Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
“Ask lots of questions, don’t eat the bullshit” – sage advice on making it in the music business from Ginger, the man who has successfully evolved his 30 year career into a fan-funded cottage industry.
You may or may not have heard of Ginger through his solo career, long time band The Wildhearts, his brief early stint in The Quireboys, through cult side projects Clam Abuse, Supershit 666, Silver Ginger 5 or his stint as sideman with former Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe through 2010 and 2011. He’s currently on tour in America playing second fiddle to none other than Courtney Love, with whom he will undoubtedly compare notes on self destruction.
If you have any interest in how the music industry is mutating though, you will know that Ginger’s first PledgeMusic campaign was 555% over-subscribed in record time, resulting in a manically diverse triple album called 555%, and a commercially released one disc cherry-pick of the highlights as voted by campaign pledgers titled 100%, which entered the Top 10 of the UK album charts.
Hey Hello! Is one of Ginger’s latest projects, a “noisy pop” collaboration with New York chanteuse Victoria Liedke who contributes sugary pop vocals while he plays all the instruments, including the drums, which he learnt especially for this album. Ginger’s love of Cheap Trick style catchy melodies and singalong choruses combined with the finest power pop sensibilities and a rock outlook meld perfectly throughout.
Black Valentine, Swimwear, Burn The Rule Book Fuck It and the rest of the record boast clever, darkly wry and often sardonic lyrics and instantly addictive choruses, and despite some occasionally dark sentiments, the vibe is always ultimately positive. ‘Hey, it’s okay, not all days can be beautiful days’, he sings in Feral Days; ‘Rock n Roll – oh don’t believe the hype – no diggity – we all swapped our gin and heroin for skype, these days’ explain the lack of addiction in his life now, on I’m Gonna Kiss You Like I’m Going Away.
Whether Ginger has rewritten he rule books or quickly cottoned on to the new way to play the music business game, what he’s achieved as a truly independent artist beholden to no record company cannot be ignored by any artist serious about their music, and in the afore-quoted How I Survived The Punk Wars he offers a hilarious and illuminating mini-masterclass in how to treat your fans and career in the modern industry which should be required listening for anyone thinking of forming a band.
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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE