Who knows why some gigs you absolutely love and some you just can’t get into?
The band all loved the show in Stoke, the audience were amazing, the hecklers heckled in good spirits (albeit during an announcement that our friend Tim Smith has severe health problems- I guess bad manners don’t wait for appropriate moments to spring forth, huh? Nice one mate. Your girlfriend will be so proud, if you ever get one, ha ha), the guys in the band all played like a well oiled machine and the songs flowed like easy conversation. Me? I just couldn’t get into it. By the end of the second set the onstage sound had reached such muddied proportions that I could feel myself shouting to hear my vocals, so in an attempt to keep my voice for tomorrow’s show (and the rest of the tour) I let the crowd sing the final song 29 x The Pain. It was a curious moment with Hot Steve handing the microphone to seemingly everyone in the audience that doesn’t know the lyrics. Still, it has to be said that in another venue an SM57 would have been stripped from its cable and never seen again. A fine testament to the sheer decency of the Stoke crowd.
And while on the subject of hecklers and people not realising that we were going to be playing the new album in its entirety, I would like to make certain that my intentions in highlighting the heckling was not to incite further violence or have anyone threaten to ‘sort them out’. I don’t want to see ANY violence at our shows, okay?
I understand that some people will feel short changed by the decision to play the album and this is something I’d like to clarify. This decision was made during a fraught time where we couldn’t make our minds up as to what to play: old, new, rare, popular, etc etc etc. We put the vote to the fans on the forum and you unanimously voted for us to play the album. We take your responses very seriously indeed, and so we made a last minute decision to honour the popular voice, and deal with the disapproval of the minority, in this case. We can only offer, as consolation for anyone who might be disappointed with the decision, the fact that we have a band playing at the very top of their game (playing some songs that will never be played live again), one of the worlds very best sound-men, an awesome bill and a very competitive ticket price.
It looks like we will continue to support our albums by playing them in their entirety, in the future, if we are to continue to make albums. There are tons of bands just trotting out the best of set and releasing no new music, this is fine and supporting this is also great, but that isn’t The Wildhearts. Not at all. We want to the future to be an exciting place with musical innovation as well as a nod to the past, hence the two sets, both of approx equal length.
I hope you will continue to join us on our musical journey, and for anyone who only wants to see the ‘best of’ set I hope you have enjoyed the past 15/20 years and leave with fond memories. It’s been a great ride, hasn’t it?
After the show we were invited to a private screening of Final Destination 3D, which the band and crew later decided against, favouring, instead, another night drinking on the bus. Doing the same thing every night drives me a little stir crazy so Gav and I decided to round up some friends and make the screening anyway. Walking into a huge cinema that is completely empty is a thrill that no-one should pass up if ever given the chance. We selected our seats and watched as the 3D format threw chisels at us, as well as various body parts, in spectacular fashion. A great bit of gory fun with some very inventive kills, all sadly marred by the worst ending since The Happening.
Still, the gorgeous Krista Allen appeared in the movie, which was a bit of a treat.
Back on the bus we watched Step Brothers together and took ill laughing so hard at the drum kit/bollock interface scene.
Driving through Stoke as the clubs had long closed yet the scattered, drunken debris still roamed the street looking for a final fight or a fuck, but will probably settle for a kebab, I couldn’t feel more alien.
It’s a feeling I get every now and again and one that gives me great comfort.
Sometimes I just really feel different than everyone else.