THE WILDHEARTS / MASSIVE WAGONS / TOWERS OF LONDON - Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh 04.05.19
PHOTO CREDITS: STEVEN SCOULLER
‘Renaissance Men’ is the first WILDHEARTS album in 10 years and it’s worth the wait. Like a fine wine, THE WILDHEARTS just keep getting better and better with age. To mark the launch of the album the band are currently doing meet and greets in record shops as part of their tour which has been great for fans. It’s nice when bands offer the personal touch and sign albums for people.
The Liquid Rooms is one of Edinburgh’s most loved music venues, located on Victoria Street, just up from the Grassmarket, the venue is right in the heart of the city and like the city, the venue too has a lot of heart. Gig-goers are corralled through a narrow doorway and staircase towards the venue which is split over two floors. This event was sold out which meant it was going to be really packed! I found my spot near the stage and set my camera up and awaited the signal that the first band were about to go on stage.
The night’s opening band was Glam-Punk Outfit, TOWERS OF LONDON, who some might know by way of the lead singer Donny Tourette from his entertaining performances on Celebrity Big Brother and T.V. music panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks. The band have changed their image direction from their 80s Sunset Strip, Motley Crue style fashionista, in lieu of dark boiler suits, much like a band full of Michael Myers! With the stripped back theatrics and uniform look, the band launched into their first song ‘I’m a Rat’ which got the audience jumping. Their performance was stellar and really enjoyable. Unfortunately, the lighting was not ideal, and the band were mostly shrouded in darkness which made it hard for the audience to see everything and made it also difficult for me to shoot. Those of you who know me know I’m an advocate for equal lighting for bands. I see no reason to have the support band under lit in order to distinguish between the hierarchy of the bands. Equal lighting for all!
Towers of London are:
Next on stage were the impressive MASSIVE WAGONS. Singer Baz Mills sported a bowler hat and looked like a Rock N’ Roll’ H.H. Holmes. He strutted about the stage high-kicking and delivering his vocals with impeccable clarity and tone. The whole band had power and drive.
These guys were tight and sounded amazing and put on a performance that captivated the assembled crowd!
Massive Wagons are:
It’s always a great experience to go see THE WILDHEARTS play. I’ve followed them their entire career, back when they were just lads, first out on the scene. I knew then as I know now that there’s something extra special about them. Their consistency to write, record and play live such amazing songs is a testament to their credibility as one of the most important bands to come from Northern England.
I stood watching as the band were preparing to go on stage, they looked so calm and collected. CJ, Ginger and Danny picked up their guitars and slung them on as they walked on stage while Ritch took his place on his drum stool. In a flash the crowd was jumping to the opening song of the evening ‘Dislocated’, the first track on the new album ‘Renaissance Men’. Being a musician myself, I was keen to see what chords were being played, taking mental note so I’d remember for later. That aside, as I was memorising chords, my hands were busy framing and snapping shots of the band. The three songs allotted to me to shot from the pit came and went in no time at all. The band were dripping in sweat by this time as the heat from the packed venue waved onto the stage. I came out of the pit during ‘Vanilla Radio’, one of my favourite songs. I made my way upstairs to get some long shots as I heard Ginger say how great the support bands were and I totally agree. TOWERS OF LONDON and MASSIVE WAGONS really helped make the night a special one. THE WILDHEARTS played an outstanding show to an extremely happy crowd. I hope it’s not another ten years before we hear a new WILDHEARTS album, but I’m impatient and greedy.
The energy that THE WILDHEARTS harness feeds the audience and in turn circulates back to the band. The constant cycle of energy really makes the live performance a spectacular display of musicianship at its finest. The night ended with the classic ‘I Want to Go Where the People Go’ where you can feel the floor beneath your feet vibrate with the hundreds of people jumping in unison to the song.
When shooting THE WILDHEARTS, the money shot is when Ginger and CJ jump right into the air. I’ve an informal record going on for who the highest jumper I’ve photographed is. The previous record holder was Chris #2 from Anti-Flag…I think CJ takes the record as I caught him well up there, level with his Marshall stack! Sweet air!
THE WILDHEARTS will be back in Scotland playing Kelvingrove Bandstand along with Terrorvision and Gun on 27th June. You can also purchase ‘Renaissance Men’, released on Graphite Records from all good music stockists.
The Wildhearts are:
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