Ginger & the Scorches/CJ & the Satellites/God Damn Whores Live @ JB's, Dudley (UK) - 16th September 2007

Not unlike a night in with a super size bar of your fave chocolate, washed down with a few cans of Special Brew, tonight was going to be a night of pure self-indulgence. It was also one that if I'm honest had raised more interest in me than anything Ginger had turned his hand to in a long time.

Tonight cost a miserly £8 on the door, and for that you got Jon Pooles caustic antics, CJ's sublime melodies and Gingers cowboy boots covered in horseshit. What more could you want?

For those unaware of who The Scorchers are/were, they first hit the UK around the same time as Georgia Satellites and their heart and soul lay in the Nashville influence alt country rock scene they helped pioneer. Ginger has always had a soft spot for Jason Ringenberg's troop of country bears, so for him to front them for a series of low key shows must have been like his Nashville Lottery ticket coming up all six numbers.

"God Damn Whores" led by (part time) Wildhearts and Cardiacs bassist Jon Poole got things off to an unfashionably early start, meaning I managed to miss 2/3 of the set, but the spiky pop punk of "Unemployment Man" raised a smile and plenty of applause from the surprisingly small crowd.

By The Time Mr Chris Jagdhar took the stage with his "Satellites" the venue had started to fill up nicely and despite an erratic feedback problem the subtle tones of powerpop he favours with this latest side project lifted proceedings to a joyous ear to ear grin.

It's a real privilege to witness "CJ and The Satellites" live when he plays songs as jaw droppingly immediate as "Girls On Fire". Not since the grossly overlooked Honeycrack have I seen him so relaxed and in control of proceedings. By the time "Written In Blood" is given an airing, I find myself at the merch stand handing over my hard earned cash for a T-shirt proudly proclaiming the bands moniker and my fave number (Thirteen). Catch this band live if you can, if not, buy the album it's great fun.

The first striking difference about the new all clean Ginger is that his dreadlocks are gone. So tonight sporting a cowboy hat and matching Johnny Cash/Supersuckers panache he hit the stage thrusting and stomping like a struttin cock, and this was before the band played one single note. As I mentioned earlier, Ginger tonight was like a kid finding Mr Wonka's golden ticket, and don't we just know it. Three songs in Ginger fesses up and admits that choosing the set list for one of his fave bands and then fronting them was almost akin to having a wank in front of us all. I know which one I'd pay to watch and it doesn't involve orange pubes thank you fella.

So during the ninety minutes of "Ginger and the Scorchers" such old school shit kicking country rockers as "Shop It Around" and "White Lies" got the crowd whooping and a hollering and with only the chicken wire missing we could really be in some Texan bar.

It's a credit to "Ginger and The Scorchers" that a band I hadn't listened to in over 20 odd years still sounded as vital as they did all those years ago. At one point I actually thought to myself that this was easily the best thing Ginger had been involved in since Earth Verses The Wildhearts and by the look of pure joy on his face during main set closer "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown" I'd hazard to guess he was thinking the same thing to.

Guys get into a studio, I demand an album… NOW.

by Johnny H.

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Visit the God Damn Whores Myspace