confusing and frustrating place for a musician or a fan (and believe me I am both). And now we’ve extended the Pledge freedom account to Willie Dowling, Chris Catalyst, Todd Kerns, Obsessive Compulsive and even that bloody Random Jon Poole (with rumours of Rich Jones, CJ, Denzel and Givvi Flynn getting involved next year), the scene is getting clearer by the campaign.

Musicians more deserving of a break do not exist.

So, what the Hell happened?

Well, we did, basically. And by ‘we’ I don’t mean just me, Gav and you lot, I mean ‘we’ as in this entire community that we’ve created, the likes of which are faceless and many. This team is a body run by the heart.

We’ve decided we want change, we’ve assumed control and we’ve put our time and money where our belief is.
You don’t have to be reminded of the failure of many stars, in many high profile positions, to set the music world alight despite lavish budgets and jaw dropping promotion. Budgets and promo don’t make fans, fans make fans and passion keeps them motivated. And there’s just no simple way for the mainstream to create passion enough to leak into every frame of people’s lives, resulting in the kind of drive that makes people represent outside of being asked/forced to by advertising and TV scheduling.

This is different, this is love. This is real people really giving a shit.

We’ve won awards, we’ve gained momentum and we’ve made the world take notice, and we did it together through love of music. And the best bit is that we’ve only just begun.

Next year is going to be truly insane. Actually insane. Like the kind of stuff that only the insane would even imagine, let alone actually attempt. But see? That’s what we’ve created here. Together we’ve made a business model that suits the creative, the passionate and the insane to a tee. And the average pop star could only look at this opportunity and walk away scratching their expensively coiffured head.

In 2012 we’ve been able to say that success = passion + belief.

In 2013 we’ll add consistency to that theory. As in “just gimme a fucking chance and I’ll show you what I can do”, and once given that chance then really blowing the lid off this fucking pot.

Together we’ve created that chance 2012, now just you wait to see what insane shit we’re gonna get up to in 2013.

The future is bright because it needs to be, we’re leading the way through the darkness, the confusion, the frustration and the uncertainty. We ARE the fucking light!!

Have a wonderful Xmas and see you on the other side for some proper rule breaking.

You in?

Gx

Music made for the people by the people

Badge

I love music being independent. Always have.

The D.I.Y approach has appealed to me since I watched the original punks gatecrash the charts and infuriate the press. But the thing was, they couldn’t be stopped because the people were behind their militant stance and the mainstream could only stubbornly hope that they’d just go away. But we never went away. Revolution was born.

I remember thinking how cool it was to hear Jimmy Saville, on Radio One, refer to ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ as, simply, ‘Nevermind’. And when “God Save The Queen” stormed the charts at number one? Well, there just wasn’t a number one that week, the slot was left blank.

But we all knew. To the believers this was victory.

What I want to do is keep that spirit thriving. Music made for the people by the people.

This triple album will be exclusive to the people who pledge to get it made. The general public will have to make do with a single album of around 12 songs, which you Pledgers will choose for me – thanks! – while the 30 song extravaganza will only ever be property of the hardcore. The people who believe.

We will also bring you devoted pledgers studio video reports following every step of the recording process, allowing you into our inner sanctum, bringing you closer than ever before. Hey, you’re paying for this, it’s only appropriate that you get to see how your cash is being used.

And just to clarify, this is a completely different project to Ginger Wildheart Mutation ‘The Frankenstein Effect’.
Very different indeed.

Of the money you pledge we will donate 10% to Save The Children.

The catch? There is no catch. If this works we will continue to bring you great offers like this. Albums, holidays, exclusive performances and so much more. Believe me this is just the beginning.

I pray that your generosity and love of music makes this project possible.

Come on. I know we can do this.

Now, please just prove me right.

Gx

(Ed: See this post for full details on how to help with this fantastic project.)

Thoughts On 10

This album represents ten years of recording outside of The Wildhearts family, but for me it represents even more than that. This album tells the story of the first steps I took alone in creating an independent personality for myself as a writer and as a father.

From Sonic Shake, a song that I wrote and Ginger -10 Album Cover demoed in Japan (I told the label people that I could play every instrument on the demo recording and the next day they booked me studio time. I’d never played drums before on a recording and I was really nervous. It was very exciting) and recorded in London just after meeting the mother of my first son. Soon after the recording was finished she was pregnant, and not long after that, my son, Jake, was performing onstage in Tokyo in front of a wild crowd singing his name. I’d sign autographs after the show, and Jake had signed the CD before me!

The band SilverGinger 5 were assembled to promote this album and our first ever shows were in Japan. I will never forget this period of my life. I was struggling with drug addiction and the Japanese fans showed me a more pure way of life through love and commitment, something that I am reminded of on a daily basis to this day.

After Jake’s mother and I broke up I went through a well documented depression that showed me the road to spirituality and enlightenment, and in this period the song The Man Who Cheated Death came to me via divine inspiration. The album that followed, Valor Del Corazón, was recorded in Willie Nelson’s studio in Austin, Texas, and allowed me to immortalise my feelings at the time. Since this recording I have been made aware of some amazing effects this album has had to its listeners, including someone who stopped themselves from committing suicide because of the song This Is Only A Problem. Surely the most significant compliment that a songwriter could ever be paid?

Life as a single man followed, and a period of promiscuity bore tracks such as When She Comes from the album Yoni, a record written about new beginnings and the scattered search for oneself amid the chaos of choice. The resulting album examines the theory that maybe too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. The confusion in songs like Jake and Black Windows shows a man coming to terms with limitations and, ultimately, morality.

Market Harbour followed Yoni as the journey continued towards the only conclusion that one is able to find in life, that of living in the moment and accepting tribulations as valuable, and wonderful lessons. Sorrow and loss are as much a part of this experience as happiness and discovery. In fact they are all part of the same process. It is impossible to have one experience without having them all.

The final two songs of this collection summarise this strange and educational decade for me. Freedom comes from finding happiness, happiness comes from understanding, understanding comes from experience and experience comes from things not going to plan. And just because things aren’t going to plan doesn’t mean they aren’t exactly how they should be.

Namaste

Ginger x

10 is released through Round Records on 10/10/10

Go To Hell

Nestled unassumingly near the front of Töölö, in the heart of Helsinki, is the best restaurant in the world. Lots of restaurants seem like the best restaurants in the world, and almost are, but there is only one that can be king.

And this place is called Hell.

Stylish and sparse, and serving up fine food until 4am, this awesome hostelry offers treats ranging from reindeer pizza to snails with garlic and blue cheese (called Gas Lipstick, named after the drummer from Finnish megastars HIM and his obsession with this sublime dish – which is possibly the tastiest thing in the world).

It is here the four members of rock’s unsung super group (the band you hate to love, the over-proof underachievers, the resplendently independent… etc etc…) soak in the familiar air that is a Helsinki welcome, speak about activities in 2010, eat rare steak so tender that one has only the exquisite taste to remind you that there is actually something in your mouth, and recall the last 48 hours.

We hadn’t been in Finland for a full day before we’re being ushered to the One Eye Tattoo studio, where we will receive free ink, courtesy of Taneli and Pete. They will tirelessly tattoo wrists, necks, arms and ribs, gratis, while handing out free beers. The last time this happened to us was… um… that’s right, this has never happened to us before*.

Previous to that we were invited to attend the opening of a Wildhearts exhibition at the Helsinki City library, where a couple of Wildhearts fans had pooled their not inconsiderable collections together, much to the bemusement of the elderly patrons perusing the library section of the gallery, that serves as a humble reminder that the power of music is a transatlantic phenomenon in which no translation is needed.

MTV filming and magazine interviews/photos are conducted and radio interviews & station take-overs are undertaken before being treat to yet more delicious Finnish fare bolstered by copious Langerot (translated as ‘long drink’ it’s a pint of gin & grapefruit soda based heaven that must be tasted to be believed, I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love this stuff instantly) and Fisu (a chilled vodka fermented with Fisherman’s Friend sweets that delivers a huge, delicious wave to the sinuses and plants a warm glow to the chest, simply outstanding) leaving us merry and satisfied.

It’s been a great couple of days spent with wonderful people. So great, in fact, that we didn’t want to leave this morning (after about 30 seconds worth of sleep**), but I’m glad to report that we are in Tampere right now, getting ready for tonight’s show. The hotel is lovely and the band are loud.

Also the Chutzpah Jnr mini album will be available at all future gigs that The Wildhearts will play, so I trust you will all get a copy. And in the meantime please feel free to pas it around in files. You deserve it. You’re lovely.

See you at Xmas.

Gx

*Actually I have had free tattoos before, in Japan, but it wasn’t a whole band session, and hey, let’s try not to let mundane details get in the way of literary flow. Artistic license is why reading is fun, right? Er… right?

**This is an exaggeration. Once again I’d like to take the time to admit to using a little artistic license with which to effect a blunt punch to what could be considered a humorous insert.

What Is It With Denmark?

So, it started when we left the beautiful, strange winter wonderland that is Norway, en route for Denmark.

Denmark, that nemesis of a place that very nearly sapped our lust for life during the recording of our last album. A place with so many memories it’s a shame they’re mostly horrible.

You could say that we haven’t enjoyed a great time in Denmark and you’d be right.

Would this time be any different?

Read on, dear reader, read on.

Turns out that the Punk festival that we are booked to play isn’t actually a punk festival at all.

“Just as long as it’s not a glam festival I’ll be happy” snorted Scott.

Ever wish you’d never said something?

On landing in Copenhagen we are met by a guy with half leather, star filled trousers who tells us that we will not be travelling by the traditional vehicular conveyance that would transport six people, as many guitars, a dozen suitcases and various merchandise. Oh no, we will not take a van or any such thing. We will take the train.

Yeah, I’ve seen the Anvil movie and no, I didn’t think we’d ever travel to a gig on a train loaded with our gear. Turns out the promoter, the guy who met us from the plane, is a confirmed pathological fibber and has been suitably economic with the truth.

“I lie to make people happy, and when they realise I’m lying I lie again”, says our promoter and host for the evening.

So we aren’t playing a punk festival, and we don’t actually have transport to the glam gig we are playing.

“It’s just around the corner from the train station”, he tells us, and after dragging our luggage and equipment around Copenhagen for 40 minutes we can see a theme developing.

After finally reaching the venue in time for soundcheck we are told that we have to turn the amps down onstage. Then, on reducing the volume to half of our usual output we are told once more to turn them down. This went on for a comedic amount of time until a stagehand is dispatched to the amps to turn them down quieter than I play my stereo when my son is sleeping next to me.

And on the strangest shaped stage in Scandinavia we locate the bottle of Jack Daniels, a gift from from our wonderful hosts in Norway, and begin to drink.

After coming to terms with the fact that the onstage sound tonight will resemble angry wasps in cookie jars we retire to our hotel. Or, to be more specific, hostel, where we are expected to sleep 6 in one room, including our female manager. The promise of single hotel rooms being less than honoured we settle for sharing two rooms leaving a 3rd single room for Virpi. Me, Scott and Dunc will be crammed into a tiny cell with barely enough space to fit our bags, and sleep on beds that have not been changed this century.

We continue to drink

It is agreed that the majestic waves of disappointment sweeping through our party will be best calmed by good food and fine wines.

This, however, will not manifest and will, instead, be traded in for a visit to the Royal Palace or, as Scott re-named it Hitler’s Chinese Buffet, which, it turns out, is run by the rudest, most obnoxious, unhelpful and over opinionated person living in a country of seemingly many rude, obnoxious, unhelpful and over opinionated people.

Virpi, who earlier, when asked where to buy guitar leads/chords was sent first to a record store, then a piano shop and a drum shop before finally being shown a guitar shop, is told that if she orders water with her meal she can not drink any drink of ours, not a sip of someone’s coke, not nothing. If you order coke you drink coke, if you order water you drink water, sharing is strictly forbidden. After enduring the charms of Denmark’s most disagreeable man Virpi loses the patience she has been valiantly clinging on to, and let’s him have a large slice of her mind.

In a bid to restore a peaceful equilibrium within the ranks it is decided that we should find a pub and just stay there until showtime, some four hours later.

Further to meeting up with the lovely Maria Anderberg (the wonderful woman who put me in touch with Maria Mckee) and friends we stagger, by this point, to the venue, in the pissing down rain, where we will wait for showtime while being serenaded by a DJ specialising in the worst music that the 80’s had to offer, namely hair metal.

The show goes off pretty well, a healthy reception and a very good natured audience, and after hanging out in the dressing room for long enough to be driven insane by the abhorrent music we conclude that the Danish don’t know what ‘Private: The Wildhearts Only’ means, and that taxi drivers would rather drive around at 90 mph than actually pick anyone up.

We drag our gear back through the rain and arrive at our digs around 4am to see a very high member of a glam band straightening his hair in the corridor mirror. We opt to drink to the death of a very strange day indeed.

Virpi wakes with a strange male member of staff leering over her bed instructing her to “leave right now”, the promised Wi Fi doesn’t work and everyone is still scratching their heads at the previous days activities.

We retire to an Irish pub where I decide I can’t leave Copenhagen with no fond memories and opt to visit the infamous hippie commune Christiania.

A very different face of Copenhagen welcomes us as we enter and take the main drag past dozens of hash and pot stalls hawking the strongest smelling weed these nostrils have ever imbibed. We almost get stoned by osmosis, such is the potency and open use of the local herbal fare.

Christiania is an incredible experience, a social experiment that began in 1971 where the only rules are no violence and keep the place tidy. The entire community muck in together and the enjoy everything from shows by major artists to public speakers addressing a huge tent on the benefits of sharing. There is a strong Buddhist vibe here and everyone is chatty and smiling, a far cry from the grumbling control freaks we’ve met just a few miles down the road. Even the dogs seem unnaturally laid back. You could get a place to stay here for around 100 quid a month. The police keep a respectful distance and the 1000’s of inhabitants live in a seemingly hassle free utopia.

I leave Copenhagen buoyant and so smitten by this strange community that I can forgive, easily, the rudeness of some of the people outside Christiania. After all, it would simply appear that most of the friendly people left the city to live in the commune. I know I would.

I hope to come back here one day to write and enjoy the spiritual balance that seems the true currency of this magical place.

I’d also like to continue my on going quest to fall in love with this country.

Denmark, you crazy fucking bastard.

Gx

A Brief Update, A Small Summary, And, Finally, A Bit Of News.

So, it’s been a while since I wrote something here, eh? Dunno why, I guess I’ve been off busying myself with other pursuits or something. Either way it’s safe to say that I’ve missed you.

First things first, go buy the new Devin Townsend album, Addicted. Absolutely the best stuff he’s released since the awe inspiring City by SYL. You will absolutely not regret this purchase.

Oh, Antiproduct are leaving the sunny confines of LA to return to the rainy little winterland we call the U of K to appear as special guests at The Wildhearts’ Xmas shows. Given that The Loyalties are opening up this evening should effortlessly rank alongside any Xmas special we have ever put together.

And, while on the subject of the Xmas gigs the thorny issue of Chutzpah Jnr. The decision to make this available exclusively to people attending the Xmas shows is not a decision that has been made by me or, to my knowledge any member of the band. I’m sure this is a slight error and that the CD will be available at shows after Xmas. All I can personally say on the subject is that I hope the CD will NOT be on sale outside of the concert environment, dictating that you make some online friends and have them buy a copy for you. Who knows, actual friendships may subsequently blossom ensuring you all have international destinations for your future holidays? Having said this, we have management and a record label that make these decisions for us, so for all I know (and let’s face it I’ve been known to be wrong as frequently as any air breathing humanoid) you might soon be able to download it without any further effort or social value whatsoever. Yay.

Speaking of gigs, the birthday show sold out in a rapid and amazing blast of  excitement, at least for me. It’s a pretty proud old(ish) fart who knows that you are so keen to help me celebrate in style. So proud, in fact, that I have invited pretty much everyone to the party. Expect to see a veritable rainbow of familiar faces and musical masterchefs cluttering up the tiny stage at London’s Relentless Garage. I’d also like to take this opportunity to point out that we’d like you to familiarise yourself with this tune:

We hope to present a live version of this song at some point in the evening and your participation in the chorus would be greatly appreciated. We also hope to have a twitter address set up for live twittering during the evening. So whether you’re in the actual venue or a billion miles away on a nearby planet, or even somewhere in between, you can make your presence known.

We will NOT, it must be heavily stated, be streaming the show live or recording the event in any shape or format. Filming will also be strictly dissuaded. This is a private party after all. All I can say, in my meekest defence, is that I hope to have more than one birthday next year, failing that I suggest you get tickets even quicker next time. We may even make tickets for next years show available at some random point mid-next year, to give some of you the chance to arrange travel arrangements and organise a spot of Xmas shopping. For the rest of you dotted around the world, outside of practical range of this event, I can only offer, as some mild condolence, how the rest of us all feel at not being able to spend New Years in New York, Summer in Saigon and Easter in Egypt. Let’s face it, only God can be everywhere (and, between you and me, even She’s confirmed on the bill for the birthday bash).

I’ve been writing a lot lately. Right now I’ve been happy to write for other artists but it’s got my creative sword quite fiercely sharpened on this welcome stone of demand. Expect at least two albums next year to feature my strong involvement. A bold statement? You betcha. And if it doesn’t happen then I assure you that it won’t be through lack of trying. I’m itching to create like the monstrous creative force I intend to be next year, and I suspect this level of energy will be enough to make this happen. That and your positivity.

I am also pitching for my own radio show through which I hope to educate and entertain with a veritable barrage of unfamiliar delights chosen specifically to stroke the imagination and coddle the mind. Pray with me that it comes off and I know we can achieve this. Sharing my vast love of music is part of the vital service I hope to dedicate myself to in 2010.

There are a few other things that might or might not be happening, none of which I will jinx by announcing here at this point. Instead I’ll exercise a little more respect for the health boosting effects of good news and keep you all waiting.

Still, you know me. As soon as it’s safe to announce I’ll be laying it on y’all. As a bringer of good tidings I find much comfort.

Have a brilliant Xmas, and if I don’t speak to you beforehand keep your powder dry and your intentions brilliant.

Gx

Happily Lost In Translation (Japan Day 1)

The breaks between visits to Japan always seem longer than in reality. Actually, this kind of warp in time makes sense when faced with the futuristic setting that Tokyo continues to impress upon returning gai-jin (foreigners). Apart from New York City there isn’t a place in the world I miss more than Japan.

Take the food, for example. The mysterious, multi textured, multi-shaped, multi-coloured smörgåsbord that is a Bento Box can repel and delight in equal measure, depending on who is savouring its hidden treasures. A table/box full of assorted tastes and visual treats is my idea of heaven. The thought of putting something unknown into my mouth on the recommendation of Japanese hosts fills me with a joy that Xmas used to, about 30 years ago. And it is always, without exception, a culinary masterpiece jam packed with exotic flavour.

And the drinks? Last night I was drinking sho-chu (a strong wine made of wheat) mixed with vinegar and plum, and was made to feel like I’d just discovered alcohol again. Scott has got himself an addiction to sho-chu and oolong tea. And who could blame him? Without the bloated feeling of beer or the potentially hair trigger drunk that liquor can spring this stuff takes a while to get you there and is thoroughly delicious every step of the way. And all without the tiredness that drinking red wine can sometimes have on an evening out with friends.

Then there are the streets. A smoker’s dream. Nowhere else in the world are there so many people puffing on cigarettes. Indoors, outdoors. Young and old. Everyone is smoking tabs. And not to look hard.

People are also dressed in amazing clothing. Some merely stylish to the max and others kitted out in the kind of get up that American movies tell us people will wear 100 years in the future. And why the Hell not? Every store in Tokyo, no matter what they’re selling, from shoes to garden equipment, sells it with cute cartoons the likes of which are only seen by Western eyes on kids telly.

Society is structured on traditional values steeped in Buddhism therefore everyone takes pride in making the whole work effectively by governing themselves in a proper and respectful manner. Crime, while existing, is an organised and honourable vocation that the criminally minded can aspire to. There’s never been an ASBO written for a young thug here, the perks are just too great.

And then, of course, there are the fans. Loyal, respectful and diligent, they follow with patient tenacity, biding their time, determined to get a photo or autograph or presenting gifts laced with imagination and origami packaging.

And when collected in a venue, the cleanliness of which is completely alien to someone whose apprenticeship was served treading the beer and puke sodden boards of shit pits that make up most of the UK touring circuit, the noise they make is an ode to joy itself. Shrill and completely testosterone free the Japanese crowd makes a whistling squeal that sounds like a thousand kettles collectively and positively thrilled to make tea. Orgasmic and life affirming. This sound is one of the many reasons why The Wildhearts have stayed together for so long.

After a kick ass show at the Tokyo Liquid Rooms I’m startled to hear music business types charting out a three year plan of how the style of music will follow the current recession, based on previous recessions and the resulting shifts in style. The Japanese, it’s fair to say, aren’t a race of moaners.

Our hosts, the lovely Kaoru and the wonderful Coach, of Vinyl Junkie, follow us everywhere to make sure that we are looked after and the shows go off without a single hitch. Not many managing directors of record labels have this much of a relationship with the musicians they work with, maybe that’s part of the reason why the music industry over here is in such great shape?

In summary, I love this place. Fucking love it.

And it would appear, after 15 years of being invited back, that the feeling is entirely mutual.

Argita Gozai Mas, Banzai, Yopporai, let’s get high.

Gx

Pictures From The Twelfth Day

101_0849

At Rock Radio, Manchester for an acoustic rendition of The Only One.

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Same Old Newcastle (Day 11)

Family present? Tick.

Friends all lined up to see you stand or fall? Tick.

Audience about to stand in almost respectful silence? Tick.

Funny thing about playing Newcastle is that it still feels like you’re paying your dues.

Songs are met, initially, with a stillness of quiet approval before a loud cheer of authentication as each song ends. It is, at once, both off-putting and comforting. Nowhere is like Newcastle, and that’s just as it should be.

For me Newcastle is my own microcosmic version of the UK, and in this version crime is met with indifference by authorities almost annoyed by its inconvenience. It’s hard to get jail time in Newcastle. My oldest friend, Panda, meets me during the day for a catch up. He looks very normal. It’s only recently that he’s gotten the use of his right eye back after a severe beating from three teenage strangers who jumped him from behind, knocked him unconscious and proceeded to stamp on his head as he lay. Doctors have reconstructed his eye socket and quite a lot of his face, his eyeball has been taken out twice for surgery and right now only his sense of positivity is getting him through the day. It’s a miracle he’s walking. Or even alive.

The criminals were caught and arrested (having beaten someone up on CCTV only minutes before attacking Panda) and let off with two cautions and one easy sentence. He will be out after a year or two with good behaviour.

They’d have had to kill him to get a more fitting punishment.

This is my England.

More and more people I know are being attacked, or telling stories of people attacked, by random thugs born of a society that provides no release of boredom and a government that offers no deterrent.

When the UK issues the ‘three strikes and out’ law (three offences and you’re in jail, buddy) then I’ll bring my family back here to live.

The band played amazingly well. The audience eventually thawed and lost their cool. It was great to see friends and family again. The bus eventually pulled away to the sound of drunken people arguing by the big market. No doubt someone will end up a bloody mess in A&E somewhere and the public will glibly pay for the doctors’ bills with their monthly taxes. Bills that will continue to mount.

If these people are going to cost us money then wouldn’t one taxable expenditure of a jail sentence for repeat violent offenders be a far cheaper and much safer option?

Don’t we get a say?

Gx

Leeds And Glasgow (Day 9 & 10)

Wow, what a couple of days. Leeds Cockpit was, quite possibly, the best show of the tour. The audience were incredible and the band played a stormer. The resulting high followed everyone back to the bus where we proceeded to party like we were the Rolling Stones or something.

Come morning I woke up with the kind of hangover that more resembles still being drunk.

Hot Steve met me on the stairs armed with with an ice cold bottle of Magners he was enjoying. One sip made me want one myself, but on closer inspection the closest thing to cider in the fridge was champagne, presented to me by No Americana a few days ago. I don’t usually drink the stuff but one glass went down so well that it was followed by first another, and soon the whole bottle was gone. It’s not even midday and I was drunk beyond belief.

No problem, I’ll sleep it off.

On being awoke, around 7pm I realised that I was still drunk. So drunk, in fact, that I accepted the offer of a few drags of a spliff. I’m no smoker and have an incredibly low tolerance to the stuff. Already disorientated and spinning the pot hit me like a well aimed upper cut.

Once I eventually found the dressing room I realised that my bag was back on the bus, so, on leaving by the side entrance I heard the door slam shut behind me. Banging on the door proved useless due to the level of volume inside the venue.

It is now 8:25 and I’m due onstage in five minutes.

The phone, typically, died as I continued leaving messages on everyone’s answer phones due to the zero reception within the venue.

Now I’m stoned, drunk, confused, and my paranoia is growing due to the amount of Wildhearts fans outside having a cigarette.

Fuck it, I’m just going to have to slope in undercover of the fans. I manage to squeeze myself into the packed Garage where a security guard recognises me and allows me access to the dressing room.

Fortunately we are running late, gear problems forcing a late start to the set. Just enough time to get my stage clothes on.

It takes me a full song to realise that I’m not wearing an ear plug and the band are so deafeningly loud that I can’t pitch. I eventually righted myself and began the longest gig of my life.

I will never play a show stoned again in my life. It was the most terrifying thing imaginable. What really struck me, through the hazy paranoia, was how fucking good this band are. How dynamic Ritch plays the drums. How amazing our sound man is. How great our crew is. And how incredible our audience is.

Glasgow, thank God it was to you that I played the scariest show I’ve ever played. You made me feel like I was home. You calmed me down and allowed me to, occasionally, enjoy the thrilling spectacle of a rammed Glasgow show with the best band I could possibly experience it with.

Gx