Following their standard protocol, there would be no encore, but one lengthy set featuring dynamic songs of heartbreak and jealously. It made for a wonderful evening where The Wedding Present was in fine form. David Gedge appeared confident and comfortable back in the town he haunted during the writing of their previous effort in 2003, and the music was performed with utmost energy. Their new studio album El Rey pales a little in comparison to the outstanding 2005 release Take Fountain that was written and recorded in Seattle, but this performance definitely topped their last appearance here where it took Gedge several songs to shake off his nerves and hit his stride.
After a fine performance by their touring compatriots Earlimart, The Wedding Present appeared in the current lineup consisting of Gedge (vocals, guitar), Terry de Castro (bass, backing vocals), Chris McConville (guitar) and Graeme Ramsay (drums); more of a Cinerama composite, with songs mostly culled from The Wedding Present cannon. Opening with the frenetic “Kennedy” from Bizarro, the band was already well on its way to spellbinding the audience as Gedge sardonically howled the lines, “Lost your love of life/Too much apple pie.” Signature rhythm guitar played at a crazed speed mixed with driving fuzz bass defined their unique sound as they next stormed through Take Fountain’s brilliant “It’s For You.” The rest of the set continued in this fashion as it unfolded flawlessly.
Of course there was some amusing banter between Gedge and the crowd as expected. For a man who has built a career writing songs about ennui, angst and failing relationships, he fills the space between songs with witty, often hilarious commentary. All you have to do is ponder the title of their current single, “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend,” to realize his sharp sense of humor, which counterbalances his darker obsessions and neurotic inclinations.
The Wedding Present’s veritable masterpiece is a dark and murky record called Seamonsters from 1991. From that tower of an album they did an incredible version of “Dalliance” as well as impressive renditions of “Lovenest,” “Dare” and the obscure era b-side “Crawl.” Others will argue that it is actually their debut George Best that is the group’s greatest achievement. The songs are much more jangly and poppy in sound, but the distraught lyrical content remains the same. The classic “My Favourite Dress” from that release was replicated live note for note and sounded fantastic as the bass line throbbed from de Castro’s amplifier.
Throughout the course of Gedge’s twenty-plus year musical existence, The Wedding Present has produced several great records in addition to his albums released under the Cinerama moniker, which dispense with some of The Wedding Present’s hallmark distortion and general distress. In either capacity, however, David Gedge has remained consistently reliable and his songs still inspire awe. Where others have tumbled after making a few LPs, he continues to create outstanding music after a dozen studio albums and innumerable singles and compilations.
It's For You
Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk
You Should Always Keep in Touch with your Friends
Spider Man on Hollywood
You Turn Me On
My Favorite Dress
Model, Actress, Whatever…
The Thing I like Best about him is his Girlfriend