You're right....I did post my review of this gig a few weeks back.
But the thing is, I was there with Mrs Villain and my mate Micky, and at the time I asked the latter if, for something different, he fancied sharing his thoughts.
Micky's e-mail was dispatched within 48 hours, but for whatever reason, it got lost in cyberspace (we reckon it got stuck in a filter at one or other of our offices). But post-Xmas, he's been able to retreive it, and it's only right that, although the gig was a while ago, that his opinion be offered:-
I don't get out much.
That must have been why getting to the ABC2 early enough to see tonight's support act Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves seemed like such a good idea at the time. There have been many great bass guitar/lead guitar/drummer three pieces in history, however, as small bands go, they were a great advert for Arcade Fire. Quite such a bland selection of MOR verging on R&B songs it's hard to imagine. My only regret was that it wasn't bright enough to read the book I'd brought with me.
So, moving swiftly on to the main event...
When you fall in love, you want to shout it from the rooftops. Tell everybody you know and everybody don't know too. It's been much the same for my relationships with my favourite bands. Once upon a time, The Wedding Present was most certainly one of those. Back in those days, "indie" was a by-word for "not part of popular culture" and trying to get someone to listen to that type of band was almost akin to trying to persuade them to adopt a new lifestyle. In my eyes, the Weddoes were the best indie band of the late eighties. There then came something of a fallow period. If not for the band itself (in its many guises), then certainly in my buying of their records. The two things were not unconnected, however.On hearing that they'd reformed last year, I went along to their George Best tour. It was pretty good, but left me pining for a Bizarro tour.
No Bizarro tour on Sunday, but I thought I'd give them another go just the same. The esteemed Mr Gedge was at the back of the club pre & post-gig happily chatting and signing merchandise for the punters. I resisted the temptation myself. Despite having been part of my life for over 20 years, it still didn't seem like a good enough premise on which to go and shake the man's hand.
Proceedings got underway at a hundred miles an hour, with the perennially brilliant Kennedy. By starting with one of my top 3 tracks of all time, I was more than a little worried that we were in for 80 minutes of anti-climax. Where could they go from there??? A load of new stuff was the answer. However, you have to bear in mind that for me,anything after 1990 is new stuff. I've not been quite as diligent with their releases as I might have been.
I'm a little older now so I doubt I'll ever experience the same fire for The Weddoes as I did in 1987. They are the only band I have ever air guitared to - and air guitaring to the Weddoes was an internationally recognised form of exercise. I think it was Paul Morley who once said that Joy Division made him believe he could spit in the face of God. Me too. But The Weddoes gave me the belief I had the stamina to go 15 rounds with the big man when he hit back. There were times during the evening when there were glimpses of that old power. Notably during Getting Nowhere Fast, Interstate 5 and Dare. I predictably loved My Favourite Dress too. This was the first Weddoes track I ever bought - about 30 seconds after I heard it for the first time in Tower Records, Piccadilly, circa August 1987.
The band weren't the only attraction. We couldn't help but be transfixed by the gayest mosher in town. He could jump up and down (out of time with the music, natch) with the rest of them, but the effeminate waving of his hands above his head took all the aggression out of his efforts. Then there were the ned moshers who looked totally out of place - surely just joining in for a bit of a rumpus I surmised - till I noticed that they knew more words than me. Grey haired mosher (with the most exclusive T-shirt), was having a good time too and there were fewer baldy moshers than might have been expected. (Can you say baldy mosher?). I couldn't help but think that that could have been me in a different life - a life where I hadn't moved on. In fact, I remember the moment I retired from that sort of behaviour - at a Weddoes gig in about 1989.
It was something of a sign of the times for the Weddoes, when they are reduced to playing in front of a couple of hundred at the ABC2. The days of a playing to a couple of thousand at the Town And Country Club, Kentish Town would appear to be long gone. On tonight's evidence they won't be returning either. Not that they weren't good, but back in 1987, NOBODY sounded like The Wedding Present. They're just not sounding different enough now to attract the same attention. An excellent night though, which at least re-affirmed my intentions to explore the back catalogue missing from my collection. (I'll be looking to the Vinyl Villain himself to furnish me over the next few weeks). But, try as I might, I just couldn't shake off the nagging feeling that I was watching a tribute band. That sounds like a damning indictment, but is more indicative of my yearning to see them just one more time as they were back in the glory days.
And especially for Micky, here's some of what he thought were highlights:-
mp3 : The Wedding Present - Getting Nowhere Fast (Peel Session)
mp3 : The Wedding Present - Interstate 5 (acoustic version)
mp3 : The Wedding Present - My Favourite Dress (live, Sound City, Leeds 1996)
And before I go, I'd like to re-direct your attention to this post from exactly one week ago. I hope you've been in touch with Acid Ted.