at O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., April 13, 2014

It’s a strange situation when the lead singer of the headlining act ends up being his own support band yet Geordie frontman, Ginger Wildheart has achieved just that with Hey! Hello! one of the several side projects he has on the go at the present time.


Hey! Hello! revolve around the shared vocals of Ginger and the sweet voice of American singer Victoria Liedtke presenting an altogether brighter, breezier Pop sound than the more battle hardened Wildhearts as Black Valentine, lead track from their highly acclaimed debut album glistened with sugar coated Pop harmonies wrapped around a tougher Punky core.

Von Hertzen BrothersGiving Ginger the chance of a slight breather, Finland’s Von Hertzen Brothers took the show in an altogether different direction. In fact it’s difficult to think of a more extreme change if you tried. Riding on the crest of a wave with the adulation and awards heaped on their latest Nine Lives album, the Von Hertzen Brother’s blend complex Progressive Rock arrangements with snippets of Finnish Folk sounds like a recipe for disaster yet the huge melodies and delicious harmonies work so well together. This was an inspired addition to the bill as Flowers and Rust brought the biggest reaction of the night so far. This is a band who have created their own unique sound and are surely destined for big things.

Having lived the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle to the full The Wildhearts have survived to tell the tale and Ginger and guitarist CJ have the scars to prove it. With Ginger returning to the stage for his second set of the night he hit the ground running with Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes and proving an altogether Rockier proposition than Hey! Hello! leaning towards a potent mix of The Ramones, Motorhead and Cheap Trick.

WildheartsLast year’s Earth vs The Wildhearts 20th Anniversary tour had exorcised that album leaving more freedom to fully explore the whole catalogue meaning Jackson Whites and The Only One sung by bassist Scott Sorry from their latest album Chutzpa rubbed shoulders with the classics Caffeine Bomb, the fast and furious Suckerpunch and the infectious I Wanna Go Where The People Go, a song with more hooks than a row of butchers shops.

Vanilla Radio and the gloriously titled Junkenstein saw The Wildhearts digging deep into their past much to the joy of their hard core fans but none was more welcome than the ultra-rare appearance of Stormy In the North, Karma In The South. At full throttle for nigh on an hour and a half with Ginger carrying the momentum right from his opening appetiser of Hey! Hello! Right to the end, he really was a Geordie in Wonderland.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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