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The Wedding Present

Live 2010: Bizarro Played Live In Germany

    The Wedding Present, recorded and filmed at the Atomic Café, Munich, on 24 October 2010. This double disc release includes both a CD and a DVD of the concert. Of the original Bizarro release, Allmusic says: The Wedding Present's second proper studio album, Bizarro, cut down a bit on the frenetic jangle the band was known for in its early days and replaced it with healthy doses of darkness and power. Adding some fuzzy, crunchy distortion to give the guitars some hefty impact, slowing the tempos down to speeds that allow vocalist David Gedge to squeeze more heartbroken despair and bleak sarcasm out of every line, and generally upping their game in every way, the album was the fullest realization of The Wedding Present's sound yet. Leading off with the unstoppably hooky ‘Brassneck’ which features a brilliant Gedge reading of lines that rhyme "grow up" and "throw up," the album plays like a collection of thematically related singles.

    The most single-y among them is ‘Kennedy’ which has some brilliant sing-along lyrics and an intensely dramatic guitar strum buildup that crescendos into a maelstrom of sound. The rest of the record isn't far behind; whether it's the sparse ‘What Have I Said Now?’ or the slowly grinding ‘Bewitched’ one could extract any song and it would feel like a highlight - even the epic-length ‘Take Me!’ which closes the album in a fury of strums, drum fills, and chugging bass that builds and builds until it seems like the song is going to levitate and take the listener right along with it. The Wedding Present didn't necessarily need to improve their already winning template, but they did and it pays off big time on Bizarro

    April, 1985. At the very moment when the first few notes of ‘Go Out And Get ’Em, Boy!’ twinkle out of BBC Radio 1’s John Peel show to herald the birth of The Wedding Present, David Gedge is listening intently at home along with the population of late teens that would become his ardent fans. In the beginning, The Wedding Present were resolutely not an album band. In fact, David had often been quoted as saying that they would never release an LP. Pleased to have recorded and released that debut single... they just started on the next one. This continued for a couple of years, while the band went from organising their own concerts in pubs around Leeds to playing at Glastonbury Festival. That all changed, of course, when George Best became The Wedding Present’s first album in 1988. But Tommy – released one year later – was made up of the early songs from the singles and radio sessions that had catapulted them from being bedsit musicians into indie darlings: ‘Go Out And Get ’Em, Boy!’ with its purposefully super fast guitars, ‘You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends’ – an anthem for those long time Wedding Present fans, ‘My Favourite Dress’ – the only single in the collection that ended up on George Best – the classic, fraught tale of losing one’s first love that perfectly played on the heart strings and began David Gedge’s legacy of understanding everyone’s heartbreak.

    Tommy 30 – a brand new re-recording of Tommy – did not come about simply as a ‘follow on’ to George Best 30. The band felt – during a Tommy 30th anniversary concert tour – that the songs had grown and evolved. Enter a more confident vocalist... an altogether growlier guitar. A bigger sound. The urgency of a 25 year old Gedge is replaced with a charming vocalist with years of experience. Everything’s warmer and, maybe, gentler... but in a satisfying way. It’s like your old friends have come home to see you. You’ve all changed, you’ve all had broken hearts... but you’re all still friends and you still enjoy each other’s company after all these years. "The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the 'Rock 'n' Roll' era. You may dispute this but I'm right and you're wrong!" - John Peel 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: There's no denying that the Wedding Present are one of the most respected and long-running bastions in indie music, and 'Tommy' was seen by many as their finest point. This 30 year reissue (30!?) is just as essential as the day it came out, and comes in a lovely indies-only blue vinyl version to brighten up the place too. Get on it.

    The Wedding Present

    EP 4 Cân - Clear Vinyl Edition

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      The Wedding Present’s 'Record Store Day' releases seem to have become something of a little obsession for David Gedge. The yearly 10” EPs make him little profit; he just gets the satisfaction of singing and recording in other languages… and producing Extremely collectable records. In 2012 he tried his tongue at French and 2013 brought us his Teutonic warblings. This year, he’s really gone all out… this 10” vinyl only release has been sung in Welsh! A big fan of Wales and the Welsh in general, David doesn’t actually speak the language, but this didn’t stop him. He called in renowned Welsh actor, Andrew Teilo, who translated and created demos of four existing Wedding Present songs. David then travelled to Penarth where he and Andrew recorded the vocals with some recording expertise from Arwyn Davies. They kept the Welshness going with a little help from Andrew's fellow actor, Llinor ap Gwynedd, on backing vocals. The songs [recorded in the same session as the recent album, ‘Valentina’] are different from the songs on the other two ‘language’ EPs from Record Store Days past… and include the charming ‘Valentina’ album track ‘Meet Cute’. There were a few little hiccoughs during the translation from English into Welsh… the first song, 1000 Fahrenheit, had to be translated into Welsh as 10,000 (Deng Mil) Fahrenheit... not because there is no word for 1000, but apparently it just sounded better! Perhaps the songs all sound better in Welsh! All Welsh album next time Mr. Gedge?! The band will be promoting the release of ‘EP 4 Cân’ with a performance at the 'Wales Goes Pop’ festival in Cardiff during the evening of April 19 following an acoustic set at Spiller’s Records during the afternoon.

      Live 1992 takes the eleventh of The Wedding Present’s infamous ‘live tapes’ - cassettes that the band sold at concerts and through their fanzine in the 80s & 90s – and pairs it with a previously unreleased live recording. The Wedding Present’s ‘live tapes’ were unavailable anywhere else. Fans eagerly collected them and they became very rare. This is the sixth in the series of Scopitones’ much-demanded and beautifully mastered CD re-releases - Lives 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 & 1991 have all been graciously received by the press and the band’s loyal record buying public.

      ‘Live 1992’ includes mixing-desk recordings of Wedding Present concerts in The Netherlands and at Brixton Academy in London and contains 38 tracks. The live set at this time drew heavily from The Wedding Present’s critically acclaimed ‘Hit Parade’ series where the band released a single a month throughout 1992, equalling Elvis Presley’s 1957 record of twelve hits in a year. During 2013, the band have been celebrating the 21st Anniversary of The Hit Parade by playing the Asides live in Australasia, Asia and North America, so this is an especially timely release.

      Terry de Castro (currently a member of The Wedding Present, ex-member of Goya Dress) takes a novel approach to her solo debut, "A Casa Verde", one that is especially charming, likable, and well, curious. She's chosen to take a wonderfully unusual course and recorded an album comprised entirely of cover versions, but these are not necessarily well-known songs by famous artists. Each song is a story unto itself, and all of the songs hang together in a vivid and illuminating way. Nationality comes into play here as well: "A Casa Verde" is replete with the intrinsically soothing and unmistakably American strains of steel guitar and banjo, among other instruments. De Castro's maturity as an artist is apparent from the first track, as she adapts "Dalliance" by The Wedding Present, readily making it her own by layering pedal-steel and acoustic guitars. It's a wry, subtly arch choice to launch this particular solo debut. In one of the album's highlights, de Castro strikes a darker tone with "East St. O'Neill" by Hank Starrs. With a deceptively languid start and sparkling imagery, it builds slowly, on a theme of murder and sorrow, rising on the strength of rousing chord changes that are disturbingly catchy, given the subject matter. As the record progresses, a rich array of styles and subjects take their spin across the dance floor. "The Sun Is Always Sweetest" by Dean Hawksley is a bittersweet Country-tinged waltz. Two tracks by Astrid Williamson; "Glorious" and "To Love You", are swirling torch songs. The authors also include Mike Chylinski (Drugstore), Simone White (Audi's 'Beep Beep' song), Johnny Daukes (Eurotrash), and Paul Hiraga (Downpilot). de Castro does an expert job of filtering their material through her own self-assured aesthetic, while directing an outstanding band in the process. "A Casa Verde" is an unpretentious, lovingly assembled pop record; a simple collection of songs. But as a project, the record hangs together in a positively conceptual way, one that vivifies Terry de Castro's life, and the lives of her friends.


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