As founder of the South Shields, U.K.-formed, headline-grabbing and raucous hard rock act the Wildhearts -- a group that boasted no fewer than 14 different lineup changes between 1990 and 2010 -- it was never anything other than a foregone conclusion that the creative and talented Ginger would embark upon a solo career. Born David Walls in 1964, Ginger spent a large part of the 1980s moving between bands before settling for a two-year stint with the London-based pop-metal act the Quireboys. In October 1987, on only his second day with the band, they made a prestigious appearance supporting Guns N' Roses at the Hammersmith Odeon. However, by early 1989 Ginger has been fired, the rest of the Quireboys seemingly unable to cope with the unpredictability of a guitarist who had become increasingly alcohol-dependent.
Still smarting from this experience, Ginger played a one-off gig in Manhattan with a New York-based band called the Throbs before returning to the U.K. with the intention of writing new material. Within months, the first incarnation of the Wildhearts had been assembled, included ex-Tattooed Love Boys guitarist Chris "C.J." Jagdhar. While their debut album, Earth vs. the Wildhearts, is held in high regard by keen fans of the band, the comparatively lavishly produced 1995 follow-up, P.H.U.Q., was the Wildhearts' watershed album both critically and commercially, reaching the U.K. Top Ten in May 1995. Over the next two decades the band released -- and promoted in idiosyncratically rambunctious fashion -- a further six studio albums that explored the worlds of melodic punk, glam rock, powerful metal, and breakneck close-harmony-fueled pop.
Before the end of the century, Ginger recorded what was -- for all intents and purposes -- his debut solo album. Released in 2000 under the moniker Silver Ginger 5, Black Leather Mojo was produced by the Cardiacs' frontman, Tim Smith. A Break in the Weather, a collection of tracks from an abandoned singles club project, was issued in 2005, while Ginger's debut studio album proper -- the sprawling Valor del Corazon -- appeared early the following year. Smith assisted once more with the production of 2007's Yoni, before the acclaimed Market Harbour appeared 12 months later. Next, the aptly named retrospective 10 was released in October 2010 and brought together key tracks from the previous decade. In March 2012 he launched a fan-funded triple-album project entitled 555%, the highlights of which were released in June of the same year as 100%. ~ James Wilkinson