Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 22/08/2011 | Ginger – O2 Academy, Oxford

22/08/2011 | Ginger – O2 Academy, Oxford

Lauren Corona


Despite being a long-time Wildhearts fan, having seen them play live numerous times, including  a near-legendary Download Festival performance in 2008, and being into several of Ginger’s various other projects, I’ve never managed to catch him on one of his acoustic tours. As such, I’m not entirely sure what to expect, in terms of the setlist and the kind of material that’ll be played. But, when he comes out, joined by Chris Catalyst and “Random” Jon Poole, with his face painted in death metal corpse paint and starts playing Loveshit I know that tonight’s going to be awesome.

As anyone who has ever seen him on stage would contest, I think Ginger should at least be on the short list for the “Nicest Frontman in Rock ‘n’ Roll” award. This isn’t necessarily an existing award, per se, but nonetheless, he seems like a good egg. The Wildhearts, and Ginger by extension, has a very devoted fan base and you can tell that he really appreciates this. He’s got the between song banter down to a tee and is a genuinely funny guy. You can really tell he’s constantly having fun on stage and likes to get the audience involved wherever possible, which makes for a really great show.

The set consists mainly of Wildhearts songs, with a few covers thrown in, notably, the theme from Cheers and Chris Catalyst’s rousing rendition of Take on Me. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to play Olivia Newton-John to Ginger’s John Travolta then you’ve really missed out tonight, since that’s exactly what the audience get to do when the middle-8 of Miles Away Girl gets prefixed by Summer Loving from Grease.

Some of highlights from the rest of the set come in the form of acoustic versions of The Wildhearts’ songs V-Day, 29x the Pain and I Wanna Go Where the People Go which, as the closer, gets everyone shouting along. And if this doesn’t interest you enough, some of the roadies sporadically come on stage dressed as a sociopathic clown, the honey monster and an unidentifiable creepy thing and mess around in the background. “Why?” you ask. Well, why not?

If you’re a fan of Ginger and/or The Wildhearts you should really go to see him on his next acoustic tour, as it’s a complete blast. If you’re not a huge fan or don’t really know much Wildhearts material, you might feel a little confused or left out. But, if that’s the case, you should really get listening to them right away.