Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby with Lisa Walker

July 8 • Southgate House (Parlour)

Jul 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Growing up in England in the 1960s and 1970s and loving Rock & Roll, Eric Goulden always wanted to write a classic three-chord garage-band anthem like Van Morrison’s “Gloria.” While it's taken him a while to realize it, he did — way back in 1977.

It was called “(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World,” and it was released under his stage name, Wreckless Eric, as one of the seminal first singles from England’s Stiff Records, the legendary early home of British Punk and New Wave. Since then, the irresistibly catchy and defiantly anthemic rocker has been covered often — Will Ferrell memorably sang it on screen in the 2006 movie Stranger Than Fiction.

Eric, now 55 and enjoying a career resurgence due to his excellent 2008 album of wistful, funny and powerful Folk Rock with wife Amy Rigby (it’s just called Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby, on the revived Stiff label), might well play it himself during an exceedingly rare appearance in this region Wednesday. Eric’s career has had its ups and downs over the decades, but this is definitely an up period for him.

He met Rigby, the American singer/songwriter best known for Diary of a Mod Housewife, several years ago when he joined her on stage in Hull, England, to duet on, yes, “Whole Wide World.” That’s the city where he first wrote it as a teenager.

The song’s enduring appeal both amazes and flatters him.

“I thought, ‘Christ, I’ve written one of those songs and I’m amazed I did that,’ ” he says during a phone interview from his home in France. “Like anyone’s stuff really, I’ve written some B-sides, some filler, some that didn’t quite work and a few good ones. ‘Whole Wide World’ is one of the good ones.”

And so is Wreckless Eric. Don’t miss seeing him and Rigby together.

(Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)