To celebrate the latest leg of The Wedding Present‘s tour, we invited some legends from the wild world of indie-rock to join us playing a parlour game we invented called “One From Each”
Each player has to choose 1 track from each of the band’s studio albums to make what surely must be THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST.
The participants are:
Seeing as it’s my blog post I get to chip in with my choices too.
We have all been to see The Wedding Present this week. I went Liverpool on Tuesday, Kriss saw them in Kendal last weekend and Tim and Frankie were at the Derby gig on Wednesday.
George Best (1987, Reception)
Tim: Anyone Can Make a Mistake
Very difficult choice this one, could have gone either of three ways. Festive 50 1987, I still didn’t get them, my tape of it criminally has the 4 or so tracks from it skipped, it would take a whole 2 more weeks and their gig at Manchester University on the Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm tour to finally succumb. Seeing them do the album back a few years ago was one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen, not least for bringing out the Non-Hits.
Kriss: A Million Miles
Great, great Weddoes tune. For me no one writes about love, jealousy and disastrous relationships as well or as honestly as David Gedge. From the opening gambit, “I must’ve walked past this doorway thirty times” to the climax and the ending, with probably my favourite Wedding Present lyric of all time, “you’re not like anyone I’ve ever met… at least not yet.” Arrangement wise, it’s jangly, fast and a classic Weddoes track.
Frankie: A Million Miles
Has to be “A Million Miles”. That was the first track off the album I heard on Peel and I was totally sold. The lyrics also seemed to legitimize my pulling technique of continually walking past girls until they said something to me. This rarely (never) worked but at last David Gedge knew my pain.
Chorizo: My Favourite Dress
Tommy (1988, Reception)
Tim: You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
I remember this LP cover from going round to a school mates house. His big brother had this and the Beggars Banquet sampler with The Fall doing Spoilt Victorian Child. That was the day I fell for the Fall, but I didn’t get The Wedding Present just then.
Kriss: My Favourite Dress
However many times I hear this song it always sounds as fresh, raw and emotional as the first time. David Gedge at his best, brutally stark and not dressed up or sanitized. “Slowly your beauty is eaten away By the sense of someone else, In the blanket where we lay”. The image of the “strangers hand on my favourite dress” is tragic, haunting and heartbreaking. Breathtaking.
Frankie: Never Said
A classic b-side which I already had on the white vinyl 7” of My Favourite Dress that came free with my copy of George Best. Yet again it seemed to make it OK to be completely useless at interacting with girls. This all happened while I was at Sixth Form college and completely informed my decision to choose Leeds Polytechnic as my Higher Education institute of choice. The UK’s capital city of hopeless indie kids.
Chorizo: You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends
Bizarro (1989, RCA)
Angst ridden Gedge at his finest, we’ve all been there. Repetition Repetition Repetition. And their first (possibly) quiet/loud bit. And that lovely bit at the end too.
Kriss: What Have I Said Now?
This is difficult, especially when Bizarro has Kennedy and Brassneck on it. “What have I said now?” is the track that unlocked the Wedding Present for me. There was a recent Guardian article that described the Wedding Present and David Gedge as ‘something deeply ensnaring about the Wedding Present and singer (and only constant member) David Gedge, an acquired taste you can never shake’. And it’s true, when I first listened to them I found them to be impenetrable and all the songs sounded the same. Then suddenly I listened to ‘What have I Said now?’ and I got it! Like seeing a magic eye for the first time, or acquiring a taste for beer I ‘got’ the Wedding Present, that was at nineteen and I still listen on a weekly basis. Picked for sentimental reasons but still a great track.
Frankie: Take Me
I’d heard this on the Peel Session they did prior to the release of Bizarro and I remember sitting in my room taping it with a strange mixture of excitement and fear. Excited that it felt like it was never going to end, but then scared that my tape was going to run out! I accidentally saw them play a secret warm-up gig in Leeds for the Bizarro tour and this “Take Me” was a stand-out memory. My old blog on that gig is here if you’re interested.
Chorizo: Take Me
Seamonsters (1991, RCA)
A close cousin of Bewitched I guess. Brilliant album. I remember having a drunken conversation about this album with someone at Leicester Poly Friday night disco, trying to explain that each song on the album for me related to a different girl (all largely unrequited I think), can’t remember any of them now! Seeing them with the Wonder Stuff earlier this year re-confirmed that the best bit of any Wedding Present gig (or indeed ANY gig) is that bit at 2:46 when it explodes, never too old to throw yourself around to this. Glorious. And when not in a mosh pit, its essential air drumming! Probably my #1.
Actually just remembered about Crawl (if you were doing deluxe versions which we shouldn’t be) A very simple song, cant actually work out why its so good, but it is.
The song they opened with when I saw them live for the first time. Loud, distorted massive sound but everything has a place. Much darker, edgier and aggressive than the jangliness of George Best. Brilliant song from an excellent album.
One of the few songs on Seamonsters that I didn’t already know through Peel sessions, singles or gigs before I got a copy of this record home. Sat at the end of Side B it was obviously the last one I heard and still feels like a lost gem to me. I don’t think I ever even saw them play it live until the recent Seamonsters heritage tour.
The Hit Parade (1992, RCA)
12 singles released monthly throughout the year. Technically not an album but hey, who cares? My blog post on the Hit Parade singles and my David Gedge approved graph can be found right here.
Tim: Silver Shorts
Ah what fun. This year corresponded to leaving University and getting a job, and realising that November was going to be the first one I wasn’t going to be able to buy on the day it came out. I almost tried to hold off joining the real world until the January, just to make sure (what an idiot)! Thankfully the novelty was beginning to wear off by then so 11 and 12 were secured to complete the set. Silver Shorts – just a great tune.
Kriss: Flying Saucer
Ever since I heard this I’ve loved the image of the ‘flying saucer right inside my head’. Great tune!
Frankie: Silver Shorts
By the time they reached The Hit Parade I had left Leeds and was back in Deby working a full-time job. The first Monday of every month in 1992 I’d nip out of the office for lunch and head to the record shops to pick up the next 7” in the series. So The Hit Parade never felt like an album but my favourite of the singles was definitely “Silver Shorts” with the Twin Peaks song on the B-side. Living at my parents, my Dad had a swanky record player that you could put on repeat, so I remember spending the Easter weekend listening to this one about 200 times on the bounce.
Chorizo: Come Play With Me
Watusi (1994, Island)
Tim: Click Click
Probably the easiest choice of all of these, one of Gedge’s very best on what is a comparatively weak album. By this point there’s some real experimentation in the song writing and this strikes me as a sort of round, and is very clever. I’ve listened to this song god know how many times over the last 20+ years and still really struggle to come in at the right place with the air drumming. Whilst Rob and I have joked about it eventually being our turn to join either the Fall or The Wedding Present (Rob’s got no chance, he doesn’t look good in a short skirt and knee high boots). My biggest fear would be having to play this, because I’d never be able to come in at the right place. Air drumming failures aside, probably my #2.
Kriss: Swimming Pools and Movie Stars
It feels as if Watusi is often forgotten in the Weddoes canon but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. Maybe because it came on the back of releasing all the singles for Hit Parade people were all Gedged out. Swimming Pools and Movie Stars just edges out Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah for top spot on this one!
Frankie: Click Click
Watusi coincided with me finally moving out into a reasonably nice flat (as opposed to student hovels) with a mate who managed Way Ahead Records in Derby. This was known as the Year Of Many CDs as my collection seemed to exponentially increase as a result. Watusi kind of got lost in the glut, possibly because it underwhelmed me slightly. “Click Click” was the stand-out track, whilst rubbish like “Shake It” left me beyond disappointed.
Chorizo: Click Click
Saturnalia (1996, Cooking Vinyl)
Tim: Skin Diving
Very difficult choice, as an album, it’s okay probably better than Watusi, but no real stand out tracks. This era was a bit weird for me having previously hung out quite a bit with Tse Tse Fly a few years back, and then here they are as being half the Wedding Present!
Kriss: Real Thing
Saturnalia was always a bit of a slow burner for me but it did get under skin after a while. Real Thing always stood out off this album for me. Love the boy/girl vocals and the distorted guitars at the end. I enjoyed the shift sonically and it’ll be a mystery to see what they would have put out next had Saturnalia not been the last album before the hiatus.
Saturnalia came out 6 months after the birth of my first child, so my memories of it are somewhat blurred. I doubt I even bought it on the day of release, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of time listening to it. Which is probably why I’d choose “Venus” here as the first track on the CD it’s probably about as far as I got most times. Even now having gone back to it, I can say with conviction that this is by far my least favourite Wedding Present album. It felt like they were running out of steam and I wasn’t surprised in the least when David Gedge announced his solo project afterwards. My only disappointment there was that he didn’t heed my advice and call it “Gedge!” (the exclamation mark being important). Cinerama was a rubbish name for it in comparison.
Chorizo: Skin Diving
Take Fountain (2005, Scopitones)
Tim: Perfect Blue
After slowly turning back into the Wedding Present from Cinerama, this album is a cracking return of the name. There are a few that could have been the choice here, but as an album closer this is one of the very best. The tours for this album were also great, being the first time, in years they’d done really old stuff too, just a shame Simon Smith wasn’t there, the Finnish drummer’s snare was always too tight!
Kriss: Interstate 5
As good as anything the Wedding Present have ever done. Genuinely believe that Interstate 5 is one of the greatest Wedding Present songs off an album I love. Along with Seamonsters and George Best, Take Fountain completes my top three WP albums. With regards in Interstate 5 I love the arrangements of the guitars, I love the lyrics, I love how long it is! Excellent.
Frankie: Don’t Touch That Dial
The Wedding Present “comeback” didn’t surprise me either. Having attended Cinerama gigs throughout their lifespan it was obvious that audiences were dwindling, so reverting to The Wedding Present name seemed an obvious (if somewhat cynical) path to take. I still think of this as a Cinerama album as they’d debuted a number of the songs as Cinerama and the line-up was identical. They had this very technical drummer from Finland or somewhere and he seemed (to me) completely ill-suited to The Wedding Present. Witness the horrible off-beat ride cymbal on “Interstate 5” that drags, what should be a powerful opening statement, towards some sort of reggae excursion. That said, there are some brilliant songs on here and I struggle to choose between “Perfect Blue” and “Don’t Touch That Dial” as my favourites, but as it’s a strict “1 from each” rule, I’ll go with the latter.
Chorizo: Ringway to Seatac
El Rey (2008, Vibrant)
Tim: Boo Boo
Another one showing I’m a sucker for the moody ones. The only time I saw them round this time was at Indietracks. The problem with all these themed old tours is they don’t play the new stuff much after the year it comes out. I’d be keen on a “NO OLD SONGS” tour, but the gigs would be empty I guess.
Kriss: Spider Man on Hollywood
Sounds like it could have been off Watusi! My favourite from this album as it sounds the most like the Wedding Present!!!
Frankie: Boo Boo
Seems to have a fairly low standing among other fans I’ve spoken to but I really liked this album when it came out. I’ve not listened to it in quite a while but “Boo Boo” was my favourite at the time. Just checked again and it still is, although I can see why it’s not considered a classic Wedding Present album. A couple of weak songs and some fairly flat Albini production going on but at least they’d got a proper drummer in!
Chorizo: Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk
Valentina (2012, Scopitones)
Tim: End Credits
For the bass guitar alone, could be Steve Hanley playing it.
Kriss: Back a Bit… Stop
Didn’t really get into this album first time round until I heard the the Cinerama cover of the whole album. I really enjoyed that so I went back and listened to it. It was great as listening to it again I enjoyed it a lot more. Not vintage Weddoes in my humble opinion but still better than most!!!
Frankie: The Girl from the DDR
My main criticism of Valentina when it came out was that, whilst it contained a whole bunch of solid Wedding Present songs it didn’t have a killer track that grabbed me and stuck with me like their best albums did. This makes doing a “1 from each” tricky for me, but I’ll plump for “The Girl From The DDR” even though it’s one of several songs that I think were bettered by the Cinerama versions last year. Am I allowed to say that?
Chorizo: Deer Caught in the Headlights
Going Going… (2016, Scopitones)
My favourite on the new album is probably Rachel (I bet Tim says Santa Monica!)
Tim: Santa Monica and Bear
As its a double length album, I’ll have 2 choices. Santa Monica as correctly predicted by Rob, not least for its impressive use of recycling lyrics! But also Bear.
I love Going Going, it’s their best since Take Fountain and I think it might even be in my top three Weddoes albums. Been on pretty much constant rotation since I got it. Favourite track has to be Bear. Such a great song and when they played it live in Kendal it was amazing!
Chorizo: Got to agree with Kriss, this album is right up there with their very best. Seeing as Tim has already bent the rules a bit with the double album thing, I’ll choose Fifty Six and Little Silver.
Official Wedding Present links:
- Visit The Wedding Present online shop to buy their music
- Check the tour dates to see when they’re coming your way (if you’re going to Manchester in May then see you down the front!)
More Wedding Present stuff on this website:
Spotify playlist featuring all these songs: