Looking back on it, I really do miss my teenage years. All I did was attend gigs, not even drinking until around the age of 17. Some might say my mistake was starting to drink but the real mistake was in failing to remain a teenager. Along with a terrific crowd of other non-teenagers, I caught Ginger (occasionally of The Wildhearts) playing acoustic at Apollo 23. Thankfully, on this “trip” I managed to keep my footing.
Providing support for the evening were Willie Dowling and John Steel of the redoubtable jackdaw4. In between some amusing observations (English people knowing nothing about football, for one), the duo laid down some joyous, harmony-laden pop songs, covering songs on a number of subjects including pornography! As an ex-Wildheart, Dowling was no stranger to fans, but through both jackdaw4 and Honeycrack, he has shown himself to be both an incisive songwriter and insanely overlooked musician. Tonight was further proof.
To say that Ginger seems to enjoy an amiable acquaintanceship with his Glasgow fans is perhaps an understatement but an ever more pertinent fact is that he always sends them home happy. Backed by long-time henchmen Jase Edwards and “Random” Jon Poole, tonight was to be no exception. Happily taking requests (provided they were on the setlist, joked Ginger), “Geordie in Wonderland” got the evening into an immediate frenzy.
Ginger kindly pointed out that it would take weeks, not hours, to satisfy the musical lust of everybody in the room. With that in mind, the trio tore through two sets that encompassed old favourites, forgotten gems and some interesting covers. Even a Ginger/Wildhearts virgin would’ve understood why such a loyal army of fans continue to speak of Ginger (and company) exalting tones. Certainly, this showing was nothing short of excellent.
Unfortunately, it came to an end, eventually. The crowds thinned out and I went back to being a curmudgeonly type, longing for times past that weren’t so fine but were still better than the present. Maybe I should become a singer-songwriter? I can only mope.