Nestled quietly South West from Birmingham off the infamous M5, sits Stourbridge. Unassuming and fairly shadowed by the great Midlands city, it presented to the British indie pop scene a misshapen motley crew of four young men in 1986 who called themselves The Wonder Stuff. It was the brain child of it’s front man Miles Hunt; a mop haired, opinionated student type whose tongue in cheek humour was to become very essence of this unique band.
After a minor collection of flopped singles, the band caused an unusual stir with their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Eight Legged Groove Machine’ in August 1988, which ignited attention within the masses of public school types eager to adapt their intellectual tendencies towards a surrealistic way of appreciating modern music, not unlike the generation of the late Sixties breathing a sigh of relief at the Monty Python boom.
Hard nosed and a furious dip into the growing craze of indie music, they led the way of future bands, some of which, are still around today. The Wonder Stuff’s adaptation to jumpy, enthusiastic, good feeling music still echoes through many striving bands even now.
After the sudden death of Rob ‘The Bass Thing’ Jones in 1993, their bass man, the idealism of The Wonder Stuff appeared to fall into the darkness. Sometimes, in music history, a band loose direction after the passing of a band member, yet others, have found inspiration and light. After finding the drive to carry on and only two top five albums after, they performed their farewell gig at the Phoenix Festival in 1994.
Several flopped projects have since come and gone and only the statutory compilation releases her and there remain. Forever in their debt, we have learnt great lessons from this band; to enjoy music with an indie flavour, with jollity and humour.
Perhaps if got the world to enjoy life in the same way, the world would be a nice place to visit again….