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THE WEDDING PRESENT

The Wedding Present

Tommy

    'Tommy' is a compilation album by The Wedding Present, originally released in 1988, collecting songs from the band’s first four singles, plus four tracks recorded for BBC Radio sessions. Bringing together material written in the band’s first two years of existence, 'Tommy' proved that The Wedding Present’s essence was in place from the start. These kinetic blasts of homespun high-velocity bedsit drama presaged the more finessed 'George Best', but represented the band’s definitive portrayal.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

    The Wedding Present

    George Best

      'George Best' is the debut album by The Wedding Present, originally released in 1987. Hugely anticipated, 'George Best' saw indie heroes The Wedding Present refine the blitzkrieg pop brilliance of the band's early singles into a nuanced styled that was distinctively theirs: heartbreak at the bus stop, set to the soundtrack of a million jangling guitars. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition green vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: The 'Plus Edition' CD includes an additional 11 non-album tracks from the same era.

      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

        Jump In, The Water’s Fine

          Set to be a collector’s item, the single is available on 7” and limited edition 10” picture disc – the band’s first! – including specially commissioned artwork by Darren Hayman (Hefner). Co-written by David Gedge and new guitarist Danielle Wadey – she was previously the band’s bass player – both tracks were recorded at the legendary Monnow Valley studios in Wales under the watchful eye of multi-Grammy award winning producer Andrew Scheps and engineer Matt Glasbey.

          Opening with squalls of feedback, ‘Jump In, The Water's Fine’ is an epic tale with trademark whirlwind Wedding Present guitar and a deceptively sweet melody. “Danielle came up with the solo bass part after I said I wanted to do a song that was ‘bass-driven’ and it just got fatter and heavier! We also now have three vocalists in the band so we used the opportunity to experiment with some a cappella singing, too,” says David.

          B-side ‘Panama’, is a frenetic slice of indie-pop, where ferocious guitars and heavy drums collide with honest lyrics about love and friendship. Of the recording, David adds, “As well as including one of my favourite palindromes, ‘Panama’ references‘Earthrise’, the iconic photograph of Earth taken by astronaut Bill Anders (during the Apollo 8 mission) on Christmas Eve, 1968. We decided to incorporate samples of the astronauts talking to Mission Control.”

          Rather surprisingly, this is The Wedding Present’s first ever picture disc. Close friend to the band Darren Hayman (Hefner, The French, etc.) was commissioned to do the artwork but his paintings were so impressive that the band decided that the time was right to embrace what is a new format for them. “It’s only taken us thirty-something years to get around to it!” says David. From their C86 roots in the mid-80s, John Peel favourites The Wedding Present have gone on to become one of the UK’s most loved bands, charting no less than 18 Top 40 hit singles. Emerging from Leeds with the classic debut album ‘George Best’ in 1987, The Wedding Present built a reputation for blending bittersweet love stories with everyday mundanity, set against a backdrop of heavy distortion and exquisite indie-pop.

          In 2016, The Wedding Present released their ninth studio album, ‘Going, Going...’, which featured references to Gedge's previous work, including self-referential lyrical moments and has been described as his masterpiece. Loosely based on a road trip across the U.S.A., the double LP was described by Louder Than War as “A remarkable album. A joy from start to finish." The same year, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their debut album, ‘George Best’, The Wedding Present released ‘George Best 30’. This album featured brand new versions of the original twelve songs recorded by Steve Albini and mixed by Andrew Scheps. 2017 also saw the publication (by Red Planet) of ‘Sometimes These Words Just Don't Have To Be Said’ – a 450 page 'fanthology' of the band.

          In 2018, KneejerkFilm released ‘Something Left Behind’ – a feature length documentary telling the story of the ‘George Best’ album. The film, which featured interviews with all four original band members and was produced and directed by Andrew Jezard, has appeared at several film festivals.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          10" Info: One copy found.

          The Wedding Present

          Go Out And Get 'Em Boy!

            Part of The Optic Sevens Reissue Series. 
            Limited White Vinyl Includes Poster & Postcard. 

            Originally released in 1985 on Reception Records. The debut single by The Wedding Present is reissued here on white vinyl using the original (Reception Records) artwork. 


            The Wedding Present

            The Complete Ukrainian John Peel Sessions

              The Wedding Present guitarist Peter Solowka, whose father is Ukrainian, used to play a Ukrainian folk tune called "Hopak" to entertain his friends. When he did so during a radio session the band was recording for the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show, they decided to record the song for the session. The song was received well and, fired by Solowka's enthusiasm, the band decided to dedicate another Peel session to Ukrainian folk songs. Because none of them could sing Ukrainian to any acceptable degree, they decided to invite fellow Leeds musician "The Legendary" Len Liggins of The Sinister Cleaners, who had read Russian at University, to sing and play various instruments.

              The resulting Peel session's broadcast provoked a reaction of Hang the Dance! member Roman Remeynes, himself fluent in Ukrainian, who jokingly accused the band of bastardising the music. This led to him being invited to join as well for a second Ukrainian-themed Peel session. By this time, original Wedding Present drummer Shaun Charman had been replaced with Simon Smith, coincidentally an ex-Sinister Cleaner himself.

              Includes all 3 John Peel sessions re-mastered for the first time.


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: Comes with DVD.

              Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

              The Wedding Present

              Live 2017 (Part 2)

                In 2017, The Wedding Present played a series of concert dates to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of their classic debut album, George Best. With its bittersweet, breathtakingly honest love songs immersed in whirlwind guitars, George Best struck a chord with outsiders across the indie universe. Suddenly, here was David Gedge; a geeky pied piper for our youthful missteps. 30 years on… we have laughed, loved and lived along with The Wedding Present but are we any different to the way we were during those first meanderings into love? Gedge’s words are still golden… and we will always remember our favourite dress. The NME described George Best as “an unmitigated delight” upon its release and included it in its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Allmusic says “It would be nearly impossible to name the standout tracks, since... every tune is so solid.”

                The album has achieved legendary status in the hearts and minds of alternative music fans everywhere. The final concert in the 30th anniversary series took place at the O2 Academy in Leeds on 9 December 2017. This was, of course, hugely appropriate because Leeds was the city where The Wedding Present were born and where George Best was written, arranged, rehearsed and partly recorded. Appreciating the significance of the event, David Gedge decided that this Leeds show would be the last time that The Wedding Present would play George Best live... ever! 

                The Wedding Present

                Marc Riley Sessions Volume 3

                  A band with a history that’s inextricably intertwined with the BBC and in particular the late BBC DJ John Peel, an early champion of the band, the ‘Marc Riley Sessions’ series echoes the famous Peel/Selwood releases on the Strange Fruit label that included BBC sessions from the likes of New Order, Buzzcocks, The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen.

                  An avid Wedding Present fan himself, Riley, with his team of producers, has formed a close bond with The Wedding Present’s David Gedge and the band. “The release of the Wedding Present sessions done for our 6 Music programme over the years is something of an honour. In the great tradition of the Peel / Selwood releases on the Strange Fruit label, this record proves that, even without John, the BBC can still be a place where great bands can continue to grow and be creative... amongst friends.”

                  Having received critical acclaim for releases 1 and 2, ‘Marc Riley Sessions Volume 3’, features 9 tracks recorded for the awardwinning BBC Radio 6 Music show in 2015 and 2016. “The two sessions on this compilation feature many songs that appear on ‘Going, Going...’ the studio album that The Wedding Present released in 2016. ‘Going, Going...’ itself was an extensive audio-visual project recorded over the space of eighteen months in Provence, Liverpool and Seattle. By the time of the 2016 session, however, the album had been completed and had actually been released the previous week. Consequently, The Wedding Present were touring the UK (playing ‘Going, Going...’ in its entirety) and so, in-between our Cardiff and Gateshead concerts, we stopped off in Salford to record some tracks for Marc. As a result, you can hear the ‘live’ feel in these performances. This was a band that was literally on the road!”, says David.

                  The album also features two glorious cover versions including a heartfelt cover of the theme music from the fifth James Bond film, ‘You Only Live Twice’. “I’ve always been fond of recording cover versions and there a couple of great ones on this LP. In 2015 we had a go at John Barry and Leslie Bricusse’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ - and enjoyed it so much that I’m now planning a compilation of Bond covers to be released on my label, Scopitones”, says David. The second cover is the off-kilter ‘Jumper Clown’, a Marc Riley composition. “Marc’s band The Creepers released this song – which poked fun at his previous band’s singer [Mark E. Smith from The Fall] – in 1983 and The Wedding Present covered it eleven years later for the B-side of our ‘It’s A Gas’ single. We decided that an unannounced rendering for a live session while Marc himself was sat in the room watching would be a great surprise to spring on our DJ pal. We managed to keep the whole thing secret with the help of the show’s producer Michelle. This involved hastily rehearsing and sound-checking the song whenever we got the nod from the recording engineer that Marc was out of earshot!”, says David.


                  The Wedding Present

                  Saturnalia

                    Saturnalia is the fifth full album by The Wedding Present, originally released in 1996. Saturnalia witnessed songwriter David Gedge deftly balancing his band's traditional pop brio with complex arrangements and unorthodox instrumentation. It felt like a Wedding Present greatest hits album, only with brand new songs, new ideas - and no reservations.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2x10" LP Info: 2 x heavyweight 10" LPs. Cut from new 2014 master. Includes lyric insert.

                    2x10" LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    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.

                      The Wedding Present’s eighth studio album, 'Valentina', comes four years after 2008’s critically acclaimed 'El Rey'. Recorded in the wilds of France, the suburbs of Los Angeles and the lanes of Brighton… it shimmers with near perfection.

                      The ten track 'Valentina' rumbles in with the crunchy statement track 'You’re Dead' vibrating with familiar overdriven guitars and Gedge’s words dripping with finality. 'You Jane' comes next; a rhythmic rock ‘n’ roll treat, laden with forlorn wanting… and letting the thing you love go free.

                      The record was mixed by the legendary producer Andrew Scheps who adds The Wedding Present to an impressive list of clients such as Adele, Iggy Pop and Johnny Cash. It has been said that Scheps’ production adds a live feel to the recording while retaining the power of the band. Unsurprisingly, there is no filler on this album… each track has its own distinct atmosphere and David Gedge’s lyrics explore the same beginning and ending of relationship material, but with his ever-fresh take on the highs and lows of a lovelife.

                      'Back A Bit… Stop', another high point, is The Wedding Present at their pop-guitar best… driven by a delightfully overdriven bass line… and punctuated by what can only be called a drum ‘performance’. And, at the end of the record, 'Mystery Date' twinkles and lilts… tricking you into thinking that it’s going to be a soft story of the very beginnings of love… but then absolutely thunders in with a cacophony of tempo changes and soaring guitars… leaving you gasping for breath as a Japanese voiceover trails on…The Wedding Present have found the best recording studio, the best mixing engineer and the best set of songs to complete what may very well be their best album to date.


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