England - Full Moon 104 - 03/25/05
The Wedding Present
I really liked what the UK magazine Comes With A Smile (recommended!) wrote (written by Ian Fletcher) in their review of this record: "Asked
who your favourite band are, what would your immediate reaction be? I was asked this very thing recently [...] 'The Wedding Present, you heard of them?' Of
course, there are smarter and far cooler selections, and infinitely more glamorous ones." I can only agree. As a fan since I heard a song on the radio
nearly 20 years ago and then saw the George Best cover, and as the keeper of some 50+ The Wedding Present (TWP) records I'm almost a lost case. And proud!
Well, I'll be the first to admit I had a break from the Gedge-pop during the Cinerama years, but I was teased to check out the "reunited" TWP when announcing
the come-back album Take Fountain almost 9 years since Watusi. And what a way of coming back! From track one "Interstate 5" pounds out and is
all over you, as the archetypal Gedge song theme. Boys meets girl/girl dumps boy. With witty (read: dry) and cunnning lyrics, over a melody guided by some
sparkling guitar riffs. I was drooling enough last moon over this one, but the album version is
an extended one leading into an instrumental theme of some Morricone-western-film-theme-type scenario which I'm not so sure about. Despite the authentic
trumpet and all. "Always the Quiet One" is a quicker, yet a tip-toeing, swaying song. Maybe something which coul've been from the early 90s era. "I'm
from Further North Than You" is the second single pulled from the album, and it's a winner as well, melodically as well as lyrically.
"Ringway to Seatac" is a smashing, rubber-ball piece which could've been an early Hit Parade song. As is "Don't Touch That Dial" (here as the Pacific
Northwest Version). A great song which originally appeared as a Cinerama single a couple of years back. "It's for You" is a noise-pop-rocker easily placed
among the ebb of TWP's 80s catalogue. Another of the peaks of the album is "Queen Anne", a brilliantly fuzzed popper. Starting quietly just swaggering to
build in TWP style to a pleasant and gentle top. Take Fountain closes perfectly with the neat and charming "Perfect Blue". Styled with, as most of the album,
smart backing vocals. Excellent. The Wedding Present sound healthier as ever. Gedge has written all songs together with guitarist Simon Cleave. Terry de Castro (who joined Cinerama in 1999)
plays bass, while Kari Paavola plays the drums. Steve Fisk is back as the producer, and has also added vibraphone, melllotron, organ and glckenspiel.
I got some silly but really good sentimental feelings when hearing Take Fountain as I'm itching to pull out the Seamonsters, Bizarro
as well as the entire Hit Parade records once more. Gedge is back with, well, maybe not a vengance, but more a cause of making the past glow. And I
guess, as The Smiths once formulated: The world won't listen.
Copyright © 2005 Håvard Oppøyen