Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Wildhearts @ O' Sullivans Backstage By The Mill, Paris - October 26th, 2019

If the internet is to be believed, Rock and Roll is dead. I keep reading that there are no more killer Rock and Roll bands. The funny thing is, also according to the internet, the internet itself is to blame for that dire situation. Of course, we know better. Take, for example, the Wildhearts.

Oh, sure. The Wildhearts are no spring chicken. They've been around for over a quarter century. They're not exactly a young, hungry Rock and Roll band. Except that they sound, and have always sounded, like a young, hungry Rock and Roll band.

I once tried to describe the Wildhearts' sound to a friend of mine. The best I could come up with was: imagine Cheap Trick as played by Motörhead. I thought I was being pretty clever. "So, they're like the Ramones with more guitar solos?"... 

Touring behind a blistering new record, The Wildhearts hit Paris like a tsunami of gnarly distorted guitars and infectious singalong melodies. No frills, no pageantry, just furious Rock and Roll. They peppered the set with five songs from Renaissance Men including opener Diagnosis and standout Let' Em Go. They also played songs from their entire career, including deep cuts like Mindslide and Action Panzer and of course their classic "hits" I Wanna Go Where The People Go and My Baby Is A Headfuck.

The band was dissolved several times and went through more member than the Harlem Globetrotters, so seeing CJ and Danny McCormack surrounding Ginger again is particularly satisfying. The small, devoted crowd gathered in the sweaty red-light district venue came for a whiskey-fuelled ass kicking lesson in pure, unadulterated Rock and Roll and that's exactly what the Wildhearts delivered.

After years of self-sabotage, unrecognisable line-ups, feuds with record companies, addictions and all of the trappings of a working Rock and Roll band, the Wildhearts are triumphant once again. This album and tour cycle is their victory lap. Don't miss it.

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