The Wedding Present – Reissue Launch Event @ The Barfly, Camden – 20th October 2014

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Some time ago David Gedge (DLG) decided it would be a good idea to reissue all of the albums by The Wedding Present in new improved and expanded format. This event was designed as the launch-pad for the re-releases but, as expected, turned out to be much more.


Launch events can be fractious affairs, all about the PR and the hard sell.  Tonight was the opposite, like a meeting of a group of friends, with the Q&A made remarkable by the lack of cringe-worthy moments, and the performance being unique in the long history of the band.

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Put a select bunch of fans and a band in a room, with a record player and a dog and you have the recipe for a remarkable event. The latest member of The Wedding Present entourage, the dog Doris, was not given the task of replacing the absent Charlie Layton on drums as people joked, as this was dealt with in an innovative way.  The drum tracks had been laid down before the event by guitarist Sam Beer-Pearce, and pressed onto vinyl, complete with click-tracks for the intros, hence the record player.

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The crackle of the stylus on the lead -in track each time gave each song a nostalgic feel but at the same time reflected the fact that the re-issues will be on vinyl as well as all the usual media. In my opinion the earlier stuff sounds better on vinyl, if for no other reason than the songs being recorded for that media. For many people George Best is the seminal album in the set and, of course most people will have heard it for the first time, with that signature crackle and hiss leading into Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft.

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Not that the tune was on show tonight. George Best was represented by Something and Nothing. The choice of songs was interesting and not totally predictable. Thanks from Bizarro was preferred ahead of the usual set staples as was Meet Cute from Valentina, although Dare (Seamonsters) and Drive (Mini), and My Favourite Dress (Tommy) have all featured in recent sets.

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The Q&A was good natured and humorous with questions covering anything from Anorak questions about DLG producing B-sides for Ash, to cover versions, the new Cinerama version of Valentina, his recent change in marital status and of course Doris.  There was not much new to be heard but that was beside the point as the event was more of a celebration than PR exercise.


In typical homespun style the launch event precedes the release of the re-issues by a week but that matter very little. DLG has a justified pride in all the albums that make up the releases and in the project which involved numerous negotiations with record labels and TV and Radio stations regarding the music and also the additional content that accompanies each re-issue. As he said himself the only regret is that the project omitted the three most recent albums, but maybe they will be added in due course.

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One final point about Doris: she may be a pup but she has one up on me. According to DLG she met Nick Cave earlier in the day!

The re-issues are released by Edsel Records and details of all the formats and bundles can be found on the Scopitones web site.

The Wedding Present will be touring a retrospective of their Watusi album in the UK and Europe in November. Tour dates and details are available here.


The evening’s events:

Rarities, Covers and Originals Playlist (Thanks to Martin Payne Smith)

Q&A – Keith Cameron


The Wedding Present set:

Something and Nothing

Meet Cute

The Queen of Outer Space

Ringway to Seatac

Jet Girl


The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend




My Favourite Dress


Photographs: Stephanie Colledge

Words: Ian Gelling

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