FEATURE THE WONDER STUFF
say. that boring. old. attention-grabbing
Damn blast. look at their past. Few could have predicted The Wonder Stuff reaching the dizzy heights of Top Of The Pops. especially not with acoustic guitars and a fiddle in attendance. But, as MILES HUNT tells Craig McLean, they never particularly liked
electric guitars in the first place.
(in the archetypal. pre-89 definition ofthe term) bands to break from that ghetto and convince the wider populace oftheir stratospheric merits. are now at the sweet but strange stage of being big in pop terms and still huge in cred terms. Consequently. they can send a pantomime. novelty song like ‘Size ()f A Cow‘ into the public domain for mass consumption. and get away with it. Compared to the denser. more elaborate aura of the new Never Loved Elvis album. ‘Size ()f A Cow' is wholly atypical ofthe album and yet a typically perverse Stuffies move.
‘Yeah. it was deliberate.’ says Miles I lunt. Wonder Stuff frontman. ‘It wasn‘t written to be the song that put us back on the map. We had a collection of tracks that could have been singles. and “Size ()f A Cow“ got the vote because last year we only had one single out. which was “Circlesquare” — and that was a bit maudlin and had a bit of a poxy dance thing on the B-side which was just for a laugh. although people took it quite seriously and thought. "Fuckin’ hell. The Wonder Stuff's‘ album's gonna be baggy!” So we thought. what‘s the nearest to something we've done before? And I look at "Size ()f A Cow” as quite close to “It‘s Yer
tuff your quiet life. Sod the chosen path of inanity traversed by the haplessly anonymous Pop Star of the 90s. Wherefore verve. vitriol and villification‘.’ Bunkum. balderdash and bellicosity‘.’ Sad to , trick ofcarving chunks out of your flesh for the benefits ofthe press is the most exciting thing around — and even then. it only titillates through its (for the 90s would-be star) against-the-grain public ludicrousness. Naturally. like latterday Sliylocks. that same press encourages and thrives on such freely-proferred pounds of Pop Star flesh. Makes their job that bit easier. don't it'.’ Hence the revered status of'l‘lie Wonder Stuffin the Halls Of Acclaim. From their first appearance in the wider frame of things. performing a crashing ‘(iive (iive Give (Me More More More)‘ on ll'i'red nigh on three years ago. the Stourbridgers have unendineg and enthusiastically furnished the kids with great reading. Much more importantly. bleedin’ phenomenal songs. too. Ripping. chugging. scathing. howling. charming. steaming. ranting. raving songs. Relentlessly dogmatic. cunnineg catchy. ? The Wonder Stuffcreated a rat-tailed monster. a massively popular and decidedly sweaty antidote to unmitigated pop
boredom. And the bigger it's got. the better LOOk’ we’re "at it‘s become. Now they‘re gatecrashing the baggys sorry we charts. and playing sizeably -acred barns and didn’t do mucn las‘ parks. now supplementing their core. i year, and we’re Still primary brilliance with secondary and even l as stupid as you tertiary wavesofrock'n’roll majesty. I everthougm we
I suppose I quite like them. were!
The Wonder Stuff. as one of the first ‘indie‘
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Money l'm After Baby". It‘s just ridiculous!
‘The press we were getting was dour stuff. It was me jumping the gun about things like the Day Of Conscience and the Finsbury Park New Year gig. Everything was really negative. I just wanted to redress the balance. say. “Look. we‘re not baggy. sorry we didn’t do much last year. and we're still as stupid as you ever thought we were!” ‘
And this despite the over-documented — and. as it transpires. over-exaggerated — tales of 1990 as The Wonder Stuff's nadir.
‘Last year was the best year we ever had. to be honest. It just felt like all year was summer. we just had a really really good time. We got Paul (Clifford) in on bass. and the band felt real again. rather than having this argumentative drunk in the fuckin‘
i corner all the time. which is what Bob (The
Bass Thing) turned into.
‘We had to rediscover ourselves. Last year was like starting a new band. having a new beginning again. and we could rejuvenate the energy. When I listen to this LP 1 think that's what we‘ve achieved.‘