RYAN Maguire went along to review The Wedding Present at The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham.
DAVID Gedge scowls at his audience before a smirk creeps across his face and he announces: “We’re the semi-legendary, The Wedding Present.”
This near-sold-out crowd are in no mood to disagree.
The band have made regular trips to Nottingham as part of a chronological trawl through their back catalogue, playing a different album in its entirety with each visit.
By now, they’ve reached album number three and tonight is a real treat as 1991’s mercurial Seamonsters is a masterpiece.
The group warm up with some newer material and more obscure fare before launching into the showpiece event. They open with a ferocious version of Dalliance delivered with vitriol by Gedge.
The audience are in raptures immediately.
Later, the excitement of raging feedback being interrupted by the opening riff of fan favourite Corduroy inspires a middle-aged moshpit of beer-bellied revellers.
Frontman Gedge is the only remaining member of the original line-up and his wonderfully tuneless vocals and guttural delivery are a highlight of the band’s live shows. With his voice buried deep in the mix on any studio recordings it is a treat to hear his angry bellowed tones rasping loudly over the guitars.
The band tear through the album with conviction, injecting fresh vigour into these two-decade-old songs, culminating in a pulsating version of Octopussy.
There are no gimmicks here and the group are a world apart from the stylised, attention-seeking posers that frequently come to this city masquerading as musicians.
The haircut kids might have learned a thing or two about substance over style were they in attendance but Gedge appears to be playing to the same audience as in the band’s late 80s/early 90s heyday.
That adds to the appeal. The singer’s intimate, bitter lyrics are perfectly suited to a band whose fans still feel an element of possession over them. Many have turned up tonight sporting their fading t-shirts of 1989 album Bizarro.
The night ends on a raucous version of Bizarro’s nine minute tour de force Take Me! sending Gedge’s followers into the Nottingham night with a spring in their step.
So, next, Watusi!
By Ryan Maguire