The Wildhearts / Backyard Babies / CKY Hot

Written by Central Electronic Brain     April 09, 2020    
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The Wildhearts / Backyard Babies / CKY - 02 Forum Kentish Town, London (UK) - 01 February 2020

I can see why CKY have been invited on this tour as they remind me a little of the Wildhearts at their noisiest and most dysfunctional. CKY are kind of Nirvana meets Stoner Metal meets Thrash and very Seattle in style. Some of it ws a bit orgasm-face for mainly one riff all the way through though, and overall they were not really my cup of tea, although they had a small group of hardcore fans going wild at the front.

Comin on to 'Friggin' In The Riggin', Backyard Babies seemed newly invigorated and I enjoyed them much more than the last time I saw them at HRH Sleaze. They made great use of platforms and green lighting at the front of the stage to vary the visuals, and Dregen kept things interesting with Chuck Berry/Andy McCoy-style jumping forward hops, spitting pics, pretending to stab the drummer with his guitar and sitting high up on the amps at the back, seemingly unworried that they are swaying dangerously front to back. Nicke Borg's delivery always reminds me of Ricky Warwick slightly no-frills, but very passionate and real. They kicked off with relatively new material 'Good Morning Midnight' from 'Sliver And Gold', one of my favourites 'Th1rt3en or Nothing' from 2015 and 'Shovin Rocks' from 2018 before a selection of older material, including acoustic versions of 'Painkiller' and 'Roads'. We got the new single 'Yes To All No' before Dregen took over vocals for 'Star War'. It seemed no time at all before we were into the biggest favourites 'Dysfunctional Professional', 'Minus Celsius', 'Brand New Hate' and 'People Like People lLke People Like us'. They played like headliners making this a great value bill. Their punky commercial sound made them a great marriage with The Wildhearts.

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Ginger seemed confident and smiley tonight as they kicked off with a set list pretty similar to their recent shows such as Ramblin' Man; it was a crowd-pleasing greatest hits and once again it was lovely to see how seamlessly new track 'Diagnosis' slipped between 'Everlone' and 'Vanilla Radio' to start, and new track 'Let it Go' and 'My Kinda Movie' also fitted so well amongst an otherwise classic set with 'Sick Of Drugs' and 'Top Of The World'. 'Revolution Will Be Televised' from the self-titled white album was a new introduction to the set. The excitement of 'TV Tan' was too much for one fan who threw his shoe on stage much to Ginger's bemusement. Big hitters at the end included 'I Wanna Go Where The People Go' and 'My Baby Is A Headfuck', which saw the constant stream of crowd surfers into the pit include more than one woman before the final 'Love U Till I Don't'.

I have long since learned to stand to the side for a Wildhearts gig if I don't want to be crushed, kicked in the head or have my leg shagged, such is the "closeness" of fans at the front. Wildheart's gigs always feel a little bit of a tribe event and, despite having a few fans who were less than fragrant shall we say, the atmosphere is always friendly and warm. Ginger's willingness to show his vulnerabilities and discuss topics like mental illness between songs and on-line has earned him undying loyalty from fans, which is above and beyond the average fan-base approaching Maiden Mania in its intensity. With the band continuing to produce strong material every bit as good as any songs they ever produced, this looks set to run and run. No wonder Ginger was smiling, I would be too!

Dawn Osborne

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