The Wildhearts have announced a hiatus, meaning festival appearances such as Stonedead and a planned Hammersmith Odeon show in November are wiped from the calendar. MetalTalk looks at the plans of the members of the first solid line up and how The Renaissance Runners helped during Covid-19 lockdowns.
“We regret to announce that due to ongoing issues within the band,” a Wildhearts statement read, “we will be taking a hiatus. In light of this decision, all future live shows will be cancelled. We apologise sincerely to our fans, friends, families and work colleagues for any inconvenience this may cause. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support over the years.”
Founding member Danny McCormack has struggled with debt and mental health issues for some time and recently put his famous bass guitar up for sale, but a project to finish his book is underway. A Patreon account has been created, which will cover an exclusive insight into the progress of the new Danny McCormack, Once A Wildheart Always A Wildheart book, with exerts, interviews and chapters every month.
“It’s not about just about a book,” author Guy Shankland told MetalTalk. “People want to support Danny and want to do things for Danny, and this is a way of contributing five or ten pounds a month and getting something back for it. It will help Danny to make that first little step into recovery and to get some self-confidence and some self-belief back.”
Danny is looking to the future. “The hiatus will give me the time to concentrate on finishing the book and possibly a solo project,” Danny told MetalTalk as news of the hiatus broke. “I sincerely wish the entire Wildhearts family and its beautiful and supportive wider community nothing but health, happiness and love. Once a Wildheart, always a Wildheart.”
CJ Wildheart has announced his ‘best of’ album, Lives, with pre-orders available from cjwildheart.bigcartel.com
“These things happen a lot with us,” CJ said in a Facebook post, “and I don’t think anybody is really surprised by this outcome. A long break will do us all wonders, and I wish the boys all the best in whatever they do.”
“In the meantime, myself, being a wheeler and dealer, I aim to finish working on my best of album, and then start recording my next solo album Split, which will be five pop-punk songs vs five hardcore punk songs, hence the name.”
Ginger Wildheart will be back out on the road in April. Ginger will be joined by Jon Poole and Carol Hodge for some acoustic frivolity, playing songs from his extensive back catalogue.
“I am passionate about family, the Wildhearts, running and Arsenal,” Bridgette Hewitson-Bevis told MetalTalk from her home in Australia. “I have been a Wildhearts fan since hearing their debut album Earth vs the Wildhearts, and I have travelled far and wide to see them over the years.”
Bridgette spoke about the extended Wildhearts family. “Over the years I got to know Duncan (Dunc) [stage tech for Ginger/The Wildhearts] well. He is a great man, always happy to pass out the setlists and guitar picks and is good for a chat. He has posted me things over here.”
Lockdown saw Bridgette form an idea to support the backroom people who worked with The Wildhearts. “I thought how on earth would they be earning any money at all as there weren’t any gigs,” she said. “They don’t have albums to make.”
Bridgette had completed virtual runs during 2020, running a distance to receive a medal, and the money raised goes to the charity you have chosen. “I put the idea to the All Things Wildhearts Facebook page, and with Gareth Baddeley, who designed the medal and Martyn Goss’ contacts, we put an idea together.”
For a £15 entry fee, you had to run 555k in six months. “The medals are truly unique. We got permission to use the Wildehearts logo, and Gareth made a unique running shirt.”
The Renaissamce Runners were created. “We raised over £1,500,” Bridgette says, “which we added to Ruth Rocks donation pot which is a place where donations can still be made.”
The run was something that Bridgette told us she was proud to be involved with. “We could do something to help,” she says, “and we also inspired people to get out and exercise. People could walk or ride a bike also. We are planning another one to donate to mental health, calling it 21st Century runners.”
With the hiatus of the band, it remains to be seen what the future holds, and it is always sad news when things like this happen. “The run is what we did as we love our band and all the people that made them a great band,” Bridgette says. “I am not sure how many other bands fans did anything like this.”