'Never Outdrunk, Never Outsung - PHUQ Live'
Release Date: Friday 3rd June 2016
The Wildhearts hail from Newcastle-upon-Tyne where they were formed in the late Eighties. They mix hard rock and melodic pop music.
Founded by Ginger (born David Walls) after he left The Quireboys, the band have a had a somewhat turbulent history with a long list of ex-members to their name and have gone on hiatus for extended periods over the years, but they still manage to retain their large and loyal fan base.
After a rocky start where the band recorded nine demos that have still to be released officially, Ginger reluctantly took over on lead vocals despite reservations regarding his own vocal abilities after two previous vocalists left the band. The fledgling line-up with Ginger fronting the band and including Christopher Jagdhar (known simply as CJ) on guitar and vocals released two EPs in 1992, 'Mondo Akimbo a-Go-Go' and 'Don't Be Happy... Just Worry'. Further demo recordings were made which were released as their debut full length album, 'Earth vs The Wildhearts' without any re-recording being done and The Wildhearts were on their way.
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A chart hit in 1994 with the single 'Caffeine Bomb' was helped by a memorable video in which Ginger appeared to vomit into CJ's face and also saw the band make their first appearance on BBC's Top Of The Pops. A planned double album was shelved after the band fell out with their record company during recording sessions and instead they released a collection of six of the more eclectic tracks on a fan club-only release entitled 'Fishing For Luckies' in early 1995.
This EP, which would be re-released in 1996 with more studio outtakes as 'Fishing For More Luckies', included the track 'Geordie In Wonderland', which Ginger offered to Newcastle United FC as a potential team anthem, but was graciously turned down.
Further albums followed including 1997s 'Endless, Nameless', 'The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed 54' (2003), 'Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, Vol 1' (2008) and 2009s '¡Chutzpah!', most of which were released on Wildhearts' own Round Records label.
It was the band's second full length album that became their lasting legacy however. Titled 'P.H.U.Q.', it was released in May 1995 and originally reached #6 in the British charts, making it the band's most successful album to date. Such is the affection for the 'P.H.U.Q.' album that Ginger elected to reform the band and to base a tour around the album as part of celebrating twenty years since its release and the result of that tour is this live document which stands alongside the original album as a monumental piece of Wildhearts history.
Let's be clear from the outset, though – this release is most likely one for the devotees only and less of a draw for the casual fan. The album was recorded during the 'P.H.U.Q.' 20th anniversary tour from last year and was pulled together from several shows as opposed to being one complete show. What it proves is that the Wildhearts fan base know the songs and know how to make a noise whilst the band are on absolutely top form.
Kicking off with the bonafide classic Wildhearts track that is 'I Wanna Go Where The People Go', and culminating in the glorious 'Getting It', the album is a fifty minute rollercoaster ride that doesn't let up for a second. The pre-song chat before 'Just In Lust' shows Ginger's incredibly likeable demeanour and the roar of crowd let's you know they seem to be having as much fun as the band.
Even the shorter tracks like 'Up Your Arse You F*cking C*nt' which Ginger describes as "incidental music written after too much coke and boredom in the studio", are included but are cleverly extended by getting the audience to sing along as opposed to simply recreating the studio version of the album on stage.
There's plenty of interaction with the audience throughout the album and especially during 'Woah Shit, You Got Through' during the chorus which is repeated time and again whilst the audience remains resolute with their singing (or should that be shouting?).
All in all, it's a fine album by a fine band and you know you'll get value for money from the band, so if you head over to their PledgeMusic page you can order the album which also includes a selection of encores thrown in for good measure as well as the exclusive chance to buy a 'PHUQ Live In Japan' DVD amongst the "must have" Wildhearts goodies. Go on, you know you want to!
'P.H.U.Q - Live' tracklisting:
I Wanna Go Where The People Go
Just In Lust
Jonesing For Jones
Up Your Arse You Fucking Cunt
Woah Shit, You Got Through
Cold Patootie Tango
Be My Drug
In Lilly's Garden
The Wildhearts are:
Ginger Wildheart – Vocals/Guitar
Christopher Paul Persaud-Jagdhar (CJ) – Guitar
Jon Poole – Bass Guitar
Ritch Battersby – Drums