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Wedding Present

Emerging in the wake of the Smiths' demise as the U.K.'s most successful indie pop band during the late '80s, the Wedding Present were founded in Leeds, England, in 1985. Formed from the ashes of the short-lived Lost Pandas, the Weddoes (as they were affectionately dubbed by fans) were essentially the vehicle of singer/songwriter David Gedge, the only constant member throughout the group's tumultuous history. Initially rounded out by guitarist Peter Solowka, bassist Keith Gregory, and drummer Shaun Charman, the fledgling band quickly won a loyal following among university students, as well as the patronage of influential DJ John Peel, for whom they cut their first radio session in February 1986.

Named in honor of the popular soccer star, George Best, the Wedding Present's remarkable debut LP appeared on their own Reception label in 1987. The group became the darlings of the British press overnight, winning acclaim for their distinct guitar pop frenzy as well as Gedge's idiosyncratic vocal style and wittily lovelorn, conversation-like lyrics. After the album established a foothold on the U.K. indie charts, Tommy -- a hastily compiled overview of early singles, covers, and radio broadcasts -- followed in 1988.

The Wedding Present's next effort came completely out of left field: titled Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peel, the collection brought together Peel session dates with a sampler of traditional Ukrainian folk tunes inspired by Solowka's father. Additionally, it marked the recording debut of new drummer Simon Smith, recruited after Charman exited to form the Popguns. After reaching the Top 40 with the primal single "Kennedy," the Weddoes returned in 1989 with Bizarro, a more conventional effort highlighted by the single "Brassneck," produced by Steve Albini. The aggressive 1991 release Seamonsters returned Albini to the producer's seat and marked the departure of Solowka, who continued to explore his roots in the Ukrainians; guitarist Paul Dorrington was tapped as his replacement.

Instead of recording a new studio LP, the Wedding Present spent the entirety of 1992 issuing a single on the first Monday of each month. Later compiled as the two-volume Hit Parade set, the singles featured original material on their A-sides and cover songs on the flipsides, among them interpretations of the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears," Isaac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft," and Julee Cruise's "Falling" (better known as the theme to Twin Peaks).

The departure of Gregory (to found Cha Cha Cohen) left Gedge the group's last original member, the Weddoes resurfaced with new bassist Darren Belk for 1994's Watusi, a nod toward the Amer-indie love-rock scene produced by Olympia, Washington-based producer Steve Fisk, complete with vocal assistance from Beat Happening's Heather Lewis. Following a rather uneventful 1995, the group returned in 1996 with a flurry of new material; first up was the auto-obsessed Mini EP, later reissued with bonus tracks as Mini Plus. The full-length Saturnalia appeared at the end of the year, followed early in 1997 by the single "Montreal." Gedge then put the band on hold, formed Cinerama (a group that released three albums and numerous singles between 1998 and 2003, featured Gedge's girlfriend Sally Murrell, and by the end began to sound increasingly Weddoes-like). After Gedge spilt with Murrell in 2002, he moved to Seattle and began writing songs for a new album. He decided to revive the Wedding Present name, roped in his Cinerama bandmates (including bassist Terry DeCastro) to record, and the band released Take Fountain in early 2005. After a long spell of touring that saw the group spanning the globe and playing to scores of fans who were thrilled to have their heroes back, the group hit the studio again with Steve Albini and the resulting album, El Rey, was released in 2008. The new edition of the band went through many lineup changes, the most dramatic being the 2010 split with longtime bassist DeCastro. In 2012, the band released their ninth full-length album, Valentina, and showed no signs of slowing down. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Going, Going...

1. Kittery

2. Greenland

3. Marblehead

4. Sprague

5. Two Bridges

6. Little Silver

7. Bear

8. Secretary

9. Birdsnest

10. Kill Devil Hills

11. Bells

12. Fifty-Six

13. Fordland

14. Emporia

15. Broken Bow

16. Lead

17. Ten Sleep

18. Wales

19. Rachel

20. Santa Monica

x

Track List: Valentina

1. You're Dead

2. You Jane

3. Meet Cute

4. Back A Bit... Stop

5. Stop Thief!

6. The Girl From The DDR

7. Deer Caught In The Headlights

8. 524 Fidelio

9. End Credits

10. Mystery Date

x

Track List: Live 1990

1. Don't Talk, Just Kiss (Live In Hoboken)

2. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) (Live In Hoboken)

3. Corduroy (Live In Hoboken)

4. Kennedy (Live In Hoboken)

5. I'm Not Always So Stupid (Live In Hoboken)

6. Heather (Live In Hoboken)

7. Brassneck (Live In Hoboken)

8. Bewitched (Live In Hoboken)

9. Take Me! (Live In Hoboken)

10. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live In Hoboken)

11. Crawl (Live In Hoboken)

12. What Have I Said Now? (Live In Hoboken)

13. Dalliance (Live In Kilburn)

14. Don't Talk, Just Kiss (Live In Kilburn)

15. Kennedy (Live In Kilburn)

16. Crawl (Live In Kilburn)

17. Heather (Live In Kilburn)

18. Brassneck (Live In Kilburn)

19. Corduroy (Live In Kilburn)

20. Take Me! (Live In Kilburn)

21. Bewitched (Live In Kilburn)

22. Dare (Live In Kilburn)

23. What Have I Said Now? (Live In Kilburn)

24. I'm Not Always So Stupid (Live In Kilburn)

25. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live In Kilburn)

26. Niagara (Live In Kilburn)

x

Track List: Live 1989

Disc 1

1. Katrusya (Live)

2. Davni Chasy (Live)

3. Sertsem I Dusheyu (Live)

4. Oi Divchino (Live)

5. Vasya Vasyliok (Live)

6. Hude Dnipro Hude (Live)

7. Zavtra Ya Buda Did Nebom Chuzin (Live)

8. Buv Holodin, Konya Vrkraw (Live)

9. Vesna (Live)

10. Tiutiunyk (Live)

11. Cherez Richku, Cherez Hai (Live)

12. Svitit Misyats (Live)

13. Hopak (Live)

14. Verkhovyno (Live)

Disc 2

1. Brassneck (Live)

2. Don't Talk, Just Kiss (Live)

3. Kennedy (Live)

4. Granadaland (Live)

5. Bewitched (Live)

6. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live)

7. I'm Not Always So Stupid (Live)

8. Crushed (Live)

9. Gone (Live)

10. Give My Love To Kevin (Live)

11. My Favourite Dress (Live)

12. Take Me! (Live)

13. What Have I Said Now? (Live)

x

Track List: Live 1988

Disc 1

1. Introduction (Live In Rotterdam)

2. You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends (Live In Rotterdam)

3. Never Said (Live In Rotterdam)

4. What Did Your Last Servant Die Of? (Live In Rotterdam)

5. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live In Rotterdam)

6. Not From Where I'm Standing (Live In Rotterdam)

7. This Boy Can Wait (Live In Rotterdam)

8. A Million Miles (Live In Rotterdam)

9. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? (Live In Rotterdam)

10. Don't Be So Hard (Live In Rotterdam)

11. Nothing Comes Easy (Live In Rotterdam)

12. Anyone Can Make A Mistake (Live In Rotterdam)

13. I'm Not Always So Stupid (Live In Rotterdam)

14. Nobody's Twisting Your Arm (Live In Rotterdam)

Disc 2

1. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? (Live In Valencia)

2. This Boy Can Wait (Live In Valencia)

3. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live In Valencia)

4. Kennedy (Live In Valencia)

5. What Did Your Last Servant Die Of? (Live In Valencia)

6. No (Live In Valencia)

7. Anyone Can Make A Mistake (Live In Valencia)

8. Give My Love To Kevin (Live In Valencia)

9. Be Honest (Live In Valencia)

10. I'm Not Always So Stupid (Live In Valencia)

11. Nobody's Twisting Your Arm (Live In Valencia)

12. Take Me! (Live In Valencia)

x

Track List: Live In Leeds

1. Shivers (Live)

2. Sticky (Live)

3. Ringway To Seatac (Live)

4. Corduroy (Live)

5. Flying Saucer (Live)

6. Montreal (Live)

7. Wow (Live)

8. You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends (Live)

9. Mars Sparkles Down On Me (Live)

10. Click Click (Live)

11. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (Live)

12. Kennedy (Live)

13. Mercury (Live)

14. Dalliance (Live)

15. Brassneck (Live In Leeds, June 6, 2006)

16. I'm From Further North Than You (Live In Leeds, June 6, 2006)

17. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? (Live)

18. Take Me! (Live)

19. Octopussy (Live)

x

Track List: Holly Jolly Hollywood EP

1. Holly Jolly Hollywood

2. Holly Jolly Hollywood (Acoustic Version)

3. White Christmas

x

Track List: El Rey

1. Santa Ana Winds

2. Spider-Man On Hollywood

3. I Lost The Monkey

4. Soup

5. Palisades

6. The Trouble With Men

7. Model, Actress, Whatever

8. Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk

10. Boo Boo

11. Swingers

x

Track List: The Complete Peel Sessions (6 Disc Box Set)

Disc 1

1. You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

2. It's What You Want That Matters

3. This Boy Can Wait

4. Felicity

5. All About Eve

6. Don't Laugh

7. Never Said

8. Don't Be So Hard

9. Hopak

10. Give My Love To Kevin

11. Something And Nothing

12. A Million Miles

13. Getting Nowhere Fast

14. Katrusya

15. Svitit Misyats

18. Hude Dnipro Hude

Disc 2

1. Davni Chasy

2. Vasya Vasyliok

4. Verkhovyno

5. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?

6. Unfaithful

7. Take Me

10. Sertsem I Dusheyu

12. Dalliance

13. Heather

14. Blonde

15. Niagara

Disc 3

1. California

2. Flying Saucer

4. Come Play With Me

6. So Long Baby

9. Drive

10. Love Machine

11. Sports Car

12. Go Man Go

13. Blue Eyes

14. Ringway To Seatac

15. Shivers

16. Queen Anne

Disc 4

1. What Have I Said Now?

2. Crushed

3. Kennedy

4. Thanks

6. Granadaland

8. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

9. Kennedy

10. Swimming Pools, Movie Stars

11. Click Click

12. It's A Gas

15. Fleshworld

16. Sucker

17. The Queen Of Outer Space

Disc 5

2. Silver Shorts

3. Love Machine

4. Snake Eyes

5. Sports Car

6. Convertible

7. Click Click

8. My Favourite Dress

9. Real Thing

10. It's A Gas

12. Sucker

13. Corduroy

Disc 6

1. Go Go Dancer

2. Sports Car

3. Kansas

4. 2, 3, Go

5. Bewitched

6. Venus

7. Love Slave

8. Real Thing

9. Drive

10. Montreal

11. Come Play With Me

12. Brassneck

13. Crawl

x

Track List: Take Fountain

x

Track List: The Hit Parade

Disc 1

1. Blue Eyes

2. Go-Go Dancer

3. Three

4. Silver Shorts

5. Come Play With Me

6. California

7. Flying Saucer

8. Boing!

9. Love Slave

10. Sticky

11. The Queen Of Outer Space

12. No Christmas

Disc 2

1. Cattle And Cane

2. Don't Cry No Tears

3. Think That It Might

4. Falling

5. Pleasant Valley Sunday

6. Let's Make Some Plans

7. Rocket

8. Theme From Shaft

9. Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family

10. Go Wild In The Country

11. U.F.O.

12. Step Into Christmas

x

Track List: Singles 1995-1997

1. Sucker

2. Waiting On The Guns

3. Jet Girl

4. Red Shoes By The Drugstore

5. Drive

6. Love Machine

7. Go, Man, Go

8. Mercury

9. Convertible

10. Sports Car

11. 2, 3, Go

12. Real Thing (Acoustic Version)

13. Jet Girl (Acoustic Version)

14. Up

15. Montreal

16. Sports Car (Acoustic Version)

17. Project Cenzo

18. Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Theme From 'Cheers')

19. My Favourite Dress (Live)

20. Brassneck (Live)

x

Track List: Saturnalia

1. Venus

2. Real Thing

3. Dreamworld

4. 2, 3, Go

5. Snake Eyes

6. Hula Doll

7. Big Boots

8. Montreal

9. Skin Diving

10. Jet Girl (Electric Version)

11. Kansas

12. 50's

x

Track List: Watusi

1. So Long, Baby

2. Click Click

3. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

4. Let Him Have It

5. Gazebo

6. Shake It

7. Spangle

8. It's A Gas

9. Swimming Pools, Movie Stars

10. Big Rat

11. Catwoman

12. Hot Pants

x

Track List: Seamonsters

1. Dalliance

2. Dare

3. Suck

4. Blonde

5. Rotterdam

6. Lovenest

7. Corduroy

8. Carolyn

9. Heather

10. Octopussy

11. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

12. Crawl

13. Corduroy (Single Version)

14. She's My Best Friend

15. Niagra

16. Mothers

17. Dan Dare

18. Fleshworld

x

Track List: Bizarro

1. Brassneck

2. Crushed

3. No

4. Thanks

5. Kennedy

6. What Have I Said Now?

7. Granadaland

8. Bewitched

9. Take Me

10. Be Honest

11. Unfaithful

12. One Day All This WIll Be Yours

13. It's Not Unusual

14. Brassneck

15. Don't Talk, Just Kiss

16. Gone

17. Box Elder

x

Track List: Tommy

1. Go Out & Get Em' Boy!

2. (The Moment Before) Everything Spoiled Again

3. Once More

4. At The Edge Of The Sea

5. Living & Learning

6. This Boy Can Wait

7. You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

8. Felicity

9. What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?

10. Never Said

11. Every Mothers Son

12. My Favourite Dress

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