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The Wedding Present

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  • The Wedding Present


Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Terry de Castro

All Music Guide:

Emerging in the wake of the Smiths' demise as the U.K.'s most successful indie pop band during the late '80s, the Wedding Present were founded in Leeds, England, in 1985. Formed from the ashes of the short-lived Lost Pandas, the Weddoes (as they were affectionately dubbed by fans) were essentially the vehicle of singer/songwriter David Gedge, the only constant member throughout the group's tumultuous history. Initially rounded out by guitarist Peter Solowka, bassist Keith Gregory, and drummer Shaun Charman, the fledgling band quickly won a loyal following among university students, as well as the patronage of influential DJ John Peel, for whom they cut their first radio session in February 1986.

Named in honor of the popular soccer star, George Best, the Wedding Present's remarkable debut LP appeared on their own Reception label in 1987. The group became the darlings of the British press overnight, winning acclaim for their distinct guitar pop frenzy as well as Gedge's idiosyncratic vocal style and wittily lovelorn, conversation-like lyrics. After the album established a foothold on the U.K. indie charts, Tommy -- a hastily compiled overview of early singles, covers, and radio broadcasts -- followed in 1988.

The Wedding Present's next effort came completely out of left field: titled Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peel, the collection brought together Peel session dates with a sampler of traditional Ukrainian folk tunes inspired by Solowka's father. Additionally, it marked the recording debut of new drummer Simon Smith, recruited after Charman exited to form the Popguns. After reaching the Top 40 with the primal single "Kennedy," the Weddoes returned in 1989 with Bizarro, a more conventional effort highlighted by the single "Brassneck," produced by Steve Albini. The aggressive 1991 release Seamonsters returned Albini to the producer's seat and marked the departure of Solowka, who continued to explore his roots in the Ukrainians; guitarist Paul Dorrington was tapped as his replacement.

Instead of recording a new studio LP, the Wedding Present spent the entirety of 1992 issuing a single on the first Monday of each month. Later compiled as the two-volume Hit Parade set, the singles featured original material on their A-sides and cover songs on the flipsides, among them interpretations of the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears," Isaac Hayes' "Theme from Shaft," and Julee Cruise's "Falling" (better known as the theme to Twin Peaks).

The departure of Gregory (to found Cha Cha Cohen) left Gedge the group's last original member, the Weddoes resurfaced with new bassist Darren Belk for 1994's Watusi, a nod toward the Amer-indie love-rock scene produced by Olympia, Washington-based producer Steve Fisk, complete with vocal assistance from Beat Happening's Heather Lewis. Following a rather uneventful 1995, the group returned in 1996 with a flurry of new material; first up was the auto-obsessed Mini EP, later reissued with bonus tracks as Mini Plus. The full-length Saturnalia appeared at the end of the year, followed early in 1997 by the single "Montreal." Gedge then put the band on hold, formed Cinerama (a group that released three albums and numerous singles between 1998 and 2003, featured Gedge's girlfriend Sally Murrell, and by the end began to sound increasingly Weddoes-like). After Gedge spilt with Murrell in 2002, he moved to Seattle and began writing songs for a new album. He decided to revive the Wedding Present name, roped in his Cinerama bandmates (including bassist Terry DeCastro) to record, and the band released Take Fountain in early 2005. After a long spell of touring that saw the group spanning the globe and playing to scores of fans who were thrilled to have their heroes back, the group hit the studio again with Steve Albini and the resulting album, El Rey, was released in 2008. The new edition of the band went through many lineup changes, the most dramatic being the 2010 split with longtime bassist DeCastro. In 2012, the band released their ninth full-length album, Valentina, and showed no signs of slowing down.

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Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
09.09.16 Sage Gateshead Gateshead, Edh UK
09.11.16 The Lowry Salford, Gtm UK
10.08.16 Slade Rooms Wolverhampton, Wmd UK
10.15.16 Kulturzentrum Lagerhaus Bremen, HB Germany
10.16.16 Hafenklang Hamburg, HH Germany
10.17.16 Privatclub Berlin, BE Germany
10.18.16 Werk 2 Leipzig, SN Germany
11.20.16 Colchester Arts Centre Colchester, Ess UK
11.21.16 The Britannia Theatre Chatham, UK
11.22.16 Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, Ham UK

eMusic Features


Interview: The Wedding Present

By Elisa Bray, Contributor

"There's a little bit of me in every song," states Wedding Present main man David Gedge. Since the striking heartbreak of "My Favourite Dress" on the Weddoes', as their fans affectionately refer to them, 1987 debut LP George Best, Gedge has never held back from baring his heart, consistently capturing love's intensity, unrequited love and infidelity. It's what led John Peel to declare: "The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of… more »


New This Week: The Shins, Esperanza Spalding & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

I've been back from Austin for about 48 hours, but my body is only just now starting to adjust to things like normal sleep patterns, being stationary for long periods of time, and not drinking beer every day. Soon, I will stop having dreams that I am being chased by a giant, furious side of brisket. I look forward to those days in breathless anticipation. Until they arrive, here's this week's New Arrivals: The Shins, Port… more »


  • 08.27.16 RT @chonburi_fc: @twpmemories2016 @weddingpresent I don't have my ticket with me, but how about this for value for money! https://t.co/hz88…
  • 08.27.16 Maybe. One day. In the meantime, there’s always the bundle! https://t.co/IbG10opjp5 https://t.co/EA8kbGCfzH
  • 08.27.16 I’m a fan of the work of Taylor Swift, yes... https://t.co/r7KUjedMU6
  • 08.26.16 RT @D198961R: Gutted!! Working in LA so I'll miss Sept 10 at the art school in Glasgow :-( A free ticket for the first person to DM me!…
  • 08.26.16 'FNT preparation' now being soundtracked by Persil, The Sundays, and The Feminine Complex.
  • 08.26.16 'FNT preparation' being soundtracked by Elvis Presley and Sonic Youth so far. Good old iPod.
  • 08.26.16 Oh, yes. https://t.co/tJtVdV98aE
  • 08.26.16 https://t.co/JYHtOfGeAX
  • 08.26.16 Friday. Night. Tea.
  • 08.26.16 You can always email us via the web site contact page, too. https://t.co/6crcm4xuwb
  • 08.26.16 When you check out there is a section for ‘Order Notes’ where you can leave messages/requests, etc. https://t.co/qOPOSrqKDL
  • 08.26.16 RT @RIC5AN: También salió hoy una nueva canción de The Wedding Present en Spotify #NowPlaying Birdsnest de The Wedding Present ♫ https://t.…