Album review: MILES HUNT & ERICA NOCKALLS – We Came Here To Work


Good Deeds Records [Release date 09.09.17]

I can’t say that I’m overly ‘au fait’ with The Wonder Stuff.  They’ve always struck me as one of those ‘almost’ bands with a small but fanatical fan base, who – despite a number of hit albums and singles – have never quite captured the full imagination of the mainstream audience.

Since 2006, main protagonist Miles Hunt and Wonder Stuff violinist Erica Nockalls have toured the UK, Europe and the US performing acoustic shows including tracks from their 2007 debut Not An Exit and the follow up Catching More Than We Miss (2009), in addition to Wonder Stuff material and the occasional cover.

Their material is a little less frenetic than the Wonder Stuff, but cut from Hunt’s same acerbic writing cloth.  So what you get is social comment, delivered in an indie acoustic based pop/rock format – Hunt’s nasally delivery and busking style of acoustic playing, sweetened by Nockalls’ ethereal harmony/backing vocals, and some exquisite violin/ strings.

I was reminded in many ways of Ian Prowse’s Pele (And Amsterdam).  Light and breezy on the ear, but focus on the lyrics and Hunt is a man who probably voted against Brexit, and was in favour of Mr Corbyn at the last election.  The title track ‘We Came Here To Work’, being a typically topical number.

Written and recorded between February and June this year, and having turned 50 Hunt has obviously decided to grow old disgracefully, once again sporting trademark shoulder length locks.  Constructed largely in the form of their stage act – vocals, acoustic, and violin to the fore, We Came Here To Work will be well received by the converted.  But like most artists these days, most sales are likely to come via the post gig ‘merch’ stall.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

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