Remember when you were a kid? Do you remember the band that got you into music? Remember when the music you were into determined the way you dressed and who you spoke to at break times? Remember the kind of music that just made you want to be in a band? The Wonder Stuff were that band for me.

Very early nineties, four guys from the Midlands made the sort of tunes that defined us as indie kids. We knew what they were on about and we loved it! I bought every one of their albums and gloated in their commercial stage ('The Size of a Cow', 'Welcome to the Cheap Seats', 'Dizzy…') because I had got there first. Fronted by Miles Hunt, a wiry ascerbic wit with a penchant for tartan, the band were a voice for our generation, if you were into that kind of thing… if you weren’t, we probably stole your lunch money.

I loved this band and I loved Miles (Milo to the real fan…). The ‘Stuffies split up and the fans grew up. Milo went his own way, a new band, Vent414, a stint presenting on MTV and so the story goes. During this time I think Miles remembered what he was good at. Sitting down with his guitar and making music. Enter the solo album, 'Hairy on the Inside'. Enter Stuart Quinnell, Andres Karo and Michael Ferentino. Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to The Miles Hunt Club.

I'll admit I'm probably not the best person to review Miles Hunt in his latest incarnation. You could easily mistake me for a retrospective die-hard Wonder Stuff fan only interested in seeing whether I can gang up with other relentless stuffies fans to harangue the poor guy into playing 'A Wish Away' at the end of the set.

And you'd be right. That's what I was going for. I love Milo. I think he's great.

I don't care what anyone says. I loved Milo even more when he kept us spoon-fed for years on acoustic solo versions of our favourite Wonder Stuff tunes.

This did me well. I fear change.

"Hairy on the Inside', his first solo album, momentarily passed me by because, well, it just isn't the Wonder Stuff is it?

So WHAT, exactly is my point?

I'm a born slacker. I have a job but, well, I just don't like it. The only redeeming feature of this mindnumbing and utterly pointless profession is that I can get away with surfing the Internet all day every day. Recently, whilst looking for rare Wonder Stuff vinyl for a fellow die-hard fan (hey, there aren't many of us, we gotta stick together!) I found a Wonder Stuff messageboard. (This is a tangent, bear with me...I have a point...somewhere...anyway...). I began to find this strangely compelling and never being one to pass up the opportunity to spend precious working hours surfing rather than fulfilling anything vaguely close to my job description, I began to amble around the entries. I learnt two things, firstly that I truly am a geek and secondly, people will always reply if you post something, whatever that may be.

Whilst clumsily nosing around and butting into other people's conversations I noticed a link to www.themileshuntclub.com . Spotting an opportunity to continue slacking in the most heinous manner, I took it. I was surprised and all in a good way. The site has been designed in a most appropriate gentleman's club style and is mercilessly grown-up. Although I can't help feeling that Milo's tongue is still planted firmly in his cheek somewhere... And this was the moment I realised, that Milo has grown up. Milo has matured yet lost nothing of the appeal he had fronting the stuffies. When regular people mature we tend to forget where we came from and learn to casually disregard emotions we always knew were important but – now we’re older, it's just not British. Just not Milo it would seem.

Intrigued by the site, I actively tuned into Radio Two that evening in order to listen to a brief live set. It was great. It was Milo, all on his own, not doing Wonder Stuff material and it was great.

I rushed to the car to dig out my 'Hairy on the Inside' CD wondering how on earth I had managed to miss it. I've heard Miles' capability as a lyricist slated at times, I'm not beyond the odd misconception myself but - I like it. It's simple but somehow, somehow or other, I get it. 'Everything is not ok/things will not turn out to be just fine'. Miles mate; I know what you mean. I played back the tape of the set; Milo's sounding confident. He should do, his voice doesn't falter once, it's strong and it's heartfelt. Previous Wonder Stuff sets have usually taken him a song or two before you're comfortable that he's settled in. The song's simple but, isn't that the point? It's just a man admitting to himself that shit happens and I know exactly where he's coming from. 'Flapping on the Per' I'd not heard before but I liked it.

And I think that's the point with Milo in his latest incarnation - you really like it. It's simple and it's resolutely human. This man still thinks, a lot. This is evident as you browse the site, well, unless you actually like your job in which case, it could be construed as P45able. Miles writes 'Pomes'. He's self conscious enough to find the word p*em uncomfortable in true Milo style, but assured enough to allow them space on the site. They're worth a read especially if as like me, you've never let a soul read what it is that goes through your mind when you're inspiredly and unashamedly miserable. And I am definitely now looking forward to understanding Milo enough as we admit to ourselves that perhaps the stuffies were us as we were then - and being one of the few that doesn't even sneeze the words 'A Wish Away'. Oops, bless me...












Related Links:



Commenting On: Misconception for the Modern Idiot - Miles Hunt Club/Wonder Stuff








ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment
 


First Previous Next Last