AFTER a long 12 months in which I saw a total of 226 bands spread over numerous gigs and twelve festivals, Friday night was my last outing of the year – and what a way to round off a riotous year of just about every type of music you could ask for.

First up tonight at the O2 Academy in Boscombe was Jim Bob who I nearly didn’t recognise as the pony-tailed youth from Carter, until he started his set and the years fell away. He is such a great song writer and story teller that no matter how long his set was, it always going to be far too short.

That bought us to The Wonder Stuff who had a mammoth 31-song set list consisting of five tracks from the new album Better Being Lucky followed by Eight Legged Groove Machine and HUP in full.

A short opening segment of new songs was really well-received despite Miles being convinced that no one was really interested as it "wasn’t the old stuff". On this first listen the new album sounds as though the band Miles has assembled are a perfect fit for the sound that The Wonder Stuff are so well-known for. This bought us to a break leading to said ‘old stuff’.

It may well have been 30 odd years since the release of these two albums but with a new band around him the songs sounded as good as ever and fresher than most of the other bands I have heard this year.

This may have been one of the longest sets I have seen this year but it went by in a flash and the house lights were up and we were on our way home before we knew it. A very late but well-deserved contender for gig of the year.