Another review! It’s been a while since I’ve done one.

Headed off to the ARC at Stockton for the now annual Wildcats Christmas party. Usually a good affair with a blend of beer and jump around Irish fiddle music. Not sure what happened this year, but it just wasn’t happening for me.

Kicked off with the usual packed bar and expectant atmosphere, everyone piling through the doors at about 7.50pm. At which point we waited, then we waited some more. Eventually a young girl crept onto the stage as the support and did a couple of covers on her own. I couldn’t make out her name as she mumbled between songs which was a shame as she had quite a singing voice on her. Acoustic versions of slowish songs not the best support plan though when an ever more inebriated crowd awaiting some raucous fiddle music… after about 20 minutes she headed off to a pretty good reception, all things considered. Then we went back to waiting.

Like any crowd, the audience indulged itself whilst waiting, and I’m sure plenty of beer was bought. Certainly seemed that way by the amount on the deck which now had the traction of the roads on the Yorkshire moors in the recent cold snap.

So the band arrived on stage at gone 9.30pm. Now I’m sure big bands need plenty of time between acts to set up, change back drops etc. but this is the ARC in Stockton going from essentially a busker to an oversize pub band. How long does it take?

So we finally launched into the music, all standard fair, although I thought lacking some of their usual verve and enthusiasm. Till just before the break we had a heartfelt anti-war, in the trenches, Siegfried Sassoon type song accompanied by a scrolling list of the war dead in Afghanistan.

Now of course any death due to enemy fire is tragic. But to use their names in the way is a bit disingenuous. These were professional career forces personnel. I’m willing to bet they were proud of their accomplishments, their units and of their military life. Whilst I’m certain forces families, especially those that have lost loved ones wish for peace – as do most forces personnel (which incidentally is not the same as all). But to use their names in a thinly veiled anti-war piece feels wrong. We should remember and pay thanks for their sacrifice. Honour their memories. Not use them as an emotional underlining to get a sentiment across.

So, as you can imagine, I wasn’t having a great time at this point. Enough so, that I managed to persuade those I was with to head on at the interval… never thought we’d do that at a Wildcats gig…

Wildcats on Myspace

One Response to “Wildcats of Kilkenny @ Stockton ARC 18/12/10”

  • mike says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy it mate. Wildcats were actually at stage door at 9pm – waiting to be cued to go on. Each to their own on the war thing – but we just felt it was right to pause from the usual mayhem and remember men and women who have done greater things than us – and the letters I received after backed this up.

    Shame you didn’t stay for the 90 minute second set – had to do 3 returns for encores – guess others had a better time than you.

    Food for thought though.

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