Re-marrying The Wedding Present
Three electric guitars were playing in my head, a full on energetic intro; Muffled words “Brassneck, I’ve just decided I don’t trust you anymore” fight their way through a mouth full of toothpaste as I watch myself in the bathroom mirror, nodding my head to imaginary guitars. I wasn’t wise in 1989, the year “Brassneck” was released, but my musical education was just starting to develop.
Having the wisdom to realise that the music you expose yourself to during your fledgling years as a teenage self styled musical guru eventually stimulates and shapes your musical tastes for the remainder of, or at least a large part of your life.
The unmistakable sound of the synthesizer has always given me goosebumps, always made the hairs on the back of my eardrums bristle and always made my head and torso automatically move in a juddery sort of time to the music. However, what really got me going was the sound of drums bashing out a beat in the background and a chorus of guitars playing in unison in perfectly distorted tune, synchronized like the Red Arrows roaring overhead. British Indie group The Wedding Present overcame me in the late 80s with their drums and guitars, forcing the same reaction in me as the synthesizer. Goosebumps, bristling and uncontrollable head bobbing, amazing!
Indie music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was and is one of my favourite beverages. In 1989 it was strong and fairly original and I decided I loved it! It was the following year, in 1990 that I bought my Reading Festival ticket in advance for £49, where The Wedding Present were appearing on Saturday. Inspiral Carpets and Billy Bragg appeared on the same day but it was the chance to hear “Brassneck” live that drew me to Reading. It was phenomenal, the hairs in my eardrums were fighting each other in their very own mosh pit. The three simple yet brilliant cords that their bass and guitars played will resonate in my head forever.
Fast forward to October 2015, The Assembly, Leamington Spa. The Wedding Presents Bizzaro 25th anniversary tour, I was there to re-marry a band I had never actually divorced! The people on the drums, bass and guitar had all materialised into someone different. Gone was Simon Smith (Drums), Gone was Keith Gregory (Bass), Gone was Peter Solowka (Guitar), but still there was lead vocals and guitarist David Gedge, with his unmistakable way of talking and singing at the same time. The memories! It was almost like I had never been away. Joining him was Charles Layton (Drums), Danielle Wadey (Bass), and Marcus Kain (Guitar). They sounded almost exactly the same, yet fresher, strangely younger and unbelievably better. The seventh song they played reintroduced itself to the hairs in my eardrums, they bristled again, they smiled at each other and jostled for the best position, straining to hear every word, very cord. I looked around me in slow motion, watching hundreds of people my age and younger, smiling and singing the words to ‘Brassneck’ quietly to each other and to themselves, bristling and jostling for pole position. I swear David Gedge looked over at me and questioned me with his eyes “Where have you been?” It was good to be back, to become re-married to the band who in my opinion really gave birth to British Indie sound. The Wedding Present.