Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun


In an unlimited-part series, we’re going to celebrate and countdown to the upcoming Wedding Present show at the Crocodile. On Wednesday, April 21, our Balladeers for the Brokenhearted will take the stage and play their influential 1989 album, Bizarro, it its entirety from “Brassneck” to “Be Honest” and some (fingers crossed) b-sides. {Enter to win a pair of tickets to the show}

To mark this momentous event, I asked some fellow weddoes fans to share their Bizarro story, explaining what their favorite song from the album is and why.

Want to share your Bizarro story? Email your story to us at tig @ threeimaginarygirls . com with the subject line of Bizarro.

My giddiness to post today’s entry pretty much matches my excitement to see Bizarro performed in its entirety because it combines two things I love: all things Lucksmiths and all things Wedding Present. It makes perfect transitive sense that one of my favorite song writers, Marty Donald of the Lucksmiths, also adores David Gedge’s biting verses and accusative guitars.

Huge hugs and thanks to Marty Donald who sent us his “Brassneck” thoughts all the way from Australia.  I agree with him, there is little that matches the rush of adrenaline from this, the album’s first track.  Let’s all find and sign the petition to make sure the Bizarro celebration tour heads Australia’s way.


There used to be a record store at Melbourne University. A sister-store to Gaslight Music in the city, it was little more than a shoebox in a forgotten corner of the Student Union building, but it was as much a reason for me enrolling at Melbourne Uni as the old sandstone buildings and manicured lawns and the academic prestige they represented. Very soon after I got there, though, the record store shut down, and I had to find somewhere else to while away the hours between lectures. But they had a big closing sale, and the first thing I bought was a cassette (this was the early 90s) by a band I knew not much about, called The Wedding Present. The album was called Bizarro; it featured some promising song titles (“Thanks”, “What Have I Said Now?”) and understated artwork printed on nice matte card.

It was a short stroll across the aforementioned manicured lawns from the record store to the nondescript brick building that housed the English and History faculties. I put the tape in my Walkman and stepped outside.

I have listened to “Brassneck”, the album’s first track, untold hundreds of times since that day. I know it by heart: how the propulsive urgency of the toms underpins the frantic guitars; how the tambourine kicks in under the chorus; how Keith Gregory’s bass climbs as the hushed outro builds to the climax. And then, of course, there are Gedge’s words, bitter, offhand, intelligent and perfect, plunging in halfway through an argument — “No, I sent you that letter to ask you if the end was worth the means….” — before the killer payoff in the chorus: “I just decided I don’t trust you any more”.

But that first time the opening chords came crashing out of my crappy headphones, all I knew was an almost physical rush, like a thrilling surge of adrenaline — an effect that no piece of music had ever had on me before, and that none has so profoundly since. I remember standing dumbstruck in the sunshine, grinning like an idiot, probably, in the middle of the South Lawn, while I listened. No song ever sounded so right to me as “Brassneck” did just then.