I mentioned last week that my old mate Rich was coming along to The Wedding Present gig last night, on his birthday.
Rich, as I’m sure I mentioned before, is the chap who properly got me into what we now rather endearingly call “indie” music; my brother had laid the foundations, but it was Rich who built on them.
I will never forget the time he played me The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”…
The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
…closely followed by Billy Bragg’s “The Man In The Iron Mask”…
Billy Bragg – The Man in the Iron Mask
…and then I think something by The Chesterfields, probably this:
The Chesterfields – Nose Out of Joint
…followed up by Microdisney…
Microdisney – Town to Town
…by which point I was smitten.
Last night, The Wedding Present played none of those songs, for what I hope are fairly obvious reasons, but they did play this, which I made sure Rich and I had a hug to on the line “You’re not like anyone I ever met”.
The Wedding Present – A Million Miles
Now we’re all grown up and responsible, professionally, Rich is a teacher. To me, he’s always been one.
Happy (day after) Birthday mate. Love ya.
A little over half way through The Wedding Present’s gig last night, the following exchange took place between me and my old mate Gary:
Gary: Hold my pint while I go to the loo will you?
Me: Correct. No.
Gary: Why not?
Me: Because if you go to the loo now, you’ll miss “My Favourite Dress”, and I don’t want that on my conscience.
So, here’s the song in question. Their finest moment? I dunno. There are so many fine moments in The Wedding Present’s back catalogue, it’s hard to choose, but certainly this would be right up there.
And in response to Aphoristic’s comment on this week’s Late Night Stargazing post, there’s no finer place to start investigating non-“Seamonsters” Wedding Present than right here:
The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress
It finishes, to rapturous applause, cheers, and doubtless the occasional tear.
Gary: Now will you hold my pint so I can go the loo?
Me: Correct. No.
Gary: Why not?
Me: Because if you go to the loo now, you’ll miss “Shatner”, and I don’t want that on my conscience.
Repeat to fade.
One of the support acts for The Wedding Present last night was Brix & The Extricated. That’s Brix of Brix E. Smith fame, one of the few former members of The Fall to actually marry Mark E. Smith, not that that was enough to save her from the inevitable chop from the band (the divorce probably didn’t help extend her stay in the band, to be fair).
Anyway, Brix & The Extricated were pretty good, if a little sixth-form band in places. Brix looked great, an indie Debbie Harry if you will.
They did, however, sneak a couple (we counted three, I think) Fall covers in, best of the lot was their version of this, possibly my favourite Fall record anyway, the first of many pint-spilling moments of the night:
The Fall – Dead Beat Descendant
It’s been a while since I posted anything by the late great Townes Van Zandt, so since I’m feeling a little delicate this morning (I seem to have left my voice in The Roundhouse), I’ll rectify that today with this from, erm, “The Late Great Townes Van Zandt” album:
Townes Van Zandt – Don’t Let The Sunshine Fool Ya’
I’ve just got home from seeing The Wedding Present perform the ‘George Best’ album on the 30th anniversary tour at The Roundhouse.
I go to quite a lot of these things now, anniversaries of albums I bought when I was younger and still love today. In fact, this is the third time I’ve been to a Wedding Present one (a different album every time, I should add). They’re always joyous occasions, several thousand men and women “of a certain age” joining in to sing-a-long to a bunch of songs which mean so much to us, and which have stayed with us for so long.
Needless to say, it was a glorious night, and so I wanted to play something from that album here, but as main man Gedge pointed out tonight: “There aren’t any slow songs on this album.” So instead, here’s an acoustic version of one of them; I think I first had this on a cassette given away free with a magazine in the late 1980s (any suggestions, folks…?), but it got an official release as a bonus track on the wonderful “Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?” single:
The Wedding Present – Give My Love to Kevin (Acoustic)
On the tube on the way home, I got chatting to a group of people, maybe a little older than me, one of whom was wearing a couple of Wedding Present badges on the strap of her handbag. We exchanged the usual post-gig pleasantries, and I asked them what they were going to do next.
“Go home and listen to ‘George Best’ again, really loud,” was their response.
Me too, me too.