December 18th, 2009

black, shiny

Ginger and Friends at The Garage

Just back from seeing "Ginger and Friends" play at Ginger (of the Wildhearts) birthday party. Way back in 2001 Ginger played a solo show 2 days after his birthday, and members of The Wildhearts Mailing List (email) clubbed together to buy him presents and sign a big card. Ginger had so much fun that the same thing happened in 2002, and since then there's been an annual birthday show. Sometimes it's been The Wildhearts, sometimes it's been Ginger solo with a backing band. Today it was Ginger "and Friends".

There was no support band - Ginger played two sets. During the sets, Ginger had something like 20 "friends" from various bands on stage with him, rotating the lineup after each song and sometimes changing the lineup completely. As he got other people to sing the songs he'd normally sing, it was kinda like seeing karaoke or a cover band - only with some of the actual band members there. Confusing, but cool. In particular there were three female singers who were all really good solo vocalists.

And wow - he's so much nicer now that he's given up (most) drugs. He actually stayed on stage the whole time and played host, introducing the various "friends" who came on and making witty banter. He was even coherent and comprehensible! (not always a given considering he's a Geordie).

During the first set they played 2 Super$hit 666 songs, 3 Clam Abuse songs (I *love* Clam Abuse, even though it's a joke band. The Clam Abuse show we saw years ago during one of the most acrimonious Wildhearts splits renewed my faith in music), 4 solo Ginger songs and 4 covers. In the second set they played 14 Wildhearts songs, including some that are *never* played live. And the encore was 2 Silver Ginger 5 songs. Richard is talking about "needing" to form a Silver Ginger 5 cover band again (I don't know with what spare time, but I am totally in favour of seeing Richard dressed like Silver Ginger).

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We really need to go and see more bands. We like basically all rock music (hard rock, metal, modern punk. Not Oasis-type "rock"), and also geeky/nerdy artists (like Lemon Demon and Jonathan Coulton). It would help if people told me whenever bands were playing in London, because I don't ever seem to hear about gigs (and Richard never seems to notice adverts even if he does see them)!