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:

Ruby Horse

The Animals & Me

Ooh She Said

*”Nobody wants to get hurt. Nobody wants to hurt anybody”.



About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on November 6, 2008, in Gig reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Last week you listened to the Stuffies 73 times. I think that’s some sort of record.

  2. I think the week before it was over a 100….I really need to move on, but I can’t I tells ya!

  3. Sometimes moving on is overrated, shirley?

  4. Indeed, as this post puts it so well.

  5. As the other half of the ‘we’ referred to in this entry, I’d like to add the following:
    Yes – it was fucking excellent
    Yes – I’d do it again this week
    Yes – all overly tall, underly dancing idiots who don’t like what they are seeing should be immediately sent to the back so that underly tall and overly dancing people like me can actually get on with enjoying the gig!

    Great review by the way…..

  6. I’ve often thought gig-goers should be sorted by height, like in school photos. And since couples tend to be the same height (spurious science fact) you could still stand next to each other. Why will no one listen to me?

  7. because it’s a cruel, cruel world, that’s why. If not, how could Coldplay still exist?

  8. Thank you Miss S for your first and very valuable contribution to BBO.

    The only problem with a graded-by-height gig venue policy would be that myself and Miss S would never be able to stand with you and your wife, me colleague, at the few gigs we go to together.

    Having said that I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of bashing you around in a pit (so to speak)?

  9. No. I’m too old to go down the front these days. Anyway, I could never recapture the magic of losing my glasses and passing out while having my ears perforated by Husker Du (sighs nostalgically).

  10. Being 5 feet tall, I heartily endorse your height requirement at gigs idea (which I’ve mused over like 700,000 times before myself).

    Thanks for the Stuffies post – Miles played here last year – I shoulda gone. Sigh!

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