LIVE: Ginger – Leeds Rio’s, 10/5/09
Plus special guests Laika Dog and Eureka Machines.
Personal opinion this, but if you’re looking for the best new band in Britain today, look no further than the Eureka Machines.
As the traditional opening line of “Don’t ignore us/People bore us/Open wide and sing the chorus” loops unexpectedly into new single “Everyone Loves You” before traditional opener “Scream Eureka” kicks in properly, it’s clear tonight is going to be a good set. Largely drawing on the highlights from their recent “Do Or Die” album (if you don’t own it already, what’s the matter with you? Go get it!) such as the frenetic “The Story Of My Life” and “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel”, we also get a new song called “We Are The Population” which proves that they’ve certainly got plenty of fuel left in the tank.
Hopefully that second album will be worth the wait when it gets here.
After that storming opener, Laika Dog’s amiable brand of pub rock is a bit of a slowdown but this band definitely seem to be getting better every time I see them. Once you accept that this is very much a departure from frontman Tony Wright’s previous gig in Terrorvision, the big choruses of “Daddy, What’s Your Soul?” and “Can’t Get Over” do more than enough to draw you in. And rest assured that while his music these days may be a bit more downbeat than the old times, Tony is still a damn fine frontman cheerfully drawing the crowd in with his banter. Definitely a band worth checking out.
With the promise that Ginger’s set tonight will be drawn from his solo albums rather than his Wildhearts stuff, a lot of people here are intrigued as to what tonight’s show is going to bring. And they’re certainly not disappointed as we get a set comprising tunes from throughout his career, mostly from the rightly-acclaimed “Valor del Corazon” album (“Mother City”, “This Is Only A Problem”, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”) with a few additions from “Yoni” (“Black Windows”) and “Market Harbour” (“Casino Bay”) plus a few rip-roaring Silver Ginger 5 classics casually slung out in the encore as “Sonic Shake” and “Girls Are Better Than Boys” get the crowd properly pumped up. We also get two new songs, the country-tinged “Return Of The Northern Carnival” and the epic closer “This Too Will Pass” which both show plenty of promise for his next solo venture.
With a new Wildhearts album currently imminent, it seems fair to say that the next few months will see the G man more than busy with his day job and, as a WH fan of some fifteen years standing, I’m pretty sure it’ll be well worth the wait. But rest assured when the downtime beckons for his main group, I’m pretty sure Ginger will be more than keeping himself busy throwing out a few new curveballs to keep us on our toes. Quite simply, rockstars like the G man are a dying breed and we should be thoroughly grateful for the few we still have.