David Gedge's bittersweet songs of love won and lost resonate across a number of generations, as evidenced by the mix of ages in La Belle Angele tonight to witness The Wedding Present. Your writer expected a set heavily based on the excellent new album, Going, Going … but what unfolded was a greatest hits set - all killer and no filler ladies and gentlemen!
It would be all too easy for Gedge and the band to meander through the songs and take the money, but from the sneer on his face through the opening 'Give My Love To Kevin' to the agonies of 'Dalliance', Gedge leaves it all on the stage for each song then swigs some water, towels the sweat off and does it all again.
Tracks from most of the albums get the treatment, with a welcome clatter through 'Go Out And Get ‘Em Boy' complete with messed up opening and a killer 'Brassneck' keeping the crowd bouncing. 'Little Silver, 'Rachel' and 'Bear' from the new album are very well received and we’re also treated to a cover of 'Mothers' by The Jean Paul Sartre Experience.
Witty banter from the self-effacing Gedge between songs keeps things going, with a Wedding Present fact of the day about Edinburgh wheeled out. Some wag shouts for 'Getting Nowhere Fast' and Gedge asks if it’s a request or a commentary on his career! After a 90 minute set that felt like it lasted 30, we’re all done. No requests and no encores, of course, that wouldn’t do.
The Wedding Present will be touring their seminal work George Best in 2017, celebrating 30 years since its release and will be appearing at Primavera Sound in Barcelona in June. I'm looking forward to catching them somewhere during the summer for that and you certainly should too.