The Wonder Stuff, ELGM 20th Anniversary Gigs: Brum and London
As the lights go down and a radio is tuned through a series of ’88 hits (including ‘Can I Play With Madness’ – which I always hear as ‘my vest’ – ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and something called ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, by an unknown artist), I knew my excitement was well founded. When my favourite pop stars appeared and the first three notes of ‘Red Berry Joy Town’ surged through me, I went nothing short of delirious.
I really can’t sum up how good these two gigs were. Birmingham was a blur of meeting new people, real ale, sweat, knackered calf muscles and subsequent stinking hangovers. We had VIP tickets which involved (more) merchandise and an extra mini-set for those that were allowed to stay on: when a disembodied voice invited us back onto the dance-floor I expected Malc and Miles to appear for the first dance. Little did I know we’d get more tunes including ‘A Wonderful Day’, ‘Down Here’ and some song about a Cow.
London involved meeting more people – I spent the two days in such a good mood I was talking to all and sundry – being in the pub too early (and hence drinking far too much again), almost getting into a fight* with some immovable twats who seemed disappointed with the tunes being played (umm, the set-list was pretty obvious you fucking monkey’s pizzle) and further minor injuries.
And on our return to Manc, after the wonderful hospitality of me colleague, his lovely wife and her family, the re-recorded Eight Legged Groove Machine was waiting for my listening pleasure.
Now I was harbouring a few doubts about this, but as it says on the sleeve notes it was never the Stuffies’ intention “to replace your original copy”. And, yes, it won’t, but my god the songs and the band are still sounding as fresh as ever. Filled with a matured but still invigorating angst, they’ve not pissed about and re-mixed anything, preferring instead to record the tunes as near to live as possible. Erica has added the odd fiddle twist here and there, but only for the better.
The only problem I face now is that the original was on repeat up until the gigs and now the re-make is getting the same abuse. Perhaps this post will act as some sort of closure.
Nah. Fuck it. Giddy up kiddies and get sore and sweaty to these beauties:
*”Nobody wants to get hurt. Nobody wants to hurt anybody”.