UK rock band THE WEDDING PRESENT are set to play three Irish shows in November, as part of the “Seamonsters 21st Anniversary tour”, celebrating 21 years since the release of the seminal Steve Albini-produced album.
The concerts will consist of the band playing their third studio LP, “Seamonsters” live, in its entirety, along with 40 minutes of other music.
Long-time industry outsiders, The Wedding Present have nevertheless had eighteen UK top 40 hit singles in their almost 30 year career. Their 8th studio album, “Valentina”, was released in March this year, 4 years after the band’s previous record, “El Rey”.
“The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the Rock 'n' Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I'm right and you're wrong!” - John Peel.
The Wedding Present plays 'Seamonsters' The Button Factory – Curved Street, Temple Bar – Dublin 2.
Doors – 7:30pm
Tickets €16 (inc. booking fee) available from Ticketmaster and usual outlets. www.ticketmaster.ie
The Wedding Present was born in 1985 with the release of the debut single GO OUT AND GET EM’ BOY! The band’s first album, GEORGE BEST, followed a couple of years later. With the early releases on their own label, the band acquired a reputation for bittersweet, breathtakingly honest love songs immersed in whirlwind guitars, so it was quite extraordinary that they decided to explore traditional Eastern European folk music for their major label debut on RCA in 1989. [UKRAINSKI VISTUPI V JOHNA PEELA] However, this was soon to be followed by the more traditionally incendiary BIZARRO, which featured their first hit single KENNEDY.
The band’s next step was to enlist noise-mongering [and, at that point, relatively unknown] sound engineer Steve Albini’s aid. The resulting SEAMONSTERS, recorded in the snowy wilds of Minnesota in just 11 days, suggested a more thoughtful Wedding Present.
A unique plan was hatched in 1992. By the end of December of that year, The Wedding Present had released twelve 7” singles, one per month and equalled Elvis Presley's 35-year-old record for "most hits in one year". A gang of impressive names, including Ian Broudie [The Lightning Seeds] and legendary Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller collaborated on the industry-challenging project, ultimately to be compiled on the two HIT PARADE LPs.
1994’s WATUSI, produced by Steve Fisk (a prime mover in the celebrated avant-garde scene of Seattle) whisked the band off into another new area with its lo-fi pop, three-part a capella harmonies and Waikiki-ready surf strains. The band returned to a more familiar sound in 1995 with the car themed MINI, in which Gedge cloaked his tales of love and lust with automobile symbolism.
The self-produced Top 40 album SATURNALIA was released in 1996 by Cooking Vinyl to a flurry of critical approval, but it was at this point that Gedge started work on his solo project, CINERAMA. A fittingly titled outfit, Cinerama indulged Gedge's love of film music from John Barry to Blaxploitation via Ennio Morricone.
At the end of 2002, Gedge split up with Sally Murrell, his long-time girlfriend and chief Cinerama collaborator. He decided to leave Leeds [UK] his home for the preceding twenty-four years and move to Seattle [USA], where he began writing a collection of songs apparently influenced by his despair over the split. TAKE FOUNTAIN, the resultant album, was recorded in Chicago and Seattle by Steve Fisk and released, perhaps ironically, on St. Valentine’s Day, 2005. This long awaited LP brought them back into the spotlight with all the style and sophistication associated with a legendary group, but fans were also pleased to see the band had lost none of the growling angst with which they had burst onto the scene with their 1985 debut, “George Best”.
In January 2008 the band assembled in Steve Albini’s Chicago studio to record EL REY, which was released in the summer of that year to further critical acclaim. The NME described the album as “a beauty… some of the funniest, cleverest and most relevant indie you’re likely to hear this year” while The Guardian newspaper agreed that “Gedge has consistently been way ahead of other, more lauded musicians”. At the end of 2008 Gedge fulfilled a long held ambition by releasing a bona fide Christmas song, HOLLY JOLLY HOLLYWOOD, a duet with Los Angeles based chanteuse, Simone White.
In 2010 The Wedding Present celebrated the 21st Anniversary of the release of their BIZARRO LP by playing the album live on tour throughout Europe, North America and Japan while in 2011 Gedge’s Brighton festival AT THE EDGE OF THE SEA, now in its third year, was joined by a northern counterpart, AT THE EDGE OF THE PEAKS, in Holmfirth, Yorkshire. Also in 2012 the band will head out on the road to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their album; SEAMONSTERS by touring in North America (including the SXSW festival), Australia, Japan and Europe.