Saturday, 9 March 2013

Live Review: The Wedding Present

Artist: The Wedding Present:
Venue: The Zoo
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Wedding Present is one of those acts who don't gain the attention they truly deserve. In terms of their British counter parts from the same era, acts such as A.R. Kane, Pale Saints, and The Chameleons also have the right to be aggrieved at their lack of appreciation over the years.

David Gedge is something of the wordsmith. His perpetual topic of love and relationships never grows old when you hold an ear to a Wedding Present tune. I once remember reading an article in the NME about Jason Pierce of Spiritualized and Spaceman 3 fame. Paraphrasing, it basically stated that he was a one trick pony, but what a trick it was. David Gedge performs that very same trick, however I think he had the baton before Mr. Pierce, who added his own take to the misery his subjects portray right after taking it from Gedge.

Around 70 inhabitants occupy the floor space of The Zoo. Another poor turnout, which is becoming more prevalent as each day passes in rainy Brisbane. I could blame it on the poor weather but I won't, as it wouldn't have altered the punter figure for better or worse. No, this crowd was filled with baby boomers letting their hair down, clapping after Gedge announces a song before even playing it. It is clear fandom with pretense left to flow down one of the few drain ways on Ann St.

The Wedding Present live is more of an abrasive experience. It reminds me of when I had the privilege of seeing The Constantines shortly before they called it a day. Even the feel is similar, that heart and soul attitude. David Gedge and his band, whom of which hail from three respective countries, are tight. Very fucking tight, actually. They give each other warm acknowledgements throughout, as George Best and Hit Parade 1 & 2 are heavily relied on from TWPs catalogue.

Among the highlights include 'Everyone Thinks You Look Daft', 'My Favourite Dress, 'Flying Saucer' and 'Blue Eyes'. The material from the band's newest release, Valentina, is almost scarce, apart from the album's highlight and closing track, 'Mystery Date', which sounds every bit as good as as it does on record. 'Brassneck' from the venerable Bizzaro is also rollicking.

David Gedge interacts with the crowd quite well throughout. You can tell he is proud and confident of his art and why shouldn't he be? Asking for a tissue to blow his nose (first time for everything) while also having some banter with a Stone Roses fan who still appeared to be buzzing from their performance at the Riverstage 24 hour earlier. Despite the almost skeletal "crowd", Gedge appears to be enjoying the night for what it is.

There's something dehumanizing about seeing a bunch of 50 somethings of the male variety wigging out at the front of stage. It's almost like a bid to relive their youth. That's not me having a pop and throwing a blanket over a generation, either. Quite the opposite, in fact. That will most likely be me in 20 years. And that's more than okay. These dudes are all about the music. Something that's currently lost among the masses these days. I thank The Wedding Present for bringing it to the people for the people. They owned, so much so that considering the sparse amount of material I was familiar with (hadn't heard a note of the Hit Parade material), I'd rate this as one of the finest gigs I've been to in the last couple of years. Brilliant. Just brilliant. 

By Simon K.