"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



The Far Out Recording Company

In 1988, I left home for the first time
and went to live right beside the seaside.
I shared a chalet with a man called David,
who had a harelip and worked in the kitchen department.
In the mornings, I would clean my teeth in the tiny bathroom
whilst looking out through frosted-glass at the sand-dunes.
My gums would bleed and my eyes would itch.
I was only there for the fag-end of the summer,
but it was the longest 4 weeks of my life.
I couldn’t wait for the nights to start drawing-in again.
Before I left home, someone had given me a C90 cassette tape
onto which they had imprinted the sounds of an album entitled
‘The 8-Legged Groove Machine’, by a band that I’d never heard of.
I listened to that album from start to finish at least
once a day every day. Pausing just once to pop the lid
and turn it over. It became something of a ritualistic act.
A way of escaping to another world. A world far removed
from the salt air and the donkey derbies. A place where
buzz guitars roared and stretched calf-skin was soundly pounded.
I played that little box of tunes until the magnetic tape finally snapped.
It was music that made me want to pierce my earlobes.
It was music that helped me develop a sneering disdain
for my fellow man. Without that album, I’d no doubt have
walked out into the Atlantic one cold morning and never looked back.
When The Wonder Stuff played their farewell gig in 1994,
I was far far away; truly on the other side of the planet.
It was 82 degrees in the North Queensland sun, but
I still wore my black t-shirt my black knee-length shorts
and my cherry-red Doctor Marten boots. I calculated
the time difference. I observed a minute's silence.
When I got back to England, I cut off my hair
and split-up with my girlfriend. And things
got worse before they got better.

The Wonder Stuff's first ever TV appearance

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