Saturday, 13 November 2010

265 THE WONDER STUFF, THE GIGOLO AUNTS, Done Lying Down, London Brixton Academy, Friday 22 April 1994

The third date on this tour for me was a drive/ train/ tube affair to get to, getting in to the venue at 7, dodging touts and picking up flyers on the way in, and getting a beer in just as surprise first support Done Lying Down regaled us with a bit of white noise and a couple of more thoughtful numbers.

Could only get Circle seats for this gig, so made sure of a good view right front centre, for The Gigolo Aunts set, which while dynamic, harmonic and effervescently vital as ever, suffered from poor sound in this currently half-full venue, with only "Where I Find My Heaven" rising above the glare. "A punk rock set," as guitarist Phil Hurley later called it, which culminated in the road-crew showering the boys with flowers at the start of last number "Bloom". A lovely touch to mark the last date of the tour!

The Wonder Stuff, by contrast, had the sound sorted totally perfectly for their later entrance in front of a by-now packed house, as clear as a (fiddly) bell, and the boys did it justice with a totally fabulous performance, brimming with class and confidence, and easily the best I've ever seen them. "Three million gigs and still singing like a mockingbird," declared vocalist Miles, and he was right; tonight The Stuffies were fully deserving of their Premier League of Rock status, and showed serious stadium credentials for the future. The encores, featuring Phil Hurley on additional guitar for one number ("someday all men will play like that, "complimented Miles), Vic Reeves for the showmanship of "Dizzy", and a roadie on mandolin for a version of The Waterboys' "Fisherman's Blues", all brought the house down!

Oh yeh, I took a wander midway through the Stuffies set, bumping into Phil and his tall girlfriend Dot, and watched in wonder as he revealed himself to be a true fan and rock enthusiast himself. We took a wander to the foyer, spotting Eat's excellent vocalist Ange Doolittle standing, appropriately, by the food bar, and when I pointed this out to Phil, he dashed over to the slightly taken aback Ange and immediately enthused, "wow man, I really like your band, man!" A great rock'n'roll moment!

Another nice footnote to this was that (as I found when I met her, years later) also in tonight's audience was a certain girl at her first gig... my wife Rachel!

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