Now most of my friends seem to hold The Wildhearts, Ginger Wildheart and all his associated work in very high esteem, and although I saw The Wildhearts once as a support act back in about 1994 I’ve pretty much ignored them for the last 20 years.
I’m not really sure why this was the case, but I guess 18/19-year-old me decided that I didn’t like them without really giving the band a chance or properly listening to anything they released. The Wildhearts and Ginger’s subsequent work just passed me by. Knowing how much my mates, the media, and fans online seemed to support and love him / the band, I knew I was probably doing myself out of something.
A few months ago I learned that Ginger was the support act for The Darkness, who play Glasgow in March 2013. Now given this opportunity to see Ginger in a few months I decided it would be an ideal chance to get listening to some tracks and see if I can become a fan; only I had absolutely no idea where I should begin.
I am an avid Twitter user and love how it provides the opportunity to discuss and share thoughts about any subject (but music for me) with fans around the world in addition to with the musicians directly. Therefore I turned to the man himself and asked the question of where should I start. Rather brilliantly (already he impressed me with this move) he asked the question of his Twitter followers.
For the two days I received an avalanche of suggestions, both songs and albums from his followers. Ginger’s Twitter followers were exactly the calibre of fan I expected, appearing to have the same passion my friends displayed for the man. Conversations started between me and those who suggested tracks back and forth getting to know my tastes and suggestions altered based upon the chats.
Now it was time to go find the music and get listening. I tried to use Spotify but am not really a fan and soon found myself frustrated and a little confused by the lack of search results. Therefore I asked fellow Musicscramble contributor Paul who provided me with a playlist for iTunes of the songs suggested and I got listening. It is probably no surprise that much of Earth Vs was suggested, as was Pledgemusic award-wining album 100% (and 555%). Many suggestions claimed it was impossible to suggest a track or two and that only listening to an album (or two!) would suffice.
Those albums were: Earth Vs, 100%, Black Leather Mojo (Silver Ginger 5), Chutzpah! and PHUQ. This is very useful and will definitely be where I turn next, but I was particularly keen on putting together a playlist of tracks which would give me a broad but “top-tier introduction.
Finally getting to grips with Spotify I have been able to make a Playlist which I can share with you to listen to this “Introduction…” There were the odd few songs I just couldn’t lay my hands on through the music service. “Weekend (5 Long Days)”, “Dreamin’ In A”, “Someone Who Won’t Let Me Go”, “Genius Penis”, “The Bullshit Goes On”, “Internal Radio”, “Love You Till I Don’t”, “Splattermania”, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, “Zomboid” and “You’re The One” are the elusive songs. What is left though is a 32 track playlist created by those followers who wanted to help me get to understand the “genius of Ginger Wildheart” as one tweet put it. -A true, by the fans, one-off compilation / intro to Ginger and his back catalogue. It should be noted that I have made no attempt to order the tracks in the playlist, they appear as I found them from the order the arrived as suggestions. If anyone out there would like to make a proper, smooth “mix-tape style” order out of these tracks than I’d be very grateful indeed.
At the moment, “Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow”, “Caprice”, “Forget About It”, “Taste Aversion”, “Give The Girl a Gun”, and “Greetings from Shitsville” are definite favourites, however to be honest that’s being picky as I’m really enjoying the whole thing. There is nothing on the list of suggestions where I’ve thought “No!, Really?!!? People think this is good?
I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I am. The gig is in about two months and if I haven’t went out to a record store and bought the albums all these songs feature on by then, then I am confident seeing Ginger in Glasgow will tip the balance and some shiny new CDs will be finding their way into my collection.
With thanks to Twitter users @james_rocknroll @69buckers @boyseyboy @edwardwhite32 @MaddMatt28 @sienc @stormazzy @shortie29x @devilsporridge @ox_22 @dmcourt73 @jamesscott1978 @stevepluck @grittster @hms_basel @nickdb101 @lemmingsplat_uk @bedlingtonjamie @caroljanesooth @mrirvingclarke @davidearlie @rumblinghoof @chipotlechris @pugvw @stutri @vernon_bear @jessopman @moanjamsaint @manson9 @pipinfort @sogoodreviews @bubbaloucious @davidjamesonuk and @chrisw1976 amongst many others! Proof of the power of a passionate fan-base and the online community.