Formed in 1985
and possibly one of the most enduring bands to come out of the C86
days (with the possible exception of Primal Scream
), The Wedding Present was vocalist and guitarist David Gedge
and a rotating lineup consisting of Peter Solowka
, went on to form The Ukranians
), Keith Gregory
, went on to form Cha Cha Cohen
), Shaun Charmin
), Simon Smith
), Paul Dorrington
), Darren Belk
), Jayne Lockey
), Hugh Kelly
), and Simon Cleave
). The song writing process was apparently a democratic thing, with everybody writing their own parts to match Gedge's singing and lyrics.
Starting on their own label, Reception Records, they've never been quite at home with any particular company. Since the dissolving of Reception in 1989, they've been on RCA (1989-1993), Island (1993-1995), and, finally, Cooking Vinyl (1995-present). They are the only band to have achieved 12 original UK top ten hits in the period of a year (the Hit Parade singles), a feat for which they are mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records.
As for the origin of the band's name, Gedge has the following to say:
"I've always thought that The Wedding Present was an inappropriate name for a pop group--more like a poem, or a book or something--and therefore quite attractive (to me!). I've also always been fascinated by Weddings...those surreal performances where the audience plays an integral part--the joy, the sadness, the passion...all unfolding firstly in a house where God is served and ultimately in a house where beer is served...the knife inserted ritually into the virginal white cake to reveal the dark fruity interior...that ugly pagan concept of the father handing over his daughter to her new master...the mothers crying because they're losing a daughter, the page boys crying because they have to wear such stupid clothes...those embarrassing speeches and drunken uncles on the dance floor...I could go on and on!
"I used to be a huge Birthday Party fan and although I'd thought of 'The Wedding Present' about ten or eleven years ago, I decided it was a bit too similar and hence called the band I was in The Lost Pandas. By the time our first single came out in 1985, TBP were dead and gone so I felt more comfortable reverting to my original idea."
After their tumultuous line-up problems, the band finally packed it in. Their last show was played on January 18, 1997 at the Lomax in Liverpool.
- George Best, 1987, Reception
- Tommy, 1988, Reception
- Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela (more The Ukranians than Wedding Present, really), 1989, RCA
- Bizarro, 1989, RCA
- Seamonsters, 1991, RCA
- Hit Parade 1, 1992, RCA
- Hit Parade 2, 1992, RCA
- Peel Sessions 1987-1990, 1993, Strange Fruit
- Watusi, 1994, Island
- Mini, 1995, Cooking Vinyl
- Saturnalia, 1996, Cooking Vinyl
- Evening Sessions, 1997, Strange Fruit
- John Peel Sessions 1992-1995, 1998, Cooking Vinyl
- Singles 1995-1997, 1999, Cooking Vinyl
- Go Out and Get 'em Boy!, 1985, City Slang and Reception
- Once More, 1985, Reception
- Don't Try And Stop Me Mother, 1986, Reception
- You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends, 1986, Reception
- My Favourite Dress, 1987, Reception
- Anyone Can Make A Mistake, 1987, Reception
- Nobody's Twisting Your Arm, 1988, Reception
- Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?, 1988, Reception
- Kennedy, 1989, RCA
- Brassneck, 1990, RCA
- 3 Songs EP, 1990, RCA
- Dalliance, 1991, RCA
- Lovenest, 1991, RCA
- Blue Eyes, 1992, RCA
- Go Go Dancer, 1992, RCA
- Three, 1992, RCA
- Silver Shorts, 1992, RCA
- Come Play With Me, 1992, RCA
- California, 1992, RCA
- Flying Saucer, 1992, RCA
- Boing!, 1992, RCA
- Loveslave, 1992, RCA
- Sticky, 1992, RCA
- The Queen of Outer Space, 1992, RCA
- No Christmas, 1992, RCA
- Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah, 1994, Island
- It's A Gas, 1994, Island
- Sucker, 1994, no label
- 2, 3, Go, 1996, Cooking Vinyl
- Montreal, 1997, Cooking Vinyl
Perhaps one of the best features of TWP's jangly, excited pop was their covers which sounded more like actual Wedding Present songs than the originals.
Covers (song, original artist, where it appeared):
- Felicity, Orange Juice, Tommy
- Getting Nowhere Fast, Girls At Our Best, George Best CD
- Getting Better, The Beatles, ...Reasonable 12"
- I Found That Essence Rare, Gang Of Four, Radio Sessions
- It's Not Unusual, Tom Jones, Kennedy 12"
- Box Elder, Pavement, HP3/Brassneck 12"
- Happy Birthday, Altered Images, Peel Sessions 88-92
- Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me), Steve Harley and Cockney Revel, Three Songs EP
- Don't Dictate, Penetration, Airspace Comp.
- She's My Best Friend, Velvet Underground, Dalliance 12"
- Mothers, JPS Experience, Lovenest 12"
- Cumberland Gap, Lonnie Donegan, HP3
- Signal, Pell Mell, Volume 5 Comp.
- Undercurrent, Pacific Surfers, Ablaze! Mag. flexi
- Him Or Me (What's It Gonna Be?), Paul Revere and The Raiders, Yeah5 12"
- Jumper Clown, The Creepers, It's A Gas 12"
- Red Shoes By The Drugstore, Tom Waits, Step Right Up (a tribute to Tom Waits)
- Waiting On The Guns, Butterglory, Sucker 7"
- Where Everybody Knows Your Name, the Cheers theme song, collected singles '95-'97
Hit Parade 7"s:
- Cattle And Cane, Go-Betweens
- Don't Cry No Tears, Neil Young
- Think That It Might, Altered Images
- Falling (Twin Peaks theme), Julee Cruise
- Pleasant Valley Sunday, The Monkees
- Let's Make Some Plans, Close Lobsters
- Rocket, Mud
- Theme from Shaft, Isaac Hayes
- Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family, David Bowie
- Go Wild In The Country, Bow Wow Wow
- UFO, TV show theme
- Step Into Christmas, Elton John
FYI: TWP have never (and, as it appears, never will) played a wedding or an encore.
Super maxi American love-style thanks to the Wedding Present FAQ at www.landfield.com/faqs/music/wedding-present-faq/