The Wedding Present @ O2 Institute, 27 October 2019

The Wedding Present @ O2 Institute, 27 October 2019


One of the most important bands in the British indie music scene The Wedding Present came to Birmingham for a night filled with cheers and mosh pits. After walking to the venue through the freezing cold weather, the packed room was exactly what I needed. The line-up of The Wedding Present has changed a lot since its formation in the 80’s, but the fonder member David Gedge has remained the heart and soul of the group, being its only constant.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the highly acclaimed Bizarro album, with its teenage angst and love songs, the audience was mostly formed of middle-aged men who seemed to know every single word from their catalogue of songs.

‘California’, from “The Hit Parade”, opened the night and took everyone by surprise but we all realised we’re in for more than just one album. Front man Gedge was engaging and charismatic right from the beginning, jumping all around the stage with his guitar.

The second song was “Brassneck” which brought an electric wave of energy to the venue, being one of their most popular songs. Dynamic, angst-ridden and funny – this is how I’d describe their set-list.

The highlight of the night was, unsurprisingly, “Kennedy”, a post-punk representative. If there was anyone there who wasn’t already jumping up and down and singing along every word, they definitely joined during this song.

Later on through the set Gedge asked if there was anyone new in the crowd, anyone who hasn’t seen them live before, Surprisingly only a few hands were up. Their fan base was solid; there was no doubt about it. Many of the fans could be heard asking about the last time they saw them live, for some was way shorter than for others, some saying that they also go to other cities to see them performing when they are on tour. One person who raised their hand was being surrounded by enthusiasts who put their arm around their shoulders and started jumping together, proving in a way that the band’s music actually brings people together.

The Leeds indie band played so man of their songs in only one hour and a half, the wide set list being fast, guitar ridden and strong. Gedge’s vocals were raw and raspy, and they complemented the lively instrumentals perfectly. The fans were out of breath but still shouted and sang every word back to the stage. It’s a well-known fact by now that David Gedge is one of the best lyricists England has ever seen and there’s no wonder why everyone still loves his honest and almost aggressive love songs.

Before playing the last song, “Take me!”, Gedge announced that they don’t do encores and they don’t do requests. Fortunately for fans, the last song is ten minutes long, though mostly instrumental. On coming to an end, the fans were left wanting more but knowing they would have to wait until their next show.

Setlist

California
Brassneck
Crushed
No
Don’t Give Up Without a Fight
Thanks
Kennedy
Montreal
Click Click
Don’t Touch That Dial
Deer Caught in the Headlights –
A Song From Under The Floorboards (Magazinecover)
What Have I Said Now?
Telemark
Granadaland
Bewitched
Be Honest
Take Me!

Review: Andra Tudoran

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