Fast forward to September 2017 and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin were about to announce their first UK tour for 28 years with Stourbridge mates The Wonder Stuff. Miles and Erica from TWS were ready to play acoustically for a live Facebook broadcast to make the announcement, so Miles suggested that Neds play a couple of their songs acoustically too.
“We don’t do acoustic” says Jonn Penney.
“We don’t do acoustic” says Gareth ‘Rat’ Pring.
“I’ll play guitar for you Jonn” says Miles, cunningly.
“No, I’ll play guitar!” says Rat.
Ned’s Acoustic Dustbin was born.
Jonn hates to hear his voice laid bare, Rat was never a fan of playing acoustic guitar – he’s the noise monger, the guy with infinite delay, chunky distortion and a wrist that does 200rpm.
How on earth do you squeeze the essence out of songs written with Alex and Mat’s two bass guitars and Rat’s effect-laden sound? Take away Dan’s drums too?
Rat likes a challenge. He has got the acoustic bug – you can hear it in spades through these masterful interpretations.
Rat says: “I soon realised that acoustics don’t go to 11 but at least it spared the neighbours the initial butchery of the tunes.
“Of course, it did give me justification for buying a new guitar and, while selecting said acoustic, I discovered that playing Stairway To Heaven is still frowned upon in guitar stores.”
Jonn says: “I just do what I’ve always done and bawl it out the same as I do with the full band behind me – I’m lucky enough to have my parts already written 30 years ago. It’s terrifying but I’m loving the intimacy of playing this way – almost nose to nose with the fans”.
Now Miles has 'bullied' them into recording 14 songs in four days at the foot of the Long Mynd and somehow, he’s captured this Ned’s Acoustic vitality with aplomb.
Ned’s Acoustic Dustbin will hit the road in the new year, playing four gigs, including a headline at Wolverhampton’s Newhampton Arts Centre on January 31.
Their acoustic album will be released on December 13 and can be pre-ordered from gooddeedsmusic.bigcartel.com/product/ned-s-acoustic-dustbin
In the early 90’s Ned’s Atomic Dustbin had chart success, scoring a number one in the indie charts with their Chapter 22 release Kill Your Television and perhaps most notably with their first Sony Records single Happy which reached number 16 in the UK singles chart and album God Fodder which debuted at number 4 in the UK album chart.
The band went on to release three studio albums, they sold over a million records, produced 100+ t-shirt designs and filled multitudinous sweaty venues between 1990-1994 during their hectic and extensive worldwide touring schedule, taking in major festivals (including Glastonbury and Reading) on both sides of the Atlantic before ‘resting’ in 1995.
The band reformed with all five original members in 2007. They still play to large packed-out rooms and sell thousands of t-shirts.