I got home after 7pm last night and was sitting forlornly, listening to “My Favourite Dress” by The Wedding Present – who were playing the first date of their second Australian tour last night. I had hoped to go but was defeated by circumstance, logistics and weariness.
“What time are they on?” asked M.
“If you go now you’ll just make it…I’ll mind the kids, go! Go! GO!!”
I went. Walked in the door as they cracked out the first chords and spent a happy hour getting utterly sweat-soaked. The band was so tight – the mix was FANTASTIC.
The pub abounded, once more, with the old-school nerdy types. There were grey-hairs. It was all comforting. The Wedding Present crank out such good stuff that it obviously transcends generations. I’m sticking myself in there with the old-school nerdys – most of my Wedding Present is on vinyl…
Mr David Gedge. Somewhat deprecating about the sameness of the tracks on George Best – more than 20 years old and full of crunch and swagger. He joked that you could play the same bassline to any of them…and got off very lightly…
They didn’t begin with George Best playlist, but slipped in a few tracks at the top of the setlist. They played ‘Heather’ – a favourite, and the crowd swooned along to it. There was also “Deer Cought in the Headlights” from Valentina, the album from 2012, which was one of the highlights of the night.
There were cheers as they began the album playlist with “Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft” but this, in my opinion, was eclipsed by “What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?”
“A Million Miles” was a mess of jangled pop. Guitars were swapped frequently (the Gibson for the other one and back again and back again) and a guitar string snapped under the pressure of “All This And More”. “My Favourite Dress” was rightly revered.
There is a thill about hearing a band crank out their songs with slightly obsessive vigour. The fact they were written twenty years prior didn’t matter. Gedge lamented the speed of “Shatner” – “What was I thinking?” he moaned, “It would have been just as good at half the speed.” He played it at full-tilt regardless – the fastest song on the album.
The sound was truly spot on. And this is where I pull in a comparison and say, like the Pixies, there is nothing redundant in The Wedding Present. There is no excess. They need every instrument they have, and nothing more – so they are t-i-g-h-t. The bass, the drums, the lead guitar and the Gedge – with his expositional hands and savage guitar work. The room was hot, and the band would have been melting – but, having come off the plane from the UK the previous day, they kept quaffing bottles of water and cooking their magic. The only bit I felt was missing was some female vocals…
“It’s What You Want That Matters” was a dream, with the bass at the beginning all alone and then being offset by the guitar riff. “You Can Moan Can’t You” was another standout. There’s something potent about being squished into a room with people all loving the same thing. They finished the night with “Brassneck” – an absolute pearler – and I don’t use that term lightly. Come back and do Bizarro!
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