Monday, October 06, 2008

Overdue Recap: Wayne Hussey & Miles Hunt, Casbah, 9.21.08

Despite having been extremely exhausted from a Street Scene weekend, I never had the opportunity to see The Wonder Stuff, so when I saw Miles Hunt would be playing solo, I geared up for the Casbah on September 21 for his appearance. Full show recap if you 'keep on reading'.

A little rewind: when I graduated 9th grade, my brother had graduated from high school, so my family loaded up the car to move him into UC Santa Barbara. I was, back then, a total pain in the ass. I was too good for anything my family wanted to do, had a complete and utterly disgraceful attitude toward my parents, and responded to anything and everything they had to say with, "Oh well." I would've smacked the shit out of me. We stayed in Ventura waiting for the big move-in day, and I wanted nothing to do with anyone cooped up in a tiny motel room. So I wandered Ventura, equipped with a Sony Walkman, and cassettes. I don't remember much of what I listened to that weekend except for "Never Loved Elvis" by The Wonder Stuff. I played the shit out of that tape, and made sure as I wandered around Ventura that I was far from people so I could belt out "Caught In My Shadow" and all the other great songs on that album. I had other bands and other Wonder Stuff music, but that was the one I listened to over and over. It got me through that weekend and probably tamed me enough that my parents didn't actually rip my throat out. I have really amazing parents.

Miles Hunt "Corny But True"

Anyway, back to present and I arrived at the Casbah and noticed they were using the side door as the entrance. This bummed me out to no end, because while it was a special show for those of us there, musicians don't exactly get by touring America when 20 or 30 tickets are sold at a venue, especially when they're from England. Hopefully the MySpace/Katy Perry van they were in means they have some sponsorship dollars behind them, because it would be a shame if they didn't return.

I have to admit, I was less familiar with Mission UK. I mean, I recognized his voice the instant I heard it, but I was less into the dark stuff from bands like Mission UK, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Peter Murphy, and more into the later Manchester rave stuff like Charlatans UK and Stone Roses. Still, Wayne was entertaining and his crowd loved him and hung on every word, as he drank wine straight from the bottle and alternated between guitar and piano. He played "Butterfly On A Wheel" and I almost wondered why I hadn't been more of a fan back in the day.

Miles joined Wayne onstage for a song, then Wayne departed and with him, half the crowd, so there were less than 15 people there for Miles, but what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in enthusiasm and Miles played a long set until very late. I think the only reason he stopped was because he wanted a cigarette. I suggested he just play acoustic on the patio and he laughed, saying, "Don't tempt me." He played a lot of material from his solo albums, but he also indulged us with plenty of old favorites including "Caught In My Shadow", "Mission Drive", and "Here Comes Everyone" among others.

Miles Hunt "Caught In My Shadow"- the pre-story

"Caught In My Shadow"

Despite having gone to the show solo and the crowd being so thin, I can say I'm really glad I didn't miss it. Hopefully they come back and hopefully more people make the effort to see them. As an aside, Wayne got pretty loaded which made me believe there was a strategy in him playing first. It wasn't bad or anything, but he just got really friendly on the patio with a particular female bartender. I think he might've proposed in her ear. She just laughed and took it with a grain of salt, but it was a pretty funny way to end the night.

Miles Hunt "Note To Self"

Miles Hunt "Everything Is Not Okay"

Miles Hunt & Wayne Hussey "On The Road"


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting all this, you. If you're gonna be a bratty kid, Never Loved Elvis is one helluva fitting sndtrk. Wish I could've gone and sang all the harmonies from the crowd. The Wonder Stuff reunion show at Bellyup was so wrong.

Rosemary Bystrak said...

You just reminded me, maybe I need to find the snotty picture we took in the center of the college campus and post it. I threw a fit because I thought my mom was deliberately trying to embarass me in front of college kids. God forbid.

Lazy John said...

I'm an old fuck, so I saw them in 1989, touring to support "Hup." That was all I needed. I still have some of the energy they provided in my reserve somewhere; it's lasted 19 years.