I like this version a lot. While not soaring to where the Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti version does, the Wedding Present do very well with what they have. Namely, guitars, distortion and David Gedge’s voice. It’s in other ways still quite beautiful. Not for evocation of the show itself, but of the devotion Twin Peaks stirs – all it gave us, how it made us all feel. It’s better than that dance version of it. The Wedding Present are playing here for the first time ever on Friday i found out by accident last weekend. I don’t think i have the night off work.
The first Wedding Present song to completely overwhelm me, to stop me in my tracks, and leave me with a new favourite band. It just moves from wonderfulness to wonderfulness. Acoustic guitar with slightly fuzzed bass, David Gedge in one of his rare softly sung moments, to the instrumental bit with that perfect guitar line, to the rest of the song, with his voice rising to something more resolute, the thickness of his accent in all its bare, robust glory, to his trademark “AH!” signaling another perfect instrumental bit, to the outro, to it being done. It’s a short song. Two and a half minutes. That’s plenty of time to spin around a room. Plenty of time to be caught in some blissful reverie. Plenty of time to have your life changed.
This is them in 1996. They are a bit of a lad’s band, aren’t they? Like blokey, afternoons at the pub, calling them “Weddoes”, a resurgence band for those who were young in the late 80′s/early 90′s who’ve lost their youth in both appearance and ideals but not their propriety for this music. I mean, look:
Look at those men! How could i resolve my presence in that crowd. I could fit right in, sure – i could fit right in many a place – but not comfortably, not without being painfully aware of who i am with and what message such a mass of particular bodies sends. I’m sure they’re nice people and it would be a pleasanter, more relaxed experience than most crowds. It’s just… that’s not the way i pictured it in my mind, by myself. No one have any fun!
Finally, some later era Wedding Present, which, as time would have it, has become a middle era Wedding Present. The Wedding Present: 25 years in the industry. This would be from the Cooking Vinyl era then, just before Cinerama became active. A little slower, a little softer, Jayne Lockey on backing vocals, still amazing. David Gedge has never written a bad song. Some may be better than others, some i may spend more time listening to than others, but, in 25 years, nothing dispensable, nothing disappointing. That’s one heck of a streak.
For as popular, simple, three-chordy, fun, and i guess influential as the Wedding Present were, there is really no other band in the world who sounds like them. In the whole near thirty years of their existence, has no one really tried to imitate them? Maybe they’re too idiosyncratic, in that frantic strumming, the speed, and David Gedge’s unobscured accent, that anything imitative could and would be immediately drawn to the source, cries of “rip off!” stifling any enthusiasm for and within any rip off project.
Not even in today’s world of bands being imitative as a tribute, to a want to bring back a lost sound and time one was not apart of, i cannot think of one band who have cloned themselves from the somatic Wedding Present cell. All the recommendations, the “for fans of:” the “influenced by”s, lead never enough to them. I guess there’s only one Wedding Present.
GodDAMMIT! What i think is happening is that, in anticipation of the morning and the song, i dread what’s to come and think “wouldn’t it be just awful if another Wedding Present song were to be on my mind this morning.” That consternation and thought in turn places a fucking Wedding Present song in the front of my mind and on to this page. I need to try and think of other things in the morning, like what mail might come, or how i’m to waste my time until work. I love these songs and am happy to have them in my head, just once in a while would be nice. For you as well.
Damn, my minds playing tricks on me. Let’s just call this Wedding Present Week. I love the strumming of the guitars on this. I guess it’s their trademark: Fast, arthritis giving, washboard sounding guitars played as frantically as a pop song allows. It is such a good effect to isolate in an already fantastic song.
Trivia: When John Peel played this song at number 18 in his 1986 Festive Fifty, he accidentally played the flip side to this record, You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends, which he had already played the show the night before when that came in at number 28. What am i saying? That’s neither interesting or trivia. He did that all the time. It was expected, traditional.
EDIT: It turns out there was a pressing of this single with the A side printed both sides. He may have just played that copy instead and was faultless. That time.