By Ginger | July 18, 2002
Seems a long time since the last of these intro things reached the eager eyes of the strange breed of folk that frequently inhabit this place.
I’m currently in the tiniest hotel room in Nottingham, waiting to leave to soundcheck for tonight’s gig at Rock City. It was supposed to have been a secret gig, but the organisers decided to advertise it on the Rock City web site. It says something like ‘Velvet Presley (AKA THE WILDHEARTS) are playing Rock City, blah blah blah’.
How stupid does that look, printing the pseudonym with the real name next to it? ‘Fucking daft,’ you’re thinking, right? And you would be very correct. We’re still doing the gig since Andy Copping is a good friend, but it feels really strange being fucked over by your favourite club in the country. And to add an extra pinch of irony, we booked this show after the Hope & Anchor decided to advertise that we were playing a secret gig there.
What is it with people and secrets? Has the human being evolved into a beast that values gossip more than honour? I mean, the Hope & Anchor holds 80 people. We could have filled that with our friends in North London alone. Why the need to sell it out two weeks in advance? A few fans even had a problem with us cancelling after a contract had been breached. What sort of band do people want us to be? Pushovers? Wrong band, I’m afraid.
I still think we should cancel every show on which people go back on promises and try to fuck us over. I reluctantly agreed to do tonight’s show under protest. I guess everyone’s right. Fans are turning up, after all. It’s just that I expect people to do what they say they’re going to do… but talk is easier than action.
Like the Alice Cooper tour, for example – giving us the slot of special guests then taking it away and giving it to Thunder. I mean, that’s fucking shit, isn’t it? What utter cunts. Not Thunder, you understand, but the back-slapping businessmen behind the picture, shifting and manipulating bands for their own means and reputations. What has that got to do with music? It makes no sense. In fact, the only thing that would make sense is if they asked us back to play in our original position. I know some people are pissed off that we’ve cancelled the November tour with Alice Cooper, me included – I was dying to talk horror movies with the man – but what would you do in our position? If you’d just lie back and go ahead with the tour then chances are me and you aren’t going to get along.
Sometimes, principles are all you have.
On a lighter note, SilverGinger 5 have a new drummer, Mr Ritch Battersby, who you all know as the ex-drummer of The Wildhearts, and the current drummer of Grand Theft Audio. Yeah, GTA are still very much alive, but Ritch has enough time to concentrate on other things, too, and I’m delighted that he’s joined our ranks. His playing fits perfectly with Random Jon Poole’s style, and his personality sits comfortably with ours. What a dream band line-up: Conny Bloom, Random and Ritch, and some dodgy fucker singing, but even he sounds great next to class like this.
We got together a few weeks ago to write some songs for the new album. We came out with 19, ranging from heavy-as-fuck stuff that goes through the whole gamut of styles, to blast-beats and stoner rock; while some stuff sounds like stomping slices of tortured glam. Everyone is contributing, so expect the second album to differ largely from the first. This one is definitely a lot more twisted. Oh man, I cannot wait to record this shit and give it to you. I cannot wait for the feedback. And I cannot wait to take this new lineup out on tour where we can detonate huge banks of fireworks while trashing flaming guitars, all at nose-bleed volume.
Sometimes I love my job.
The Wildhearts are currently playing some warm-up dates for the Nottingham Distortion festival, which looks like being the greatest lineup of bands of this entire year. The warm-up shows are turning out to be a lot more fun than we had dreaded. In rehearsals the band looked ready to fall apart, as everyone tried to break from their routine bad habits and return to being a live band. Some took to the turn-around like pros… some didn’t. However, this is The Wildhearts we’re talking about, so the unexpected is mandatory.
The first show (Colchester) was a shaky affair that at least successfully dusted off a few large cobwebs. The audience were subdued but warm, the gig was as hot as Hell’s vindaloo restaurant, and the band played a perfunctory, if spirited, set of requests from the audience.
Last night, in Milton Keynes, we played much better and with a lot more energy. Danny was on fine form, drunk and entertaining. And I managed to catch both Psycho A Go-Go and Dog Toffee’s sets. Psycho were brilliantly sleazy and have one of the most eccentric frontmen since Eddie Tenpole, while Dog Toffee rocked in a ‘Supersuckers brawling with Groop Dogdrill’ stylee. Fantastic stuff. You really must check out both of these bands for sheer entertainment. In fact, they should get out on tour together and take their frenetic brands of rock ‘n’ roll to the starving masses. You just don’t get enough quality these days to ignore talent like this. Really.
Not sure how tonight’s gig is going to go. The bad feeling I had about having a secret gig advertised doesn’t seem to be letting up. Post-soundcheck finds the band all round the pub, and I’m sitting here on a fucking computer trying to keep myself together for the show, even though half of me wants to drink away the pessimism. I’m sure that as soon as I hear a Wildhearts audience, every ill feeling will be replaced by a huge positive charge of energy. You always do that. Every time!
Looking forward to seeing you down the front at the Bulldog Bash. Please make us seem like the most essential band in the universe and I’m sure we’ll be headlining next year.
The single (Vanilla Radio) will be out in late September on three different formats, all featuring different B-sides. Buy all three formats and you’ll be looking at five brand new songs, as well as the lead track. Now, ain’t we good to you?
And we’ll be playing an extended tour, to coincide with the single release, due to the Alice Cooper tour balls-up. So at least something good will actually come of this madness. We’ll also be touring in Japan, as well as playing a couple of festivals, and finally getting a chance to play in New York and Los Angeles in late October.
Oh, and Angie is pregnant again! We’re expecting the new addition to turn up in early February.
Things are up and things are scattered, and that’s where I came in.