Sunday, March 17, 2013


Northcote Social Club,27/02/13
Unlike last night's sold out sauna of a show, this, the second of two concerts Leeds' finest are treating us to, has a loose, friendly and intimate feel from the moment the band step on stage. Tonight sees them run through The Hit Parade, a compilation of their Guinness Book of World Records-listed collection of singles (twelve charting singles in twelve months). The nearly full room is populated mainly by men who bought The Hit Parade when its songs were still A and B-sides, all of whom are in the throes of excited adoration from the spectacular sour emphatic jangling of opener Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah.

David Gedge, the man who essentially is The Wedding Present, is as comfortable warmly chatting as he is dispatching acerbic barbs. He pulls out the 'it’s so nice to be back, it seems like only yesterday' gag, which is no less funny for being obvious. This sense of humour fuels Wedding Present classics that get an airing tonight, like Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft, Spider Man on Hollywood and My Favourite Dress, still doubling as an incendiary slice of futile malice despite now being rendered despondently rather than with the vitriol that fuelled its 1987 release. A blistering, face-reddening take of Kennedy follows and the audience are borne along on his careering, slashing chords and the tight deftness of his backing band. Guitarist Geoff Maddock of Kiwi bands Bressa Creeting Cake and Goldenhorse is responsible for the emphatic riffs and works fantastically with Gedge to recreate the harsh, unaffected jangle that the Wedding Present made their own. After the fantastic Mystery Date, we’re lead via Come Play With Me and California – further exercises in pithy economy into The Hit Parade section of the show.

By now amp valves and vocal cords are warmed up and the guitars' satisfying crunch and Gedge’s bolshy utterances give the songs extra drive, and the set flows from high point to high point, despite a frequent breaking of guitar strings. 'There’s a nostalgic aspect to George Best. It clouds your vision. These are better songs. It's better tonight,' Gedge says to affirming cheers. The slippery melodies of Sticky and heavy riffs of Love Slave ensue. ‘We don’t do encores. It’s nothing personal,’ Gedge tells us before issuing the closing salvo of No Christmas and Deer in the Headlights with abandon; every rhythmic, hunched nod from Gedge sending a shotglass worth of sweat flying off to the floor.

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