As The Wedding Present tour their 1988 compilation album Tommy, including a Liverpool date, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman looks at the story so far
‘I don’t want to be playing it for ever because it’s a bit weird for a bloke in his fifties to sing about how his girlfriend’s just ditched him’
Those were the words of Wedding Present frontman David Gedge when I interviewed him last year ahead of what he insisted was the band’s last ever run through their classic 1987 debut album George Best.
Thankfully, Gedge hasn’t totally rejected his past and this year will see him lead the Weddoes through a full rendition of the band’s 1988 compilation Tommy alongside 40 minutes of other tunes from the band’s huge back catalogue.
It all started for the Wedding Present in 1985 when Gedge boarded a National Express coach in London with 500 records packed into a pair of his mother’s suitcases and, in this fashion, delivered the band’s debut single Go Out And Get ‘Em Boy! to a distribution company in Yorkshire.
That pioneering spirit has been at the core of the band’s philosophy ever since. From George Best, the first full-length release on their own Reception Records onwards, the band has charted an appealing, if often eccentric, course of its very own.
Key to this has always been the band’s blend of buzzsaw guitars, frenetic drumming and Gedge’s characteristic lyrics full of unrequited love, cruel girlfriends and long walks home in the rain.
Tommy itself is a perfect encapsulation of the early Wedding Present sound being a collection of the band’s first four singles including the classic My Favourite Dress and their fantastic run through of Orange Juice‘s Felicity.
Much like its close cousin, The Smiths‘ Hatful of Hollow, it’s a quintessential slice of ’80s British indie pop and 30 years on there is no excuse not to celebrate the early years of one of the indie cannon’s most iconic bands.
TOMMY 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The Wedding Present will play their 1988 compilation album Tommy live at selected cities in Great Britain along with 40 minutes of other music.
01/02 : Poole, Mr Kyps
02/02 : Royal Tunbridge Wells, Forum
03/02 : Sheffield, Leadmill
04/02 : Cardiff, Globe
24/05 : Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms
25/05 : Birmingham, O2 Academy
26/05 : Liverpool, Arts Club
27/05 : Edinburgh, Liquid Room
07/06 : Oxford, O2 Academy
08/06 : Newcastle upon Tyne, O2 Academy
09/06 : Leeds, Church