Live Reviews

Ginger – Live

Mean Fiddler

Given that The God Damn Whores are fronted by ‘Random’ John Poole (formerly of the Cardiacs and Wildhearts) it’s no great surprise that his band’s music lives up to his nickname. A bizarre fusion of punk fury, mammoth riffs and sheer art-rock weirdness, songs like ‘We’re In The Army, Baby’ are oddly compelling, not least because there’s almost always a big Kiss-esque chorus in there somewhere.

It’d take something special to make TGDW seem pedestrian, but it’s safe to assume that few in this room tonight have seen anything quite like Robochrist before. Imagine Brandon Lee’s character from ‘The Crow’ playing Strapping Young Lad b-sides, and you’ll have a rough idea of just how bizarre this one-man band is. By the time he exits the stage to a bastardized sample of a Werther’s Originals advert, half the crowd is laughing and the other half look confused. Which, presumably, was exactly the point.

You never quite know what you’ll hear at a Ginger solo show; so vast is the Wildhearts frontman’s back catalogue. There’s a fair few songs from last year’s ‘Valor Del Corazon’ album, a couple of Silver Ginger 5 favourites, and a couple of new efforts; both boasting the powerhouse riffs and catchy-as-fuck choruses that have become his trademark over the years. With many a faded Wildhearts t-shirt present tonight, most of this crowd are probably long-term Ginger devotees; filling every gap between songs with hearty cheers and a barrage of requests, which the man himself takes with good humour.

It’s indicative of the relationship between Ginger and his fans that he’s able to create the intimacy of a campfire sing-along in a half-sold damp hole of a venue like the Mean Fiddler. Goodness knows what lies ahead for him, but as long his songwriting skills remain this sharp, he’ll always be worth a trek into town on a cold winter night.

Alex Gosman