The Wonder Stuff are a British alternative rock band, originally based in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in the Black Country, England.
They performed the final contracted show on 15 July 1994 at a headlining performance at the Phoenix Festival near Stratford-on-Avon in front of an audience of 30,000. In September, an 18 song compilation If The Beatles Had Read Hunter....The Singles (UK #8), a re-issue of the "Unbearable" single (UK #16), and a video of their farewell performance from July were released. The Live In Manchester album (recorded in November 1991) was released in July 1995 after the group had disbanded.
Solo projects (1994-2000)
During the split between 1994 and 2000, Hunt was involved in several projects including the hosting of MTV Europe's 120 Minutes show. He then put together another band, Vent 414, whose debut album was released in October 1996, and featured ex-Senseless Things Morgan Nicholls on bass and later Clash and Eat drummer Peter Howard. After being dropped by Polydor prior to the release of the second album, Hunt went to work as a solo artist touring the US with Malc Treece which saw the release of two albums - Miles Across America, an album of new material, Wonder Stuff tracks and Vent 414 material all reworked for the acoustic guitar with the live acoustic album By The Time I Got To Jersey following in late 1998. A full studio album was later released, Hairy On The Inside (again featuring Treece and another fellow Wonder Stuff member Martin Bell) in April 1999, and The Miles Hunt Club in April 2002.
Meanwhile Treece, Clifford and Gilks formed Weknowwhereyoulive, with Ange Dolittle from Eat. They gigged extensively throughout 1995 and 1996 releasing two EPs but then split up.
Reformation (2000 onwards)
Hunt, Treece, Gilks, Bell and Whittaker, together with new bassist Stuart Quinell, reformed to undertake a one off concert at London's Forum in December 2000. This soon became five sold out nights, preceded by two nights in Dudley (at the site of their debut gig). The group's previous four studio albums were reissued with bonus tracks, and a compilation of b-sides, demos and live tracks, Love Bites & Bruises was released in November.
More live performances continued into 2001 with the release of a live album Cursed With Insincerity in June, and more concerts came in 2002. A DVD release, Construction For The Modern Vidiot, in May 2003 featured highlights from the 2000 to 2002 shows, and then a further tour was announced in December 2003.
In early 2004, Hunt was informed that Gilks and Bell would no longer work with him, and thus The Wonder Stuff (in the eyes of Gilks and Bell) were defunct. As a result, Quinell and Whitaker were informed the band had split, and Hunt began work on a new record with Mark McCarthy (ex-Radical Dance Faction) and Luke Johnson (ex-Amen and son of one-time Wonder Stuff manager, Les Johnson). Sessions for this new solo record were later joined by Treece.
The Wonder Stuff's first new album for over a decade, Escape From Rubbish Island, was to be released in September 2004 with "Better Get Ready For A Fist Fight" and the title track becoming singles. Andres Karu (formerly of The Miles Hunt Club) replaced Luke Johnson on drums. The band toured the UK and US in 2004 and 2005, and were joined by violinist Erica Nockalls in March 2005.
This line-up continued into 2006 for the release of their new album Suspended By Stars in March and the single "Blah Blah La Di Dah" which was only available either on the album or through most music download services including iTunes or Napster. The band toured in March 2006 to support the record and in conjunction with their 20th anniversary.
In April 2006, original Wonder Stuff drummer Martin Gilks was killed in a motorcycle accident in London.
In 2006, Miles Hunt's acoustic shows were recorded for a live album, titled Interloper and released in October 2006. The Wonder Stuff also began mixing an as-yet untitled live record documenting the March 2006 tour and played several UK outdoor shows. The band finished the year by touring the UK again, performing on 8 December at the Shepherd's Bush Empire.
The band went on a temporary hiatus for 2007 due to the imminent fatherhood of Treece. However, Hunt (with violinist Erica Nockalls and drummer Andres Karu) recorded a solo album Not An Exit, and Hunt / Nockalls toured the record in the UK, Australia and North America.
In June 2007, Universal released a new double album of The Wonder Stuff's BBC recordings, compiled from session appearances and concert recordings recorded and broadcast by the BBC between 1987 and 1994. The group released their own live album (The Wonder Stuff Live) in October 2007 taken from tracks recorded at venues and festivals around the UK in 2006. This album was the first official release of tracks performed under the new line-up and featured tracks taken from all of the group's previous albums.
The Wonder Stuff headlined on the Avalon Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in 2009.
In 2010 the group performed at Guilfest and also Ireland's Feile Festival as well as working on some new material for likely release in 2011.
The band's drummer since the reformation, Andreas Karu, left the band in November 2010 to pursue his interest in film. A replacement was found in the form of Fuzz Townshend, an old friend who used to be the drummer in another notable Black Country band, Pop Will Eat Itself.