Review + Photography by Sophie Jones

The last time The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin toured together was back in 1990s and tonight they share the stage again at Birmingham’s O2 Academy for first night of two shows. They even brought along another Stourbridge character Graham Crabb from Pop Will Eat Itself who played a Nostalgic DJ Set.

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First to take the stage tonight were The Wonder Stuff who immediately got the members of the crowd dancing along and pointing fingers in the air whilst trying not to spill their beers.

Erica makes her presence known on tracks Circlesquare, especially when it’s just her with Miles accompanying on the acoustic guitar on Room 512, All the News That’s Fit To Print.

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The best-received songs of the night were ones from their debut The Eight Legged Groove Machine; A Wish Away and Give Give Give Me More More More which the crowd continued to shout repeatedly back to the empty stage as the band left before returning to the stage and telling the fans to “Shuutt upp!” so they could continue with another song, to which the crowd erupted in cheers.

The Wonder Stuff Set List: Red Berry Joy Town / On The Ropes / Don’t You Ever / A Wish Away / Can’t Shape Up / Mission Drive / Circlesquare / Caught In My Shadow / For The Broken Hearted / The Size Of A Cow / Golden Green / Cartoon Boyfriend / Room 512, All the News That’s Fit to Print / Here Comes Everyone / It’s Yer Money I’m After, Baby / Radio Ass Kiss / Who Wants to Be the Disco King? / Give Give Give Me More More More Encore: Unbearable / Ten Trenches Deep

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Most people in the audience tonight will have a favourite of the two bands but the majority will like both and the rare few will love one or the other. This became evident by the crowd all shifting after The Wonder Stuff left the stage as the room became less crowded, but my guessing is that everyone went the bar for another pint of ‘Ned’s Wonder, yes, that’s right the band have their own real ale for the tour.

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Next up were The Ned’s who bounded onto the stage full of energy and kicked things off with Suave and Suffocated which had the crowd bouncing along straight away. Already it’s clear that Ned’s haven’t lost the legendary performances that they’re known for.

Happy, Grey Cell Green got the biggest cheers of the night but not by much as they couldn’t leave without playing ‘Kill Your Television’ which is the defining track of theirs. It’s a song with a chorus that urges the audience to shout it back and tonight the O2 Academy did just that. Overall Ned’s leave the stage to an on-going applause, we suspect they’ll be back for more soon…

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Ned’s Atomic Dustbin Set List: Suave and Suffocated / Not Sleeping Around / Until You Find Out / Trust / Walking Through Syrup / Less Than Useful / Capital Letters / A Leg-End In His Own Boots / Stuck / Throwing Things / Terminally Groovie / Legoland / Who Goes First / Traffic / Cut Up / Happy / Grey Cell Green / Intact Encore: Kill Your Television / Selfish

They are definitely two very different bands but both have a very loyal fan base.

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See the complete photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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