We went out to the O2 Ritz in Manchester to catch the co-headlined tour of Backyard Babies and The Wildhearts, with support coming from CKY.
Despite a curiously early doors at 5 o’clock it isn’t long before the eager fans started filing into the venue, and by the time CKY take to the stage it is to a nicely packed crowd. Appearing in their current form as a two piece, guitarist/vocalist Chad Ginsburg and drummer Jess Margera hit the stage with the sound and passion of a band two or three times their size. The crowd is quickly following along with the band’s grungy skater punk stylings. This, accompanied with Ginsburg’s playful onstage antics provides the audience with the perfect hard hitting antidote to get them moving on a late Friday afternoon.
Now that the energy of the night is set, it is time for the first of the evening’s headline acts, Backyard Babies. The Swedish rockers take to the stage amidst the blaring blue lights of large police sirens, a perfect introduction to the riotous rock and roll offerings to come. The band quickly launch into their set of classic high energy, punk-infused, rock and roll anthems which have the crowd singing and jumping along almost immediately. B. Babies really do know how to entertain a crowd, the choruses are infectious and the solos soar as high as the guitarists themselves as they leap off the front of stage risers.
Now that the crowd are well and truly energised it’s time for The Wildhearts to take to the stage and round off the evening the only way they know how. With an unstoppable series of hard rock bangers. Just like with their tour partners before them the band expertly navigate their way through hit after hit at break neck speed, with the crowd passionately jumping, waving and shouting along at any opportunity.
As it is, all the bands on the bill are on point, proving why they are truly icons of their genres and undoubtedly the energy they created will have left the crowd buzzing long after they leave the venue.