At the tail end of last year Wonk Unit sneaked out an all acoustic live performance recorded at the Brook in Wallington which to those who don’t know is also the place where the band recorded their last couple of albums with Andy Brook which funnily enough is what the venue attached to the studio is called no not Andy Brook but The Brook. Even though it’s now relocated this was thought lost until now that is. Wonk Unit electric are an eclectic collective so acoustic I wasn’t quite sure what would come out of Alex’s mind for this one but by the time you are halfway through you forget it’s unplugged anyway such is the quality of the songs and the performance and after Alex introduces the tunes there’s nothing like sitting back and giggling to yourself as to where ‘Lewisham’ came from and what inspired the majestic ‘Kings Road Sporting Heroes’ (one of the finest tunes penned by anyone in the last decade) The band have been busy as fuck since this was recorded and I can’t fathom why they’ve not done this more often because quite simply its a blinder. The songs lend themselves to this format and style as each one takes on a new spin and from ‘Tortured Genius’ through ‘Horses’ it’s worth it for the spoken intros from Alex alone. ‘Je Mappelle Alex’ is blindingly good but then you knew that didn’t you.
The song selection is most excellent tracks like the somber ‘Bin Him’ are dark as fuck but work superbly well acoustically and one of my favourite Wonk songs ‘Go Easy’ is another dark tune but again sounds great and I have to chuckle as Alex gees the band on to ‘lock-in as they absolutely kill it. The ‘Guts’ intro is brilliant if this punk rock lark didn’t work anymore for Alex I guess there’s a career on the stand-up circuit his stories are compelling and relatable but his music is top notch and who would have thought ‘Guts’ would have worked in this format? not me for one but boy it works like a dream.
There is a slight drop in the mix on the intro of ‘Kings Road’ but that’s a small distraction and it takes nothing away from this performance from Wonk unit. Electric or acoustic they are a force of nature and your life is a darker place without them in it that my friends is a fact. Go check it out pronto!
Author: Dom Daley