Monday, January 02, 2012
GIG REVIEW : THE WEDDING PRESENT : GLASGOW GARAGE : 29 DECEMBER 2011
I'm the first to admit that gigs-wise 2011 was less action-packed than any other over the past 30 years. I've a cunning plan in mind to make sure 2012 is a lot more productive...more on that in the coming days.
But 2011 was seen out with a great night out. But you wouldn't expect anything else from a night in the company of David Gedge & Co.
The thing is....before you go along you know what to expect. Around 90 minutes of fast and furious indie-pop played with huge energy and at high volume. With no encore. And at least once in the set, the audience will go bonkers as loads of late 40 and early 50-somethings turn back the clock and pogo down the front to the strains of a Wedding Present classic. It's usually Kennedy or something from way back in the catalogue.
This was a wee bit different.
The tour was a very small one - called Seeing out 2011, it involved just four gigs. One at a very small venue in the village of Leslie in Fife (at which Mike from Manic Pop Thrills was lucky enough to snare a ticket given he lives close by - and here's his review) and the others in Glasgow, Leeds and London. Recent tours have seen the band, for the most part, begin at a blistering pace, slow it down a little and finish on a bit of a high. This particular set however was a real slow-burner with a fair sprinkling of new material (that's the phrase the great man used himself from the stage) combined with the older. more familiar material. As ever, when a band has such a fantastic back catalogue and play for just 90 minutes, it's very easy to mump and moan about what wasn't played rather than was. But I'm not going to fall into that trap other than to say, some that I expected to hear didn't get aired but others that I never thought I'd hear - for instance Queen Anne and Perfect Blue from the Take Fountain LP and the 1992 single Loveslave - were played and played quite brillaintly. And one of the new songs - Deer In The Headlights - sounded as good as anything else played in the set.
But the best (almost) was left to the end. The three closing tracks were You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends, Kennedy and Don't Talk, Just Kiss. They got the biggest roars of the night as the audience to a man and a woman danced their collective socks off and then went into the night with huge grins on their faces and a ringing in their ears that wasn't unpleasant.
My personal highlight was a stunning rendition of Dalliance that built up from the oh-so-quiet start into the white noise middle and end that was such a feature of the entire Seamonsters LP of 1992. Kind of similar to this live version of it from the time:-
mp3 : The Wedding Present - Dalliance (Black Sessions)
But believe it, the 2011 version was way more sonic. Could even have been a tribute to My Bloody Valentine.
The great news as far as I'm concerned is this:-
The Wedding Present have announced the dates of their 2012 concert tour of North America.
Although the tour has been primarily arranged to celebrate the release of the band’s forthcoming album [which will be out in March 2012] they are also taking the opportunity to celebrate the twenty-first anniversary of the release of their classic ‘Seamonsters’ album. As such, Seamonsters will be played in its entirety as part of the set each and every night from 20 March onwards. The band’s specific appearances at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, are yet to be confirmed, but the other dates are as follows…
March – April, 2012 : North America
14-17/03 : Austin, TX, USA – ‘South By Southwest’ Music Festival [Actual appearances TBC]
20/03 : Washington, DC, USA – Rock And Roll Hotel with The Jet Age
21/03 : Brooklyn, NY, USA – Bell House with The Jet Age
22/03 : New York, NY, USA – Le Poisson Rouge with The Jet Age
23/03 : Allston, MA, USA – Brighton Music Hall with The Jet Age
25/03 : Toronto, ON, Canada – Horseshoe Tavern with The Jet Age
26/03 : Pontiac, MI, USA – Pike Room with The Jet Age
27/03 : Chicago, IL, USA – Double Door with The Jet Age
28/03 : Minneapolis, MN, USA – 400 Bar with The Jet Age
30/03 : San Diego, CA, USA – Casbah
31/03 : Los Angeles, CA, USA – Troubadour
01/04 : San Francisco, CA, USA – Independent
05/04 : Vancouver, BC, Canada – Biltmore Cabaret
06/04 : Seattle, WA, USA – Crocodile
07/04 : Portland, OR, USA – Mississippi Studios
The European leg of the tour will follow later in the year. I cannot wait. I might even fly to one of the North American gigs....Toronto being a possibility.
The boy Gedge still has it. By the bucketload.
mp3 : The Wedding Present - Kennedy (live)
This particular version was part of a show for John Peel's 50th Birthday. Recorded on 29 August 1989. The version from 29 December 2011 was just as energetic.
The latter is one of THE great pop promos of all time......
Dont even bother to argue.