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Queen’s University Snack bar 11th November 1989 was the warmest and sweatiest gigs that I ever attended, condensation dripped off the ceiling onto the crazy crowd below baying for more after the last notes of the dear departed bass thing playing ‘good night through’….. Fast forward nearly 30 years and The Wonder Stuff are back finishing with the same song… what has changed?

Ok we are all older…some, if not all, have gained a few extra pounds we don’t move nearly as much as back in 1989 but the enjoyment was equal if not better as we were treated to a back catalogue of their hits to celebrate 30 years of the bands formation in 1986.

The set hit the ground running with Hup’s ‘30 years in the Bathroom’, Never Loved Elvis’ ‘Play’ and Here comes Everyone. It even got too much for the drum kit as the skin sadly needed replacing… As ever Milo joked about the situation (his crowd interaction is one of the best) and eventually decided to fill that space with one of their best songs ‘Room 512’ playing acoustic with Erica and the crowd singing in unison.

Drum fixed it was on with the show ‘Red Berry Joy Town’, ‘Caught in my shadow’ and one new song ‘For the Broken Hearted’ before inspired ‘Mission Drive’, ‘Circle Square’ and of course everyone knows that the Wonder Stuff invented country music with ‘Golden Green’ ringing in our ears.

For all Wonder Stuff fans in Belfast this was also a special date as one of our own sons Dan Donnelly was recruited and for those of us who jumped around the Empire Music Hall to Watercress in the 1990’s this was a great sight to see. He’s a huge talent with a great voice and is perfect foil for Miles Hunt on guitar and backing vocals.

‘Size of a Cow gets introduced almost embarrassingly by Milo, but the crowd loved every second of it, a quick homage to Kirsty MacColl and ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’ along with a stunning rendition of ‘Donation’.

For those who were seeing the Wonder Stuff for first time since the 90’s then they got another treat in the form of ‘Be Thy Name’ from their last album ‘Oh No, it’s the Wonder Stuff’

Another blast of songs from the 80’s ‘A Wish Away’, ‘Radio Ass kiss’ ‘Unbearable’ and Give, give, give me more, more, more’ ended with ‘Ten Trenches Deep’ a live favourite which always transports me back to 1988.

One encore for us to savour tonight ‘it’s your Money I’m After Baby’ and 3 more from ‘Hup’ Can’t Shape Up, Cartoon Boyfriend and finishing up with Goodnight Through…. But it was this song that resonated with me, the band walking off one by one saying their goodbyes, just as they did in 88.

Do yourself a favour, ‘30 Goes Around the Sun’ is the new album coming out soon, put in on your wish list

Thank you Miles, Erica, Mark, Tony and of course Dan, you did us all proud tonight.

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