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Ginger Wildheart Band Tour 2016 – Day 4 Glasgow

GLASGOW, Stereo – 15th July – Day 4

Copyright Vicky Peck 2016

The Ginger Wildheart Band in Glasgow. Photo by Vicky Peck

Woke up to urgency. We we’re parked in a tiny street and had to reverse into an even tinier street. Luckily our driver, Tim, is a magician who can not only reverse up steep hills but can evidently make our bus smaller to fit into minuscule cobbled streets, built way before the advent of sleeper buses with trailers.

Anyway, the urgency surrounds Glaswegian traffic laws controlling the area that forbid large green tour buses to park until after 6pm. We quickly load the gear in from the trailer. It’s pissing with rain and the Stereo is down a few small, slippy flights of stairs. Remarkably no one is hurt.
We won’t see the bus for a while, which is just as well as the roof has sprung a leak from which the Scottish rain freely drips into the upstairs lounge.

Meanwhile in the very small Stereo venue, which reminds me of the tiny venues in Japan, we set up for the day, drinking very strong cider until the bands slowly and soggily arrive for sound check. Dunno if it’s the effects of the cider, but the venue looks packed with just the personnel of all three bands alone.

Authentic Scottish snacks

The heat escalates until I grab a few people and go out into the refreshing rainfall looking for the only off license nearby, which we quickly find and I grab a bottle of Laphroaig, which I haven’t seen since the tour began. Man cannot live on cider alone, as nice a breakfast drink as it might be.

A pleasant pre gig build up is assured by watching Taylor napping on the bus couch, now drying nicely since the downpour became a heavy drizzle. Then it’s time to head back into the sauna for the hottest show I’ve played in many, many years.

The audience are drenched in sweat, but their spirits cannot be dampened as they greet us with the loudest cheer of the tour so far. What is it about a Glasgow crowd that separates them from even the loudest audiences in the world? Perhaps the sheer determination, despite the pouring rain, to have a purely memorable night is to blame? Still, they seem undeterred by the weather outside, or the extreme heat inside, and go, quite frankly, fucking mental.

If I’ve ever been more exhausted during a gig then I can’t remember it. By the fourth song there is only carbon dioxide to breathe, and the room spins and blurs like a drunken fist fight. At points in the latter half of the set I feel pretty sure I’m going to tumble to the floor, tongue fizzing and lips numbed by heat exhaustion. But we give our everything, and eventually reach the final song, which ends with a massive cheer, all arms in the air in applause.

An exhausted Denzel

Glasgow, this was the hottest, most draining show I think I’ve ever played – and the love in the room kept everyone going right until the end. The power of music is a mysterious force that eludes the keenest of inquisitive minds. We got each other through this show, through the pulverising heat, like we get each other through life.

And we all looked skinnier the next day.

Gx

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

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