Posted by: pop-break | November 9, 2011

MAD Wednesday: Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls of The Wonder Stuff

bill bodkin speaks with the U.K. rockers in preview of their show tonight in Red Bank …

The Downtown’s Music, Arts & Drafts Wednesday has been a place where Jersey Shore natives can discover some truly unique, original and amazing local and regional acts.

For the past three weeks, The Downtown has gone beyond the borders of New York, Jersey and Philly to the vast reaches of the national touring scene. At the end of October, New York Dolls frontman David Johansen rocked Red Bank. Last week, the newly reunited Burlap To Cashmere brought their beautiful acoustic sound to the Hip City.

This week, The Downtown dug into the crates and found a band that might be unfamiliar to some, but back in their native land of England, they are hitmakers. That band is the The Wonder Stuff.

Tonight, Wonder Stuff lead singer Miles Hunt and violinist Erica Nockalls will headline M.A.D. Wednesday. In support of the duo will be Tom Dunphy, lead singer of Imaginary War and Irish singer/songwriter Steve Reilly.

The Wonder Stuff debuted in the UK in the mid-80s and by the time the 90s alt-rock explosion was occurring, the band really took off, pumping out a slew of hits in the UK while at the same time touring and making a name for themselves worldwide.

It’s surprising that The Wonder Stuff was never as big in the U.S. as they were in their native U.K., where they scored a string of Top 10 hits throughout the 1980s and ’90s. They have this really catchy alt-rock sound that would’ve been embraced perfectly by the alt fans who dug Matthew Sweet and the poppier side of R.E.M. Their sound has a really good pop sensibility, but still maintains that high-energy rock ‘n’ roll attitude to it.

After a mid-’90s breakup and an eventual ’00s reunion, the band still packs them in wherever they tour. However, Hunt and Nockalls do perform acoustic shows around the world and their current tour brings them for a few, select dates in the U.S. Tonight’s show will prove to be highly unique as the duo will be performing as an acoustic duo with a twist — one guitar and one violin.

It’s sure to be a rousing night of beautiful music, one that The Downtown prides themselves in every week. So if you’re looking for a new sound to discover, head over to Red Bank and upstairs to the area where original music lives and thrives.

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