One rock and roller who understands pop nouns without crowbarring it into everything he does is our lord and saviour Ginger Wildheart. This bloke is pure rock and roll. His take on Substitute has the feel of his 555% era output with fast and loose rock and roll guitar solos, pop harmony backing vocals and a naturalistic delivery in a voice all his own.
Ginger Wildheart fronted the best UK rock band of the 1990’s in The Wildhearts. They made music that spoke of their surroundings (Greetings From Shitsville), Their ambitions (Top Of The World) and the monkeys on their backs (Sick Of Drugs). Ginger and his band never shied away from a subject matter, a time change nor an influence. You can hear Abba and Beach Boy melodies in some of their music. Metallica riffs and prog rock direction shifts show up elsewhere. On 29 X The Pain Ginger lists many of his biggest influences in the lyrics. The Who are an obvious one when you hear The Wildhearts. That rough boy edge to heartfelt subject matter cannot be faked. The real Suckerpunch in that most notorious of B-Sides is The Who don’t get a name check. And yet, it is a very clear connection. Hard rocking live shows. Outsider status during a boom period for swinging London (The Wildhearts happened before, during and after Britpop, just like The Who did around the 60’s Beat Era).
The Beatles And The Stones may have been the choice for the Mums and Dads of the next generation. It was the weirdos and the arties who liked The Who the best. In the Blur and Oasis race there was a whole community of Brit Rockers following The Wildhearts around and keeping things left of the dial.
Ginger recorded this take on the 60’s classic in 2012 for the soundtrack to a European TV show. He then gave it away free to his fans on his website. Because he’s a top fella.
I bet The Who loved his take. It’s bob on.
Ironically I’ve been informed the Ginger Link to the video doesn’t work in all regions. So here’s a Substitute cover version by Britpop A Listers Blur to rub salt into the wounds.