12th April | O2 Academy
When ‘The Stourbridge Scene’ was in full effect, in the late 80s and early 90s The Wonder Stuff, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Pop Will Eat Itself were its hairy harbingers of havoc. The Stuffies, led by the dapper Miles Hunt, seemed on a permanent rampage, often sounding like a bust-up at at barn dance. With two bass players, Ned’s always had a bottom-heavy sound, but like a rhinoceros can reach 50 kph, they combined velocity with distinct heft. PWEI incorporated samples and state-of-the-art production into their initial grebo leanings. It’s hard to believe that a small Black Country town could assume such prominence in British indie any given time. It would be on a similar scale to having BBC 6Music dominated by ‘The Taunton Scene’ nowadays.
Love From Stourbridge brings double-headliner sets from The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, interspersed with a DJ set from Graham Crabb of PWEI. 2018’s ‘scene’ isn’t a cash-in or a comeback tour. All the bands have remained around, more or less and in one guise or another, throughout the intervening decades. Having grown up together, they’ve remained friends and sporadic drinking buddies, meeting back in old Stourbridge haunts. It’s no surprise, then, that they have released a beer to be sold at all tour venues, called Ned’s Wonder. It’s hard to know what’s going to be more intoxicating, the music, the ale, or the fleeting fantasy that it’s 1990 again and that (insert your own least favourite modern phenomenon here) isn’t even a thing yet.