Holy PHUQ! My album of 2016 has just blown me away. Never Outdrunk, Never Outsung – PHUQ live’ is the perfect example of how a live album should sound like, which is the feeling that you are at the show. In September 2015 The Wildhearts played 8 UK dates to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of their 2nd studio album PHUQ and they played it in its entirety for the first set followed by a second set of classics and curios.
I went to the second gig of the tour at the Manchester Academy and, as usual the crowd were fired up to say the least. I’ve attended many Wildhearts shows over the last 25 years, all of which were off the hook but this gig was something else. From the albums opening riff of ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ to the wall of guitar crescendo to set closer ‘Getting It’, every lyric was returned to the band who at times seemed completely taken aback by the devotion showed.
The album title came from a fan called Tom Reed who describes Wildhearts audiences as “very loud and thirsty”, point proven by the cheers and vocal backing to set opener ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ which hurtles along on an adrenaline rush of riffs, much heavier than the studio version. I’ve not heard a live album sound this intense since If You Want Blood, You Got It by AC/DC. Highlights are many but choice ones are the bludgeoning main riff of ‘V-Day’ backed by spine tingling vocal melodies, a staple of lead vocalist and main songwriter Ginger’s style.
His doggedly stance to the music business is proven by the lyric of “Well I’ll try, I guess, I’ll never be affected like a bigshot, I’ll never get the money that they got, but I’ll be smiling much longer”. The guitar intro to ‘Just In Lust’ is almost drowned out by the crowd singing along to it. The teasing riff to ‘Nita Nitro’ precedes the over the top crunching grooves with more fan vocal backing. ‘Jonesing For Jones’ is the perfect example of their heavy rock/pop crossover appeal with Ginger’s riffs backed by Cheap Trick like harmonies.
The short sharp burst of ‘Woah Shit You Got Through’ is extended as the band drag out the ending to allow the crowd to belt out the vocal refrain of “I suppose I”. ‘Cold Patootie Tango’ is colossal to say the least, compared to the studio cut and the glorious vocal harmonies in ‘Caprice’ precede the air guitar heaven, riff laden ending but my highlight is closing track ‘Getting It’ with band and audience making an explosive ending to the first set.
The album is available from Round Records Records but I wish it could of been a double album with the second set included.
Album track listing :-
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.
Wildhearts band line up :-
Ginger – Lead vocals/guitar.
CJ – Guitar/backing vocals.
Jon Poole – Bass guitar/backing vocals.
Ritch Battersby – Drums/backing vocals.