Review and Photographs by Rob Farrell.

The final night of The Wonder Stuff’s December tour. It ended festively at the 02 Institute in Birmingham along with support from Black Country and Birmingham bands Bentley Rhythm Ace, Fuzzbox and newcomers The Lottery Winners.


An early start for The Lottery Winners and I wish I could have made it just that little bit earlier. With the difficult task of opening for three established bands they soon had the crowd cheering along to their indie style rock. The audience were more than please to receive copies of the bands music that was tossed into the crowd by the lead singer of this Lancashire-based band.


Next up were local lasses Fuzzbox, kicking off the set with ‘International Rescue’ one of their biggest hits to date. With the venue filling up nicely the atmosphere was feeling more festive with Fuzzbox giving us fond memories of their debut single ‘Rules and Regulations’ with Vix giving it all in her sexy Santa. The three new members of the band slot in perfectly along with Fuzzbox veterans Maggie and Vix. I remember seeing the original line up when they first came on to the scene with ‘Love Is A Slug’; they put a smile on my face back then and did again tonight.




With a completely different musical direction Bentley Rhythm Ace enterd the stage being lead by PWEI’s original bassist Richard Marsh. The band describe themselves as self-styled purveyors of  “car boot disco techno”. I was never a fan of the rave and acid scenes back in the day, my music taste was more on the dark side. But Bentley Rhythm Ace perfectly fitted into the mix and I was pleasantly surprised. Musically and visually they created an enjoyable show….




I seem to catch The Wonder Stuff at the end every year and always kicks off my Christmas celebrations! With Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ blasting through the speakers everyone is in a festive mood ready for the current incarnation of The Wonder Stuff.  With a mix of tunes from the past thirty years The Wonder Stuff played to an enthusiastic crowd that often drowned out the band singing along to classics such as ‘The Size of a Cow’, ‘Unbearable’ and the how down ‘Golden Green’.




The audience that seemed to mainly made up of a crowd aged 45 years + seemed to be reacting the same way to the band they did 30 years ago. Love or hate this band you can not dispute the talent of Miles Hunt as a musician, along with the rest of the band still retaining the classic Wonder Stuff sound.  With an on-core of The Jam‘s ‘That’s Entertainment’, the crowd carried on the slightly drunken singing until the end.




Every band tonight plated their hearts out, enjoyed the gig and gave the evening more of a party atmosphere. A great start Christmas. Happy New Year to you all!

More photos from the evening are available here.

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