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The Wildhearts / Massive Wagons / Towers Of London http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/15/be/b5/The-Wildhearts-Live-2019-Thumb-26-1559503282.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 02, 2019    
 
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The Wildhearts / Massive Wagons / Towers Of London - SWX, Bristol (UK) - 07 May 2019

I'm sure I wasn't the only one at SWX wondering why the hell Towers Of London were even here. This is because my knowledge of them amounts to a couple of Pub Rock songs and a frontman who always did his best to be a complete twat at every opportunity. I had no idea they were even still a thing, but here they were on the stage doing a decent job of entertaining the crowd. It's a surprise, but TOL are actually a pretty good Punk band, and do a better job when they are making music rather than headlines. Frontman Danny Tourette didn't have a go at anyone or try to be controversial, just deliverered palatable Punk with a snarl and a boiler suit. The last thing they released, 2017's 'Shot In The Dark' is a good song (though more like The Alarm than the Sex Pistols), whilst original song 'Fuck Off' is hilariously embarrassing. They filled their half hour well enough and plenty of people enjoyed their stuff, with one of them being me. They'll never be a band that will fill any venues of a decent size, but as pub punks go you could do worse than check them out.

Northerners Massive Wagons are a new band for me, despite their having released a few albums, but pre gig googling uncovered several top-notch tracks and I was poised to have a good time with them. They certainly started off with all guns blazing as 'Dirty Little Secrets' blasted from the speaker and frontman Baz bounced about like a whirling dervish. It was a fantastic way to get people's attention, and they followed it with their tribute to Rick Parfitt, 'Back To The Stack'. This set continued by seven more tracks, each one a delight of energy, melody and power. Interestingly, they seemed to be nicely between the openers and headliners stylistically, and so came off as the perfect band for the occasion. Whilst TOL entertained me, Massive Wagons rocked me til it hurt, and that's much more satisfying.

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There was a sizable crowd in tonight, and they were all here to see the Wildhearts actually touring a new album rather than doing an anniversary show, something Ginger made note of. The album, 'Renaissance Men', is a hugely satisfying example of what the band can do, and they led off with the aggressive album opener 'Dislocated', at turns shouty and melodic and always in your face – much like the band themselves. Speaking of the band, it was great to see the classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Danny and Rich playing together and doing it so well. It's been a few years since I've seen them myself, and it just felt right to be within a crowd singing along to 'Sick Of Drugs', 'Suckerpunch' or 'Top Of The World'. They sounded brilliant, although Ginger's mic was a little too low, and with an hour and a half to fill they cherry picked some classics along with new songs like 'Diagnosis' and 'Let Em Go', which has a chorus that will sit in your head for HOURS.

Things got a little weird after fourteen songs as the band wandered off and we did the traditional "Oh don't go yet" type cheers to persuade them back on. Of course they came back, but instead of playing a song we're told that a video for 'Renaissance Men' (the title track) was being made with footage from various venues on the tour, but instead of playing it they' wee going to mime. Yep, you read that right. So they mimed, we did our part when required (mostly shouting "Ariba") and the gig continued afterwards. Very odd, but at least we got five more songs, taking the set to an hour and a half, closing with the classic 'Headfuck' and 'I Wanna Go Where The People Go' (dedicated to "All the cunts out there"). It was certainly an interesting night, with a resurrected pub band, a potential new favourite and the grand masters of all that is Power PunkMmelodic Rock-Metal-Pop. Is that a genre? It should be!

Alan Holloway


The Wildhearts Live 2019

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