Take Fountain -- Album -- The Wedding Present -- 2005

"I need to stay near,
in case you suddenly remember that I'm alive
"

THE WEDDING PRESENT - Interstate 5

Has it really been eight years? David Gedge, split up The Wedding Present to form quieter, prettier Cinerama with his partner Sally Murrell and left us with the prospect of no more Weddoes albums. For some of us who grew up with what seemed like Gedge's constant relationship problems providing the soundtrack to our lives, Cinerama just didn't have the same effect.

In 2002, however, Gedge and Murrell split up Cinerama was disbanded. Gedge decided to reform the Weddoes and turn what was going to be Cinerama's next album into a TWP one. A million now-grown-up indie kids had their dreams answered.

From the start of the first track you know that this is not a jump back in time; even back with the old name, Gedge has matured as a musician. Interstate 5 has a two minute introduction of feedback and harmonics before a twangy guitar pops up. Then the song bursts into life and you're sure this really is The Wedding Present back for more. The lyrics are still in that conversational style, still revolving around Gedge's seemingly disasterous sex life, the guitars still (if a little less) jangly. By the end of the first track (which is actually split into 2 on the CD) it's been 10 minutes and we've been treated to a film-score fade out complete with strings and bongos during which you can see Gedge, as a cowboy disappearing into the sunset.

Take Fountain has been playing on my PC, my car CD player and my MP3 player since I got it. It's not got the rough edges of George Best or Seamonsters but it's still definately The Wedding Present and easily accessible in the current pop world of the likes of Keane and Snow Patrol; offering a good way in to a band with an often overlooked but beautifull back catalogue. Buy it now. And, then buy Seamonsters if haven't already.

"How can I just shake his hand when it's been,
all over your skin?
"

THE WEDDING PRESENT - Mars Sparkles Down on Me

From then on in, we're treated to great song after great song. Interstate 5 (which was released as the first single) is followed by Always the Quiet One and I'm from Further North Than You (the second single); both more upbeat, Saturnalia-era Wedding Present. Then it melts into Mars Sparkles Down on Me; a beautifull rolling, aching song of heartbreak and broken relationships.

There is no filler here. The Weddoes crank up the guitars again for Ringway to Seatac and fall back to the quiet/loud formula for the fantastic Don't Touch That Dial. Here, old Wedding Present fans will be in their element. We're back to the magnificence of the best of The Hit Parade or Seamonsters and it's better than before. Steve Fisk's production is perfect and Gedge's voice is better than I've ever heard it.

The almost Pavement-esque It's for You is a real treat and once the feedback fades out Larry's starts up sounding like a lullaby. Here, Gedge is at his soppiest, most personal and it feels like you're reading his diary; quiet melodic guitars build up and break into loud drums and harmony singing and back.

"...but I should warn you that I just might,
never let you out of my sight...
"

THE WEDDING PRESENT - Perfect Blue

The penultimate track, Queen Anne, dissolves into the same film-score ending as Interstate 5, but this time seeminly with more emotion and louder Radiohead-like synth-choirs, leaving us with Perfect Blue.

The final track encompasses all that's been said in the rest of the album and finally builds up and up, louder and louder, piling on the strings and guitars. When it stops, I remember just how much The Wedding Present gave to me all those years ago and how much I've missed them. If they do make another album it won't be here for another year at least but I'm already sitting here salivating at the prospect. I'm one now-grown-up indie kid who may even go back to that basin cut.

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