Fireworks

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The Wildhearts, Those Damn Crows Hot

Written by ant-rocks     September 13, 2021    
 
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You know it's a good gig when you're left wanting more

THE WILDHEARTS, THOSE DAMN CROWS
London: Electric Ballroom – 9th September 2021

I have seen Those Damn Crows a few times at festivals such as HRH and Steelhouse where they've had a fair few of their own fans in the audience and a bit of time to play with. Tonight is different territory as they have only thirty mins and they are playing to devoted Wildhearts fans. There is very much a feeling that they have no time to lose and it's a more urban heavier version of the band hitting the stage at a million miles an hour we see tonight. Despite a small stage made smaller with two sets of drum kits and gear they grab the nettle and shake it hard. With all the front men storming the front of the stage and singer Shane Greenhall in the pit, hanging off speakers and fire escape stairs and running through the largely maskless crowd like there wasn't a global Pandemic, they still managed to sound great. They were never gonna blow the Wildhearts offstage, but they gave it what they had 100 percent.

The Wildhearts also hit the ground running with two of their most commercial tunes 'Diagnosis' and 'Vanilla Radio' and the popular 'Sick Of Drugs', but make no mistake this is a pretty heavyweight band these days. Ginger has loved the hard stuff forever, being one of the things that got him kicked out of the Queerboys/Quireboys, and their performance is heavy artillery. 'Remember Those Days' is the first one from the new album and its catchy chorus is kept anything but floaty by underlying Thrash. It's an extended version with a medley including older songs like 'Splattermania' and an extended heavy instrumental passage. Ginger kids about that they are gonna slow it down a bit as they launch into a frenetic punky version of 'Caffeine Bomb' with its speed freak dissonance belied by perfect harmonies at the end, CJ and Danny both also contributing to vocals tonight (and I fancy more than I had previously noticed at recent festivals).

 

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Also in good voice tonight were the crowd and they sang like they are at a football match at every singalong a chorus they can get their hands on, starting with The Jackson Whites prompting Ginger to call them "beautiful beautiful mofos". He empathizes with anyone who is finding being in a crowd difficult right now, but says "if you're gonna be in a crowd this is the best crowd to be in". Talking of health issues they launch into 'Dislocated', mentioning that they are enjoying playing their new Les Pauls tonight rather than their famous large white be-stickered guitars.

Following super heavy track 'Splitter' from the new album complete with pirouettes and jumps from the drum riser, the crowd get to demonstrates their pipes again to the Über singalongable 'Let Em Go' and 'Mazel Tov' before they finish the main part of the set with an uncompromising version of 'Caprice'. Have to admit the gig must have been exciting as it felt over in a flash. Fortunately, they were back with an encore with CJ getting the crowd to swing with both arms up like palm trees from side to side to a very noisy version of 'Inglorious' with a deceptively complex almost funky beat under all the racket. Finishing with 'Suckerpunch' and 'I Wanna Go Where The People Go', which gets no less than six crowd-surfers, it's all over without 'Headfuck'. WTF? You know it's a good gig when you're left wanting more.

Dawn Osborne

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