THE WONDER STUFF/AMSTERDAM @ BOURNEMOUTH O2 ACADEMY 25/04/10 BY CHINNERS
For many people that are here tonight The Wonder Stuff's 'Hup' album was part of the soundtrack of their youth, it was certainly mine and Miles Hunt's witty well written lyrics have been embedded in my brain every since it was first released in November 1989. Tonight's the band have promised to play the whole 'Hup' album in it's entirety along with a few live favourites and a few B-side's from the time. Tonight's support comes from Liverpool band 'Amsterdam' who have supported The Wonder Stuff before a few years ago, Ian Prowse the lead vocalist is a true Liverpulian wearing his heart on his sleeve and this is highlighted in the band's passionate honest lyrics.'Amsterdam' are a 7 piece band that include elements of folk combined with rock roots, including such traditional instruments the Tin Whistle, fiddle and the flute. As the band take to the Bournemouth stage they are greeted by a half empty hall, which they are certainly not intimidated by, they just request that everybody in attendance move away from the bar and come closer to the stage and most people oblige. Their music is catchy and it is easy to pick up on their songs even if you have not heard them before and start singing them yourself. The Bournemouth audience were treated to a songs from the latest album 'Arm in Arm' which included the great title track and a great song called 'Home', despite a few technical difficulties with the guitar, Ian and his band put in a great performance, that everybody that who turned up early to see truly appreciated.
The lights go out in this great old theatre and the intro music kicks in and it is just like some old eighties radio with the tuner being constantly moved, with each time a classic track from the eighties being played over the PA, an extended version of the original 'Hup' intro. The band arrive on stage to a great welcome and kick into the 1st track '30 Years in The Bathroom' and looking around lots of 30-40 something's were unashamedly singing along to the lyrics at the tops of their voices. The line -up has changed over the years with just Miles Hunt and Malcolm Treece from the original band after sadly Rob Jones(Bass Thing) and Martin Gilks passed away, they were remembered when the band launched into 'Piece of Sky'. The crowd were a little quiet as mention a few times by Miles and he put it down to being a Sunday night, the band launch in to the classic single 'Don't Let Me Down Gently' and the whole atmosphere in the place changed, a mosh pit at the front is created by many energetic fans , the band seemed very uplifted by this. Miles has a reputation of having rather a sharp tongue and usually vents his anger out about many subjects on the unsuspecting audience, tonight Miles is encouraging hecklers and unusually their are not takers.
After the live set of the 'Hup' album the band leave the stage saying that they are off down the pub!! The audience stomp and cheered demanding more and the band returned with Miles saying "You knew we were gonna come back didn't you?" The second part of the set started with a couple of covers that can be found on the B-sides of the 'Hup' singles 'Gimme Some Truth' by John Lennon and a great ditty about sex called 'Inside You' by fellow Stourbridge Band 'Pop Will Eat itself' . The rest of the evening was a complete indulgence of some of The Wonder Stuff's best known material which included the amazingly upbeat 'On The Ropes' , 'Size of a Cow' and 'Mission Drive' which included some amazing fiddle work by Erica Nockalls, the audience responded by again singing at the top of their voices and bouncing around, much to the delight of the band who were also clearly enjoying themselves. The Wonder Stuff could have been one of the biggest bands on the planet and decided to go with their heads and not their hearts, their music was one of celebration and about having fun which was cleary demonstrated here tonight, there is so much more material that the band have in the archives and I'm sure we will see them back on tour again sometime soon.
30 Years in the Bathroom Radio Ass Kiss Big Oak Trees Golden Green Cartoon Boyfriend Unfaithful Piece of Sky Lets be other people Don't let me down Cant Shape up Room 410 Good Nite Though Gimme Some Truth Inside You Circlesquare On the Ropes Last Second.. Here Comes Everyone Caught in my Shadow Mission Drive Size of a Cow Song Without An End Give Give Give Me More More More Unbearable Ten Trenches Deep