The notion of a monthly 7” single is not new to The Wedding Present, but 24 Songs shows us that even classic concepts can be reinvented.
The series also continues the band’s association with photographer Jessica McMillan, who has created stunning images and films as a visual accompaniment to the recordings.
The 2LP package includes the studio album alongside the 3 Songs, Dalliance, and Lovenest EPs plus the John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session from 1991 featuring versions of four songs from the album.
The expanded artwork has been put together by Hitch, the original designer, and the whole project has been overseen by the band’s leader David Gedge.
EPs AND SESSION
1 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
3 Corduroy (Single Version)
4 She's My Best Friend
1 Dan Dare
3 Dalliance (John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session Version)
4 Heather (John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session Version)
5 Blonde (John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session Version)
6 Niagara (John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session Version)
David Gedge says:“As the summer of 2020 wore on it became increasingly obvious that At The Edge Of The Sea – my annual festival in Brighton – was sadly going the way of other live music events. Following its cancellation, I decided to replace it with an ‘online’ version, presented live from my own living room and featuring home-recorded videos from many of the artists that had appeared at the festival over the years. For The Wedding Present’s contribution, we picked twelve tracks to re-work in a ‘semi-acoustic’ style, and it was fascinating to see how stripped-back arrangements brought out different aspects of the songs. The Seamonsters track ‘Blonde’ was a prime example of this, with a ‘just-two-guitars’ approach resulting in a naïve and stark-sounding interpretation. In addition to the brilliant contributions from Louise and Jon from Sleeper, my long-time writing associate Terry de Castro fired over contributions from Los Angeles and, fresh from finishing her first Such Small Hands solo album, Wedding Present bass player Melanie Howard took over lead vocals for a version of ‘Sports Car’.”
1. A Million Miles
2. California / Starry Eyed
3. We Should Be Together
4. You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
6. You're Just A Habit That I'm Trying To Break
8. Sports Car
9. Deer Caught In The Headlights
11. My Favourite Dress
“You should release a compilation of Bond songs,” he declared. And that was all that he needed to say, really. Most of the themes from the Bond films would effortlessly feature in a list of my favourite ever pieces of music, so I was never not going to be excited by the idea of re-imaginings of twenty of them! One of the defining moments of my career was when I per-formed with the BBC Big Band in 2009 and got to meet Derek Watkins, who had played the lead trumpet on every single one of the Bond themes up until his death in 2013. And then came another idea. Each of the artists on this proposed compilation would be required to have a physical connection to Cinerama or The Wedding Present. I liked the unifying feel of that. I suppose it appealed to the collector in me. None of the artists I approached asked for payment for their track and so the obvious thing to do was to make this a benefit album. The ‘CALM’ organisation was suggested to me as a charity that’s doing great work and, af-ter we’d heard more, we were keen to support it. Throw in a beautiful sleeve design and here, seven years after that fateful sound check in Auckland, you have The Wedding Pre-sent... and their lovely friends... saluting the astounding music of Bond. James Bond.”.
The Wedding Present are a band that have always been keen to explore new ways to showcase their music but this album also serves as a fascinating insight into the strength and diversity of the musicians that have been members... as well as revealing their favourite Bond tunes! In addition to the expected contributions from Cinerama and The Wedding Present, the album features a first ‘super-group’ outing for ‘Sleeper featuring David Gedge’ and also a solo rendition of Louis Armstrong’s classic ‘We Have All The Time In The World’ by David himself. There's also, potentially, the first-ever Ukrainian-language cover of a Madonna track!
View To A Kill - Terry De Castro
James Bond Theme - The Sleazoids
Live And Let Die - The Donalds
Nobody Does It Better - Samuel Beer-Pearce
Die Another Day - The Ukrainians
You Only Live Twice - The Wedding Present
The World Is Not Enough - Maria Scaroni
For Your Eyes Only - Klee
Skyfall - Such Small Hands
Goldfinger - Simone White
Diamonds Are Forever - Cinerama
Thunderball - The Legendary Len Liggins
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - Shaun Charman
Goldeneye - Follow The Moths
Tomorrow Never Dies - Danielle Wadey & Charles Layton
Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Sleeper Featuring David Lewis Gedge
We Have All The Time In The World - David Lewis Gedge
The Man With The Golden Gun - Jetstream Pony
All Time High - Minitel
From Russia With Love - Graeme Ramsay
'Bizarro' was the second Wedding Present album, originally released in 1989. The band's first album on a major label, 'Bizarro' saw The Wedding Present toughening up rather than selling out. Toying with extremes of tempo and mood, the result was a vibrant hybrid of astringency and the band's quintessential pop euphoria.
1 Go Out And Get Em Boy!
2 (The Moment Before) Everything Spoiled Again
3 Once More
4 At The Edge Of The Sea
5 Living And Learning
6 This Boy Can Wait
7 You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
9 What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?
10 Never Said
11 Every Mothers Son
12 My Favourite Dress
Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft
What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?
Don't Be So Hard
A Million Miles
All This And More
My Favourite Dress
Something And Nothing
It's What You Want That Matters
Give My Love To Kevin
Anyone Can Make A Mistake
You Can't Moan Can You?
1 Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft
2 What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?
3 Don't Be So Hard
4 A Million Miles
5 All This And More
6 My Favourite Dress
8 Something And Nothing
9 It's What You Want That Matters
10 Give My Love To Kevin
11 Anyone Can Make A Mistake
12 You Can't Moan Can You?
13 All About Eve
14 Getting Nowhere Fast
15 Nobody's Twisting Your Arm
16 Nothing Comes Easy
17 Don't Laugh
18 I'm Not Always So Stupid
19 Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?
20 Not From Where I'm Standing
21 Give My Love To Kevin (Acoustic Version)
22 Getting Better
23 Pourquoi Es Tu Devenue Si Raisonnable?
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
02. What Did Your Last Servant Die Of?
03. Interstate 5 [Dvd Only]
04. End Credits
05. Real Thing
06. Mystery Date
12. What Have I Said Now?
15. Take Me!
16. Be Honest.
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 COMMENTSBarry 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.
1/Go Out And Get ’Em, Boy!
2/(The Moment Before) Everything’s Spoiled Again
4/At The Edge Of The Sea
5/Living And Learning
6/This Boy Can Wait
7/You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
9/What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?
11/Every Mother’s Son
12/My Favourite Dress
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.
1. Jump In, The Water’s Fine
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.
A. Recorded 04/11/15
1. Ten Sleep
2. Broken Bow
3. You Only Live Twice
4. 1000 Fahrenheit
B. Recorded 08/09/16
3. Jumper Clown
4. Kill Devil Hills
5. Santa Monica
‘Wales’ is taken from The Wedding Present’s recent and critically acclaimed album ‘Going, Going...’ while the other three tracks have been specially written and recorded for this release.
David Gedge was inspired by the challenge of writing a number of instrumental tracks for ‘Going, Going...’ and decided to use ‘Wales’ as the starting point for an EP of further instrumental pieces.
Freed from the restriction of a lyrical narrative the music frequently becomes more experimental and delves deeply into David’s love of pop, rock and film scores for inspiration.
“Going, Going... is a remarkable album. A joy from start to finish” - Louder Than War.
The EP was also inspired by the ‘Home Internationals’ which was an annual football competition between the United Kingdom's four national teams: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (the last of whom competed as Ireland for most of the competition's history).
It started in 1883 and is the oldest international football tournament in the world. The competition ended in 1983 after 100 years.
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.
1. 1000 Fahrenheit [Welsh Version]
2. Meet Cute [Welsh Version]
1. Journey Into Space [Welsh Version]
2. Can You Keep A Secret? [Welsh Version]
3 NEW ITEMS
160 NEW ITEMS
Fri 21st - 5:11
Fri 21st - 9:59
Fri 21st - 9:42
Thu 20th - 6:01