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In The Beginning...
Mar 1986 to Sept 1988
Oct 1988 to Dec 1989
Jan 1990 to Apr 1991
May 1991 to Jan 1992
Feb 1992 to Aug 1993
Sept. 1993 to Feb 1994
Mar 1994 to Nov 1994
Dec 1994 to Dec 1999
Jan 2000 to Dec 2000
Jan 2001 to Dec 2003
Jan 2004 to Dec 2004
Jan 2005 to Dec 2005
Jan 2006 to Apr 2006
May 2006 to Oct 2006
Nov 2006 to
Sept 2008
Oct 2008 to Sept 2009
Oct 2009 to Dec 2010
Jan 2011 to Dec 2011
Jan 2012 to Feb 2015

In Memoriam
Rob Jones
Martin Gilks

Following the group's triumphant return at London's Forum, the group members promptly dropped off the radar again although it was confirmed that the group were looking to appear at a couple of festivals in the UK during the Summer.  Indeed for the next couple of years it would be very much a case of the group announcing a handful of live shows, performing them and then disappearing again until the next ones.  There were no plans for new material or releases there was a feel of a nostalgic view of the whole group.

By March, it was clear that plans for the release of a live album culled from the Forum dates were still underway as producer Mick Glossop had completed initial mixing of a planned compilation release. Planned to be a double album of 26 tracks, the mixes were only eventually taken from the December 14th and 15th performance. It was also announced that the group were planning on releasing a new DVD to follow up the Welcome To The Cheap Seats video which would include up-to-date live performances, interviews and other features.


The same month, Miles appeared on the BBC2 television series Never Mind The Buzzcocks - a music-related celebrity quiz show hosted by Mark Lemarr. During the recording of the show, it was rumoured that Miles and Lemarr did not get on well, frequently trading insults and banter. As a result, the aired broadcast showed Miles appearing sullen throughout, barely speaking two words and seemingly generally bored and un-interested.  Miles was on comedian Sean Hughes' team, alongside Eastenders actor Michael Greco.  Other contestants on the show including singer Claire Richards (Steps), comedian Junior Simpson and team captain for the opposite side, comedian and radio-DJ Phill Jupitus.


An announcement of the release of the live album from the Forum performances was made in April. Titled 'Cursed With Insincerity', the album was to be released on Eagle Records at the end of May although this was later moved to early June in order to coincide with a major article on the group to be featured in the Sunday Express newspaper. Sadly, a new features editor took over at the company the week before the article was due to run and shelved it - the article has never been published.


Shortly before the release of the album, the group issued a statement on their website saying that a small number of the albums contained a 'golden ticket'. These tickets, limited to just a few hundred, would give the holder access to a special ticketholders-only concert to be held at London's Kings College on June 7th. London radio station XFM would also be airing a competition to win tickets. Further live dates were also added for August where the group would appear at Nottingham's Longest Day festival in addition to two dates at the Ocean in London. The group also took part in an online interview for the internet service provider, Compuserve to promote the album release and tour.

Following their appearances in Nottingham and London, a series of Christmas dates were lined up in Wolverhampton and Glasgow, with a special warm-up gig scheduled for the Rio in Bradford. It also emerged that a limited edition CD EP would be sold at the venues which would contain previously unreleased material. Although the EP was not intended to contain 'new' material, it did contain one of the last tracks to be demoed by the group in 1994, 'Sing Our Song'. Other tracks on the EP including live versions of Sing The Absurd, Unfaithful and Piece of Sky - all versions of which had been mixed during the preparation of the Cursed With Insincerity album but not included on the release. The remaining track on the EP was a rare demo version of Ooh Ooh, Ahh Ahh from 1987. Although demo tracks had been heard previously by some of their fans and others within the group's circle of friends and colleagues, this version is not one that had previously been available. Initially limited to just 2000 copies, each copy of the EP was numbered and signed by the group members. The EP would later be re-released but unsigned and un-numbered.


Prior to the December dates, the group launched a competition on their website for local bands to support them at each of the venues. The competition was aimed at groups without existing recording contracts and was simply aimed at getting them more exposure. The eventual winners were: Bradford - Fugoo, Glasgow - Nabushi Shang Hong, Wolverhampton (1st night) - Theory of Everything, Wolverhampton (2nd night) - Moco. The other support act on the tour was the legendary Jesus Jones.



As was now becoming customary, following the December live dates each of the group members went their separate ways again. Since the group had reformed in 2000, Martin Gilks had taken on the role of managing the group, arranging tours and handling initial promotion.  Miles was once quoted as saying that he would just get a call from Martin out of the blue saying that they had had an offer to play somewhere and asking if he was available. This left Miles to concentrate more on his solo career.

Indeed, nothing more was heard from the group until April when they announced that they would be playing at London's Fleadh Festival in June supporting The Pogues and Joe Strummer. To prepare for the gig, a warm-up date at Dudley's JB's the previous night was arranged - both performances were recorded for future release.


Its easy to be cynical about the astounding regularity The Wonder Stuff seem to come out of retirement – roughly once every six months for a couple of gigs – and its easy to be cynical to be about yet another rehashed greatest hits set, played in a slightly different order each time.

On the other hand, its much much harder to be cynical about whether they still deserve to be out there playing gigs. Its pure nostalgia, and nothing but, but they and the audience, are behaving like hyperactive teenagers. Memories die hard in the minds of an increasingly aged audience eager to step into a time machine and revisit a decade ago with as much enthusiasm and energy as they did then. And somebody really should let 30-somethings know crowdsurfing doesn't look good when you've got a beer belly. And big boots really hurt when they kick you in the face.

Ever heard a Wonder Stuff record? You’ll much know what to expect: A combination of spiky indie guitar-pop with folkish-jigs. And a set that revisits a great many of their greatest hits such as the country tinged (if slightly misogynist) singalong “Golden Green”, the spiky and defiant “Don’t Let Me Down, Gently”, the knowingly disposable-pop shite that is “Size of a Cow”, and the definitive baggy-folk crossover song of “Circlesquare”. (If there is such a thing)

There's also the manic pop thrill of "Unbearable"  (complete with Ramones tribute) and the closing “Ten Trenches Deep”, played as if they're fresh out of the box - belying the fact that they only play one song less than a decade old.

Tonight they do everything you should hope for when you see a live band; entertain you brilliantly and leave you feeling thrilled and fulfilled like few other bands nowadays. A nostalgic, thrilling night out…..and totally irrelevant to anything ‘fresh’ in the scene today.

In it's own way, this is just as appropriate a summary as the recent greatest hits package since a muscular competence and Miles Hunt's abrasive chumminess were always part of the group's uncompromising charm. 'Sleep Alone', 'Size Of A Cow', 'Golden Green', 'Dizzy', 'Welcome To The Cheap Seats' and the rest are delivered with typical verve and aplomb.
This is stadium rock with a comfortingly homely edge, which is perhaps why they never mounted a serious challenge to U2. But it's no less enjoyable for that. ****

Graham Reed, The Final Word

The only other appearance by the group took place in October when the group headed off to Jumeirah in Dubai for a special one-off performance.



2003 began with the announcement that the long-awaited release of the group's new DVD would soon be released in addition to a handful of live dates - the group would be returning to Dubai early in March to play at the Aviation Club in the Garhoud region as well as headlining the Longest Day Festival at Sherwood Forest, Nottingham in August.

To promote the DVD's release, a special launch concert was held at London's Canary Wharf in February where the audience could purchase the pre-release copies of the DVD release - the only difference between these versions and the released versions were that the sleeves had no barcodes on them.

A few weeks later, dates were also announced for a pre-Christmas tour which would see the group playing a handful of larger venues in England and Scotland. The tour would be preceded with a warm-up date to be held at the Ambassador Hotel in Dublin with an after-show party at The Hub in Dublin.


After much anticipation and delay, the long-awaited new DVD was finally released to retailers in mid-May. There were no explanations for the delay from the time of the DVD launch concert back in February. When the idea was first suggested almost two years ago, it was intended that the release would tie-up the availability of the group's promo videos by including the final three videos from the 'Construction...' album along with rare archive performances and other exclusive content. With the features available on DVD and it's increased capacity over its video counterpart, much was hoped for... Sadly, when the release finally came out, 'Construction For The Modern Vidiot' only contained tracks recorded at a selection of live appearances during the previous three years mixed with live chat and interviews. Although Martin Bell had been primarily responsible for the making of the DVD project, it was rumoured that he had not been given permission to use older material from it's copyright owners (Universal) but many people felt this was a great opportunity missed and not the 'Welcome To The Cheap Seats'-style follow-up they were hoping for.

Nevertheless, the DVD showed the group in fine form, performing with renewed vigour and thumping out all of the classics from their back catalogue such as 'Mission Drive', 'Golden Green', 'Ten Trenches Deep' in addition to their cover of John Lennon's 'Gimme Some Truth'. The recordings were taken from the group's London Forum shows in 2000, Nottingham's Longest Day Festival in 2001 and the Fleadh Festival in 2002.

Shortly after the release of the DVD, three of the December dates were cancelled 'due to unforeseen circumstances' - Bournemouth, Sheffield and Glasgow. Martin Gilks said that the group hoped they could reschedule the dates for early in 2004 but this never happened.  Only the London, Manchester and Birmingham dates went ahead as planned.


In an interview for the icBirmingham website at group prepared for their Birmingham performance, Martin Gilks spoke of some new work which the group had recently been involved in. They had been approached to write music for two new children's television programmes. The first one, Underground Ernie (for the Fremantle Corporation), was initially to be a 26-episode series and, according to Martin, was "...rather like an update of Thomas The Tank Engine, but it's on the underground. There's a character called Jubilee, another called Bakerloo who looks a bit like Sherlock Holmes, and Ernie is like the Fat Controller."  Initial pictures showed that the series would include a street busker who bore an uncanny resemblance to Miles. It was originally hoped that Miles would do the voice for the busker character but laws against non-Equity members (the trade union representing performers and artists) undertaking such work prevented him from doing so although the theme tune and other incidental music was originally written and performed by members of the group. The character of Ernie would be voiced by footballing legend, Gary Lineker.

Promotional picture for Underground Ernie        Street busker from Undergound Ernie

The other series, with a working title of Lord Nose, was still very much 'work-in-progress' but said to be along the lines of the Mister Men animation series. To date, nothing moerw has bene heard of this project.


During the interview, Martin also spoke about plans for the setlist of the forthcoming tours and, for the first time, about new material the group had been working on. "We're going to delve into our back catalogue and see what we haven't played yet. One of my ideas was to put it to the audience through our website.  We have also got some proper new songs too," he revealed. "We haven't got around to thinking about what we're going to do with them yet because we've all got full time jobs - Miles is in New York with Clint Mansell from the Poppies working on some soundtracks, Malc is a personal trainer and Martin Bell syncs music to films - but I hope we'll get a chance to record them in the New Year."

One online ticket retailer also began advertising tickets for an appearance by the group at the Ocean (Hackney, London) in March 2004. The venue would be celebrating it's 3rd birthday at the time and the group had been asked to appear as part of a series of concerts the venue were looking to put on. This appearance never went ahead however.

Indeed.... things were about to take a very unexpected turn...