|Subject||Ginger & The Scorchers @ the Underworld|
|This was always going to be a good night! |
Any fan of the mighty WiLDHEARTS worth their salt would have wanted to catch this bill - three bands all featuring current or past serving members of the Wildhearts. Unfortunately I couldn't make it in time to see the Godamn Whores - fronted by ex-Wildhearts bassist Jon 'Random' Poole.
CJ & The Satellites had just started their set when I arrived. I've seen them a couple of times previously and they have been good each time. I thought they were particularly good tonight - very tight sounding, although the guitars could have been a bit higher in the mix. Bassist Lee (of Zen Motel) seemed to be really enjoying himself - maybe enjoying a break from the pressure of fronting his own band. The bass sounded unusually loud and clear tonight - an improvement on this venue's usual poor sound. CJ seemed to be enjoying himself too, and the crowd were really getting into the songs from his band's recent album 'Thirteen'. Their sound is a long way from the Wildhearts - more melodic, with a pop influence but still with loud guitars. CJ's harmony vocals and guitar are an important part of the Wildhearts sound though, and you can spot echoes of CJ's 'day job' band in the Satellites too.
The Underworld is pretty full tonight. It's good to meet loads of friends - some of whom I see regularly, some only occasionally. I suspect the Wildhearts fans present far outnumber Jason & The Scorchers fans, but I know there are a few people present who love both bands. Ginger himself is a longtime Jason & The Scorchers fan and he says this tour is a 'dream come true' for him.
His dreadlocks have recently been shorn off and he looks much the better for it - certainly younger. He really looks the part and fits into this band very well.
Anyone hoping to hear any Wildhearts songs tonight will be disappointed - only Jason & The Scorchers songs are being played - apart from a couple of surprise (non-Wildhearts) covers thrown in. Ginger looks very at home fronting this band, and both he and they look like they are thoroughly enjoying themselves!
Ginger has always loved a good tune as well as having a soft spot for country music - and Jason & The Scorchers had loads of great tunes. Guitarist Warner Hodges party trick (apart from being a great guitarist) is slinging his Telecaster over his back and right round to the front where he catches it - almost taking people's heads off in the front row! The band turn in a fine and very rocking set full of cracking tunes - I suspect many people present don't know any Scorchers songs, but it doesn't really matter as the songs are so instantly catchy. I have to confess to only having one of their albums myself, but several tunes get aired from it so I am well pleased! The only non-Scorchers songs played are the Stones '19th Nervous Breakdown', and 'Fortunate Son' by Creedance Clearwater Revival. The atmosphere is terrific as it always is at any Ginger related show. Everybody has a great time and goes home happy - if rather early.
Any visit to the Underworld tends to involve going home early, as for reasons best known to themselves the management choose to shut the venue and chuck everybody out around 10.30 - far to early to go home, even on a weekday! This seems strange in these days of more enlightened licencing hours - why throw out a load of people who would happilly stay in there chatting and spending money at the bar for another couple of hours or so? The security staff can hardly bundle you out the door fast enough after the band have finished - by which time the bar has been shut for some time. I like this venue less every time I visit it.
If you are quick you can still get a drink or two in the pub upstairs after a gig, but even that shuts at 11.00. We adjourn to the nearby Good Mixer, and amuse our increasingly drunken selves with behaviour which I shall draw a veil over before falling out of there around 3 AM. I didn't make it to work in the morning...