The Wonder Stuff

by Taylor-William Hill

Saturday 17th December, O2 Academy Bristol

"Unusually for an indie rock piece, they incorporate interesting elements such as orchestral melodic lines played on the violin, harmonies, banjos, the amalgamation of acoustic and electric guitars..."

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I have shamelessly seen The Wonder Stuff three times already this year. My love for the band evolves from my local heritage: Stourbridge, which was once (believe it or not) quite exemplary for its music scene. It has produced bands such as The Wonder Stuff, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Pop Will Eat Itself. By moving down here to the South, I thought my opportunities to see the band live would be limited: I am glad this won’t be the case.

Together for 30 years, albeit going through numerous line-up changes, the band sounds as fantastic as I imagine they did in the late 80s and early 90s. I’m not the only one who thinks so – my father, who has seen the band every year since being my age, says that their sound has only gotten better. The Wonder Stuff have many unique elements to their music: unusually for an indie rock piece, they incorporate interesting elements such as orchestral melodic lines played on the violin, harmonies, banjos, the amalgamation of acoustic and electric guitars and progressive-sounding keyboard parts. Their music can alternate between different genres: Golden Green has a very distinct Tennessee sound whereas A Wish Away has an 80s dance ethos to it. Lead singer Miles Hunt is also a gentleman with bags of energy and charisma, always acknowledging the audience and never shying away from conversation with his admirers.

Let me affirm my strong belief that The Wonder Stuff are a band you should make time to see on the 17th of December. If you can’t make this date, then they are a band you should certainly check out anyway, period. If you’re unfamiliar with it, now is the time to engage in the Midlands music scene – in my unbiased opinion, that’s where the best music comes from.