It’s approximately 8.25 at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Jim Bob has not long finished an excellent acoustic set and Alice Cooper is bellowing ‘Hello, Hooray’ across the PA system. Whether or not this choice of between set music has been chosen deliberately or is just a welcome coincidence remains to be seen. However, its lyric concerning letting the show begin and pulling in the audience is certainly apt. Tonight, the near capacity crowd are very keen…and – in some cases – especially so, since they’ve got a good idea of the night’s set list. Stourbridge’s finest, The Wonder Stuff, have promised that their first two albums – 1988’s ‘The Eight Legged Groove Machine’ and 1989’s ‘Hup’ – will be played in full. These are albums that still mean the world to most of The Stuffies’ loyal fanbase. They’re also albums that have the potential to be enjoyed by listeners who might not have connected with them that first time around. More than just nostalgia, the coming set is automatically geared towards fantastic songs. High spirits and a lot of crowd singing are both guaranteed.
We’ve hit December 2019 and that can mean only one thing. It’s time for The Real Gone Advent Calendar!
As is traditional, over the next twenty four days, we’ll be posting a new link. It might be a video. It might be audio only. It might be an old favourite. It might be something brand new and unfamiliar. The only way to find out is by coming back each day and opening a new window.
The are some great albums in the Wonder Stuff back catalogue. From the undeniably classic (‘The Eight Legged Groove Machine’) to the underrated (2005’s ‘Escape From Rubbish Island’), Stourbridge’s finest can often be relied on for delivering entertainment. A natural successor to 2016’s ’30 Goes Around The Sun’, ‘Better Being Lucky’ has a balanced approach; its mix upbeat material and thoughtful downers will appeal to the more committed fan. On first listen, it’s good…but as time passes, it’s one of those albums that sounds even better.
It’s sometime after 10.20pm and the downstairs of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire is completely rammed. There’s barely any room to move. It didn’t seem this busy when Carter USM‘s Jim Bob played his brilliant sold out show here just a week earlier, but that’s probably due to more people being in the balcony. The majority of people may be downstairs for this second London double headliner between The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin tonight, but that has the effect of adding plenty of atmosphere. Whatever the crowd logistics, it’s impressive the Stourbridge lads can still pull such a huge crowd on their second night in such a large venue.