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Ginger Wildheart Band Tour 2016 – Day 2 Leicester & Day 3 Leeds

LEICESTER, Musician – 13th July – Day 2
LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club – 14th July – Day 3

Copyright Lynsey Markinson 2016

Ginger & Danny backstage in Leeds
Photo by Lynsey Markinson

With first day gremlins out of the way, the second show, in Leicester, went ahead without even the slightest a hint of a hitch. Guitars maintained their tuning, ear-pieces stayed firmly in place and the audience, once again, proved to be the most warm and well voiced bunch that a chap could ever hope for. The Musician is rammed and I finally get to see Massive Wagons and Ryan Hamilton doing their thing, and receiving a heroes welcome in the bargain. It’s warming stuff indeed.

The Musician is an amazing venue, once again sporting numerous paintings with musical luminaries sharing wall space. Lemmy is hanging out with Richard Thompson in one area, while John Peel and David Bowie enjoy a spot elsewhere. After the brisk removal from yesterday’s venue, we opt for a swift exit once the show is done, vacating through the cheering crowd and into the comfort of the bus.
I’m drained and fairly winded after a 90 minute set in similar conditions to a pizza oven, and decide to lay in my bunk until the bus fills with people. I won’t wake up until 3pm the next day. Holy shit. Guess I needed the sleep, huh?

Ryan and his band are sharing the bus from this point in. I didn’t even see them to greet the first night of their stay, so it’s a welcome relief to have them sharing the dressing room the next day in Leeds.

And what a show this turned out to be. Complete with backstage tattooing by the lovely Chris Jenko, who tattooed my Dolly Parton tattoo a while ago. It is fitting that his next work should be directly below Dolly’s signature, and depicts a scene of Newcastle Bridge and the Tyne below, in Chris’s distinct artistic style. It’s only fitting that I tattoo him in return, whereupon I give him the quickest tattoo he’s ever seen or had done. He is visibly relieved.

Copyright Chris Jenko 2016

Ginger’s new tattoo

Copyright Chris Jenko 2016

Chris’s new tattoo!

The Main Grains are opening the bill tonight, and it’s a joy to hang out with Danny again, having briefly made our peace at Camden Rocks earlier in the year.

My little boy, Taylor, is here too, and will be staying on the bus for the next few days. What a circus for an 8 year old boy to hitch a ride with. I’m getting a contact buzz just living vicariously through him, as he helps all three bands sell swag at the merchandesk (a word I made up onstage in Leicester, completely by accident). He also makes a small mint by employing a swear-jar scheme around The Main Grains, who – credit to them – pay him a pound for ever swear word he hears them say. He’d have made less money charging the bands a pound for every note they play.

Getting to watch the bands from backstage in the legendary Brudenell (Chris Catalyst’s favourite venue in the world, and with good reason) is a pleasure. The Main Grains play to a rapturous reception by the packed out venue, while Ryan Hamilton enjoys mass sing-a-longs from the crowd.

It’s my first time ever playing this amazing venue, and I hope to come back many times to come. A great onstage sound, and a very animated crowd see us playing a very comfortable set. We seem to have found our swagger three shows in, and are playing like a band who have been playing for decades, not just three shows!

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

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.