Always an explosive proposition when it comes to playing live, The Wildhearts do the decent thing and gift us with a classic double live album.
Release date: 4th December 2020
Label: Round Records
Format: DL / CD / LP
Anyone desperately in need of the excitement and thrill of live music might find some solace in 30 Year Itch. ‘Some’ I say when really it should read ‘an overdose of adrenalin’. The Wildhearts deliver the goods on two pieces of plastic that go some way to recreating their ‘in the flesh’ fire while at the same time and with justification, add their name to the wall of fame that reads: Live In Japan, Strangers In The Night and Live And Dangerous.
Recorded live during the band’s The Renaissance Men and Diagnosis tours during 2019 it fulfills the Ginger Wildheart prerequisites of “loud guitars and loud crowds.” It pulls a choice set from the full catalogue might have only Mr and Mrs Picky and their band of picky pickers finding fault, so light the blue touchpaper and stand back for a jet-propelled and passion-fuelled depth charge album of simply brilliant hard rock.
A couple of personal favourites make the transition from the magnificent Renaissance Men album of 2019 to the stage. Diagnosis and Let ‘Em Go (with the wonderful line “let the shit filled rivers flow” spat out with a relish, surely incite a full-throated audience participation. Ginger does sound a bit like Lemmy as he roars out Dislocated, talking of whom, Suckerpunch is a metal/punk thrash very much in the vein of the revered trio.
The new album sees a band reinvigorated and as tight as a very tight thing (maybe two coats of paint or possibly something more profane involving a duck). It’s matched with a refusal to fit any sort of genre, suffice to say that we’re about to mention a host of bands whose patches would adorn your denim/leather jacket along with the smiley face skull and crossbones Wildhearts logo. There’s a real Sex Pistols sneer and sheer venom on a staggering Diagnosis –
“You’re not an animal
We’re not animals
I’m not an animal
I am a human being”
spat out with the sort of venom that should we need to look for new rock icons, Ginger might be the saviour. He’d be embarrassed at the acclaim I guess, professing to be less of a messiah and more of a naughty boy.
Embodying the fire and attitude that represents all the rebels and the disenfranchised, The Clash, AC/DC and The Levellers, 30 Year Itch is a show of unity. It lives up to Ginger’s proud claim of the current band being “insanely powerful” although on the other hand, Vanilla Radio could easily get polished to a Def Leppard sheen.
Last word to Ginger, who as per, has it down to a tee: “As far as I’m concerned this is a classic album by a band playing timeless songs that don’t fit into any established genre. Is it rock? Is it punk? Who cares, it’s The Wildhearts.”
Listen to a live Urge here: