The Wildhearts paid tribute to two very different icons during their storming set during the opening day of Download 2016. Singling out both The Queen, and rock royalty in Lemmy Kilmister, the tributes came as weather threatened to put a dampener on the annual Midlands’ metal event.
Taking to the Maverick Stage just before 6.30pm on Friday (10th June), The Wildhearts proved exactly why they are festival favourites, with high-energy performance. Kicking off with 1994 single ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’, it was hit after hit, after motherf****n’ hit, as ‘TV Tan’ bled into ‘Sick Of Drugs’ and beyond.
It was during the latter that front man Ginger paid tribute to reigning monarch Elizabeth II, telling the crowd: "This is the Queen’s birthday", before adding; "happy birthday Liz!".
The singer wasn’t done however, and Ginger also had a special word for late Motörhead band leader Lemmy. Leading into an explosive ‘Caffine Bomb’, the front man said: "Let’s play something befitting of the great man. This one’s for Lemmy".
The Wildhearts evening appearance came as the weather worsened at the event. With torrential rain that began during J-pop metal sensations Babymetal’s set, many were forced to take shelter where they could, with the festival’s smaller stage tents filling to capacity.
Download 2016 continues with Germanic industrialists Rammstein set to close Friday’s bill, heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath headlining Saturday and troopers Iron Maiden bringing proceedings to a close on Sunday.