"Sorry, we sound like shit," announces Ginger Wildheart, two songs in, following a near vocal-free (but still thrusting) rendition of Suckerpunch. "We hope you don't mind. If you do, fuck ya…"
Onstage, Ginger is struggling to hear properly, and getting visibly frustrated. In the crowd, things sound fine. Sick Of Drugs, Vanilla Radio and Everlone are huge, fist-in-the-mouth pop-rock fireworks, the perfect festival fodder, especially when, as now, the sun is out. In fact, as a band who operate on a measure of chaos and stress, being up against it gives them the same sort of dangerous, anything can happen edge and fight that makes rock'n'roll so exciting. The sing-alongs and 'woah-oah's remain enviable, and the party in the crowd goes on. Sadly, with a good 15 minutes to go, Ginger has had enough.
"I'm sorry, this is awful," he says, laying down his guitar before walking offstage, not to return. "This has been a waste of time. Enjoy the gig."
It's a shame, because Ginger is one of the best songwriters this country has ever produced, and The Wildhearts are one of our finest bands. And whatever problems may have been going on onstage, the biggest blow is, actually, that we weren't able to have more of it and watch them fight through. For the fans left wanting, we're not angry at having our fun cut short, we're just disappointed. (NR)