Six years ago things looked bleak for David Gedge, erstwhile indie hero of the Pennines and front man of the Wedding Present. Cinerama, the group he had formed in 1997 as an attempt to produce more commercially minded music, were facing continued indifference and in 2004 the tragic death of long time champion John Peel left Gedge without his biggest supporter.
Thankfully Gedge saw sense and after readopting the name The Wedding Present in 2005, record and ticket sales were doubled.
Now happy to embrace a back catalogue that he had previously grumpily rejected, Gedge toured in 2007 playing the band’s wondrous debut album, George Best and this year sees him do the same with their equally brilliant 1989 album Bizarro which they will perform this week at the O2 Academy.
Critical acclaim for the avowedly British indie music peddled by the likes of the Wedding Present has been in short supply with attention far more often bestowed on less worthy contemporaries, but it’s worth remembering that in those pre-Brit pop days, The Wedding Present were a genuine success scoring 18 Top 40 hits at a time when that meant something.
Bizarro itself spawned classic songs like Kennedy and Brassneck and with a much tougher sound then their debut, saw Gedge end many of the songs with typically exhilarating Velvet Underground-style extended rhythm guitar workouts.
With Christmas just round the corner there’s no better time than to wallow nostalgically in the extraordinary body of work of this excellent band.
The Wedding Present
Wednesday 22nd November