The Wedding Present
The Gift That Keeps on Giving: The Wedding Present Interview
Formed in Leeds in 1985, The Wedding Present have been through a whopping 20 band members in their long, illustrious career. Ahead of their headline set at The Leadmill tonight, Joe Allen caught up with the only constant, David Gedge, to see what he’s been up to this year.
“There’s a Wedding Present comic which I’m actually working on at the moment,” he tells me. “A few years ago a former bass player of ours – Terry de Castro – decided to write my biography from her point of view.
“It never really went anywhere and I thought it was a bit of a shame because she’d done a lot of work on it, so I contacted an old friend of mine who’s a cartoonist and said ‘Would you be interested in doing a comic book version of some of these little stories?’ “He said ‘Yes, definitely.’ So now we do two or three issues a year and I suppose I envisage that one day we’ll compile them and that’ll be my biography in comic book form!”
Dave’s working on the sixth comic at the moment, but he’s also busy planning his own festival, At The Edge Of The Sea, which he’s run since 2009.
“It’s now expanded to two days so I’m always booking bands for that. It’s basically just me choosing people I want to play really. I’ve got a promoter who I work with but it’s just nice to be able to bring people down to Brighton we want to see again.”
He’s also got a side project by the name of Cinerama, and he’s using that band to re-record an LP The Wedding Present released in 2012 – Valentina.
“A totally different set of musicians and instruments. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while. I thought it would be quite cool to re-envisage a Wedding Present record in the Cinerama style. I never wanted to be one of those bands who made an album and then toured and then made an album and toured. I always liked the idea of doing something a bit weird and different.”
But back to The Wedding Present – they’ll be playing at The Leadmill for Tramlines this year. How’s he feeling about it?
“I think it’s my 18th time playing at that venue in either The Wedding Present or Cinerama! I’m pretty sure it’s the venue that I’ve played more than anywhere in the world,” he tells me.
“I always like playing Yorkshire because it is like coming home. Just in general, up north really. It’s nice to go back to a place where people talk like me and there’s a certain cultural familiarity, if you like, and the humour. It’s always nice to play there and The Leadmill’s a great place – I’m looking forward to it.”
Catch The Wedding Present at The Leadmill at 10pm tonight. For latest news and updates follow @tramlines and @exposedmagsheff on Twitter.
The Wedding Present have had more members than you’ve had Yorkshire Puds. Here’s the list in full…
David Gedge: vocals, guitar (1985–present); Keith Gregory: bass (1985–1993); Peter Solowka: guitar (1985–1991); Shaun Charman: drums, vocals (1985–1988); Simon Smith: drums (1988–1997); Paul Dorrington: guitar (1991–1995); Darren Belk: bass, vocals (1993–1995), guitar (1995–1996); Jayne Lockey: bass, vocals (1995–1997); Simon Cleave: guitar (1996–2006, 2009); Terry de Castro: bass, vocals (2004–2010); Kari Paavola: drums (2004–2005); Simon Pearson: drums (2005); Graeme Ramsay: drums, guitar (2006–2012); Christopher McConville: guitar (2006–2009); Charles Layton: drums (2005, 2009–present); Pepe le Moko: bass, vocals (2010–2012); Patrick Alexander, guitar (2012–present); Jennifer Schwartz, bass (2013); Geoffrey Maddock, guitar (2013); Katharine Wallinger, bass (2013–present)
This summer, Edsel Records are to present a series of deluxe reissues from The Wedding Present, undoubtedly the definitive editions of the band’s catalogue. ‘George Best’ (1987), ‘Tommy’ (1988), ‘Bizarro’ (1989), ‘Seamonsters’ (1991), ‘The Hit Parade’ (1992), ‘Watusi’ (1994), ‘Mini’ (1995) and ‘Saturnalia’ (1996) all receive the deluxe treatment, boasting 3 x CD and DVDs including the original album, previously unavailable audio, promo videos, TV footage, original artwork, high quality new packaging, new sleevenotes and ephemera from David Gedge’s extensive collection.