This was the first time at Junktion-7 for me, which was a very welcome change of scenery and bar service. Downstairs, the venue appears to be a reasonably normal pub for punters on the alternative side of the spectrum but it’s upstairs where the magic happens. In truth, it’s nothing more than a dark little room with a low ceiling but when it’s full and the glitter balls are spinning constantly with some music playing it ends up being a cosy little venue.
First on stage were a couple of blokes who may or may not have been The Rockitts. They played their stuff competently enough but never really set my world alight. Some of their songs showed their influences a little too blatantly for my liking, so much so that I found myself singing the words to ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Rat Trap’ when I heard the first few bars of a couple of songs, only to be disappointed when they turned out to be ‘original’ tunes penned by the band. All in all, not enough to keep me away from the downstairs bar for too long. At this point I think I may have missed another support band but there you go.
Ginger, Random Jon (bass) and Hot Steve (guitar) eventually came on stage to begin with a tribute to the late John Peel; ‘Teenage Kicks’ – what else could it have been? This was a great opener and set the tone for the night in terms of being something slightly different to normal. It was followed by a rare performance of ‘Show a Little Emotion’ which I believe is off the TV-Tan EP.
The crowd didn’t seem to get going too much which surprised me as I would’ve thought the venue was perfect for an acoustic-Ginger mosh-pit. This was no fault of Ginger and co. because they played with all their usual gusto and style, but maybe it was more to do the make-up of the audience. Looking at some of the faces in there I would be surprised if they were out of primary school when The Wildhearts released their first few records so maybe they weren’t familiar with the songs.
Many of the usual Ginger/Wildhearts tracks followed, namely ‘News of the World’, ‘Sky Babies’, ‘Jonesing for Jones’, ‘I’m a Lover not a Fighter’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘Geordie in Wonderland’, and ‘So Into You’. However, there were also many other songs that I had either never heard live before or were certainly rarities; ‘Just in Lust’, ‘Weekend’ (love that one), ‘Loveshit’, ‘Sick of Drugs’, ‘Get your Groove on’, and ‘There’s only one Hell’.
Part-way through the set, Random Jon appeared to take a piss into a pint pot, much to the amusement/disgust of the people near the front of the stage. I say “appeared to” because I didn’t feel inclined to force my way into a position where I could get a better view of proceedings, preferring to maintain my old-fart position near the back instead. Jon then persuaded one of his mates – I assume – to drink the pint which was a bit of a stomach-churner for everyone watching, judging from the groans. I just hope Jon did a bit of the old Paul Daniels and cunningly switched the pint with a lager-filled one when nobody was looking.
They finished with ‘Caffeine Bomb’ (I have no idea how that song works on acoustic guitars but it most certainly does) and ‘I wanna go where the people go’ which made a suitably odd ending to the show, seeing as it is normally the opener. It was another quality show from Ginger which is just what I have come to expect from such an old pro, meant in the kindest way of course.
I must also mention Ginger coming back on stage to sign autographs after the show which I thought was a nice touch. After some initial reluctance to act like a stereotypical teenage fan, I walked up to the great man and handed over my piece of paper for Ginger to make his mark. My shriek to turn the piece of paper over before his pen touched it was heard, thank god, sparing me a minor heart attack. He must have been a little intrigued as to what I was being so protective over on the other side because after making his mark he had a quick look; it was a picture of my little kiddie.
It was great to see him grin, turn the photo back over once more and add a little kiss underneath his signature. How nice is that?