When I saw how big the que was outside of Rock City in Nottingham, I just knew straight away we were in for a good night! Getting there fairly early, I made my way into the venue and settled myself down. I’d found a great spot to see everything, perched behind the lighting and sound engineers enclosure! As the main hall and gallery’s above me started to fill up, I was sure R.C. was at maximum crowd capacity! Then at 6:45pm, the lights were dimmed, with the rumble of the intro music playing out over the PA system, the first band of the night walked out onto the stage…………..
Hey! Hello! have to be one of the best opening groups I’ve seen for ages! Right from the very first song ‘Feral Days‘ they had the crowd eating out of their hands. With front woman, Victoria Liedtke looking (to those of us still young enough to remember) somewhat like a fresh faced Debbie Harry bounding about on stage and giving out cheeky winks to the fan’s, and far too much energy for an old man to cope with!! She did a smashing job of getting the early fans well warmed up. Meanwhile Ginger Wildheart of (The Wildhearts), played and sang backing vocals on most of the songs, you could see, he was having a great time. With a sound reminiscent of the mid 80’s post punk feel, every song was delivered with a blistering performance and stylish panache. Victoria told the Nottingham masses, ” We’re taking siege of Rock City! Now everyone bopp, rock, dance and flail your arms. Sing with us Nottingham!!!” You couldn’t have stopped them if you’d tried!!
Five out of five for a cracking forty minute opening band!!
Next up on the stage after a quick change around, was a band I’d been waiting to see since the release of their last album ‘Nine Lives’ back in 2013, Finland’s ‘The Von Hertzen Brothers‘. The first song ‘Insomniac‘ from the album, I think caught the crowd out a little? With more of a Pink Floyd-Led Zeppelin and Yes feel to this opening song, it seemed to take a short while for the house to adjust to the VHB prog rock style! But by the time they had got into another great Von Hertzen song ‘Flowers And Rust’ everyone was getting on board and feeling the Finnish vibe. Having a little banter with the punters, Mikko Von Hertzen introduced the band. The bit that made me laugh was describing heavily bearded drummer Mikko Kaakkuriniemi as Lapland’s younger version of Santa, but having only being raised on reindeer’s balls, ( he is one big guy though!). The guy’s now burst into the song ‘Coming Home‘, a great faster paced track, (and one I myself like) that gave Kie von Hertzen an opportunity to sing in his deep voice. Finishing off their set with ‘Let Thy Will Be Done‘ a song from their winning Finnish Grammy album of 2006 called ‘Approach’.
Main highlight of the night ‘The Wildhearts‘ now took control of the Rock City venue. After a little adjustment to CJ’s mic, mid first song! The guys got into their stride and began what was to be one awesome set, and a night to remember. Everyone was buzzing to the beat being boomed out from the stage. ‘Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes‘, ‘TV Tan‘, ‘Nita Nitro‘, ‘Sick Of Drugs‘, every song had the fans in a frenzy of pogo dancing and joining in with Ginger and the band singing the lyrics to all the songs. The guys looked so relaxed and seemed to be really enjoying the night. At one point Ginger thanked the crowd for “Keeping the faith and supporting the band over the years”. After giving us just a little of the bands history, they burst into the next song, ‘Someone That Won’t‘ followed by ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised‘ and ‘Mazel Tov Cocktail‘, ‘My Baby Is A Head Fuck‘,’Suckerpunch‘ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go‘. Then they had a short break to catch their breath, in the mean time the fans started to chant what sounded like “don’t worry bout me, I’ll be ok!” Back on stage after about five minutes they tried to start singing the song ‘Geordie In Wonderland‘. But the crowd completely over took the band and serenaded the guys with a brilliant Nottingham rendition of the song that, I think, took the lads a little by surprise and you could see how much it meant to them to hear this tribute to The Wildhearts!! Six more songs followed finishing off this epic gig with ’29x The Pain’. It was a fantastic night and one which I will never forget. The atmosphere, the huge friendly happy crowd, a top venue and three cracking bands, what more do you want and need on a Saturday night!!
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Burn The Rule Book
Lock For Rock
Thrill of It All
Von Hertzen Brothers….
Writings on the wall
Flowers and Rust
Always been right
Let Thy Will Be Done
Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes
Sick Of Drugs
Someone That Won’t
The Revolution Will Be Televised
Mazel Tov Cocktail
My Baby Is A Head Fuck
I Wanna Go Where The People Go
Geordie In Wonderland
29 X The Pain