The Wildhearts, Sign, G.U. Medicine
Russ Essom 03/05/2007
It's always nice to see a local band. It's even nicer to see G.U. Medicine and their raucous cross between Dave Grohl and James Hetfield of a vocalist rocking out to a fairly small local crowd. They were energetic, if a little stiff, but really meant business. Both the opening and closing tracks were borderline phenomenal, with plenty of hard-ass rhythms to keep hard-rock, punk and even metal fans pumped throughout the set.
Perhaps a slight lack of real direction, though, is their only problem; they play what they play very well, but they are too much of a hybrid of too many genres, making everything seem a little standard. Watch out for the lead singer's voice though, it will actually make you crap your pants it's so good, a great blend of melodics and growly, shouty bits make him a great centrepiece.
Next up were Sign, a freaky looking bunch, if I may so, but bloody good performers consisting of very talented musicians. If you like you Bullet for my Valentine, Placebo and miscellaneous bands with a slightly edgy image and sound, you'll like Sign. Again, the frontman, sporting bleach-drenched, skin-tight jeans and no top, but a pierced nipple with a dangly earring hanging from it, was fantastic. He had a classically rock 'n' roll, slightly girly voice (probably to match the make up) and his banter not only motivated the crowd to rock out like golf balls in washing machines, but also showed them that music meant a lot to these guys. Cracking.
Finally, the Wildhearts; blimey me. I've seen a lot of punk bands in my time but I'm not sure I've ever seen a funnier, more energetic bunch. They combined brilliantly performed tunes with hilarious banter and even mocked some old-school 80's metal which culminated in an improvised cover of AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
Not much more can really be said about The Wildhearts, they were almost too good for words; my only criticism, however, was the decision to open with their classic tune Vanilla Radio. A great song and it got the crowd going, but I would much have preferred to hear it later in the set - Metallica wouldn't open with Enter Sandman, would they?
Overall though, a hilarious but uncompromisingly punk performance with so much ego the crowd struggled for air at points and so much pace it was tiring to watch: absolutely great.
Photo by 'Jenny' at JHT Photography