Photos by Mark Turner
The Factory Theatre
Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
1st March 2014
Equipment: Nikon D3s + Sigma 24-70 f2.8
Settings: f2.8 1/100
Saturday night at The Factory was like a reunion.
In 2011, The Wonder Stuff had made Australia wait 20 years for a return gig, but they were back almost three years later to perform arguably their most popular album, Never Loved Elvis in it’s entirety.
The Ups and Downs opened up but by comparison, fair or not, failed to ignite the locals (and Brits abroad) when compared to the main act.
A mostly familiar line up walked out on stage with the only change since 2011 being guitarist Stevie Wyatt replacing original member, Malc Treece.
The opening riff of Mission Drive was enough to set the well lubricated mosh pit alive and by the time the band moved into Play, the first twenty rows were a sweaty, beery, writhing mass.
They cranked through the album, one smashing song after another. The crowd getting more and more raucous with every strum and fill. Miles filled the gaps between songs with his usual humorous banter and during re-tuning for a song, was verbally accosted by a drunken Pom continuously calling out his name. After about a minute, Miles replied “Mate, I’m aware of your presence, but I’m a little f**kin’ busy!”
The better known singles of Size of a Cow, Welcome to the Cheap Seats and Caught In My Shadow were very well received and as 38 Line Poem finished, the crowd’s response was deafening.
They dutifully left the stage to the roll of claps and More and their shirtless guitar tech walked past the mic and intimated a more vocal response would be required. The volume redoubled and the band returned for a cracking good encore containing many of the bands more popular songs from albums old and new. At the end of the encore, the band left, again to much applause and screaming.
Not sated, the juiced up crowd demanded even more. And more they got.
An equally long 7-8 song second encore included some oldies as well as some of the maligned “new stuff”. By the time the show ended a few hours after it had started, a satisfied crowd dispersed amongst the sea of spent lager cans, happy to have been a part of an energy laden gig.
I was squashed, camera in hand, between the stage and the crowd and I could have been in the midlands, partway through the 90’s, slowly ruining my hearing. This was dispelled once you saw the amount of grey in the hair of half the crowd but that didn’t diminish the energy in the venue.
A bloody good gig from a bloody good band. Stourbridge!
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