The name Vanessa Warwick will be familiar to rock fans in the nineties through her 7 year stint as VJ on Headbangers Ball. Vanessa presented the show from 1990 – 1997, during which time The Wildhearts were featured numerous times through their music videos, live performances and album playbacks. These days, Vanessa runs her own property business – Property Tribes, I caught up with her to discuss her shift in career path and share her memories of The Wildhearts.
You’ll be familiar with the wallpaper of this site, which is taken from Hunt Emerson‘s classic illustration from the ‘Earth vs‘ inlay of course. I recently caught up with Hunt to share his memories of it – although in his own words the album is “not really my style of music, I’m afraid… I like Bob Dylan and country“, he really enjoyed doing the drawing, adding “Ginger and the lads were a noisy, jolly bunch“. He was kind enough to spare me 10 minutes of his time to answer some other questions…
After profiling Snake on the blog, I recently caught up with Dunken Francis (aka Dunken F Mullett), another onetime frontman of the early Wild Hearts. In a less than obvious career move, Dunken is now an aikido instructor based in New Zealand. Although, he hasn’t caught up with Ginger since the Silver Ginger 5 tour in Japan, he was kind enough to spare me some time before he jetted off to teach aikido at a seminar in Australia.
The following article is an extract from an old issue of Raw magazine, written by Dave Ling. Thanks to Rob Firth for the scans.
One noteworthy day in 1992, Ginger of The Wildhearts clears a space among the cockroaches, then sat down to write a song – and came up with three! No change there! Even two years later, while many a lesser composer would be slowing down a little and letting the royalties trickle in, the band’s productivity has increased to the point where they’re now forced to release their latest batch of material, ‘Fishing for Luckies’, by mail-order only, as their record company also have plans to issue the follow-up to their ‘Earth vs The Wildhearts‘ début next March!
Out of the 11 tracks (12 if we’re talking about the 1994 re-issue) the oldest would be Love U Til I Don’t, the origins of which can be traced back to the very first Wild Hearts demos. Here is a demo version featuring original singer, Snake, plucked from the archived. It sounds quite different to the version on the album although you might be familiar with the chorus.
With thanks to Steve Coombe for uploading the track.
The following article is a preview piece from the 20th Anniversary shows by Mark Grainger. It was original published on the now defunct KYEO website and has been unavailable since the site closed, so I thought it deserved a permanent home…
This Friday I’ll be hopping in a car, turning up the stereo and heading West to Manchester in the name of live music. Y’see, this week, one of the North East’s finest rock exports, The Wildhearts, are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut album. That album, Earth vs The Wildhearts, is to be played from start to finish during a run of four shows across the UK, and trust me, if ever there was an album that deserved celebrating it’s Earth vs The Wildhearts.
After numerous false starts, The Wildhearts début LP is finally here. Basically, it’s a bunch of demos that sounded worse after being tarted up in the studio, so they’ve been released in their original form, thus making Nirvana‘s shandy drinking production on ‘In Utero‘ sound like Andrew Lloyd Webber on big drugs! That means ‘authentic’ mis-haps are all over this record, including such jems as out of tune singing, messy drums and over-powering guitars! But my Lord if it isn’t the most invigorating record I’ve heard all year! ‘What the fuck? It’s my life, I can’t lose!’ barks mad Ginger in the autobiographical ‘Drinking About Life‘. My thoughts exactly chap! Big guitars and shouting aren’t new to rock ‘n’ roll, but when they’re played with such gut-wrenching intensity that you can’t really go wrong.
This is an extract from Classic Rock‘s ‘Sleevenotes‘ column. Scans uploaded to ‘All Things Wildhearts‘ Facebook group by Des Tröyer.
What was Wildhearts mainman Ginger doing in a London studio back in the early months of 1993 gently lowering himself into a bath full of jet-black-looking oil. and allowing his eyes to be gaffa taped over and a live scorpion and a giant centipede to roam all over his face? Well he was modelling for the sleeve photo of his band’s debut album, ‘Earth vs The Wildhearts‘.
This excellent 5K’s out of 5 review is taken from an old issue of Kerrang! on the initial release of ‘Earth vs‘. Incidentally, the reviewer here, Jason Arnopp, is now a Doctor Who scriptwriter among other things.
‘I’m living on a landmine/The kind that never ignites…’– TV Tan.
This one just did. The Wildhearts have sat on the bastard for at least seven months since leaving the studio, and now it’s finally erupting. The Rock establishment must prepare to die.
The mysterious KK listed as an engineer in the ‘Earth vs’ credits is brother of Pandora Peroxide artist and Ginger‘s former flatmate, Ray Zell, Kevin Mathews who now plays bass in the band of the sister of the late great Mick Ronson, Maggi Ronson. This extract, written by KK is taken from Maggi’s website. I first met Mick around 1990 at Wessex Studios, London; he was working on an album for Swedish duo EC2, which Mick had produced and played various instruments on. While mixing and overdubbing the album with him, Mick told me he was going to record a new solo album soon and asked me if I’d like to engineer it! Mick was a great guy, but I still took it with a pinch of salt, as, all through my band and engineering days, people would come up with offers like that, which, invariably came to nothing.