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Review: 'The Wedding Present'
'Tommy 30'   

-  Label: 'Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '9.8.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'HHBTM203'

Our Rating:
This album came out last year, so my review is a little bit late, but as it's the 30th anniversary re-recording of The Wedding Present first Compilation album by the current line-up of the group. This is the second time The Wedding Present have done this having already issued a second version of the bands George Best album, so Dave Gedge obviously likes to re-visit his earlier triumphs and try to improve on them. Not certain he achieves that as while these songs all sound great and well recorded here the original versions while not technically perfect still sounded great.

Tommy was Originally the second album by a band who had started out claiming to only be a singles band who didn't want to put albums out.

From the opening blasts of the bands first single Go Out And Get 'Em, Boy! It's still full of the yearning for what's to come over those intense jangly guitars that zip along and very upfront vocals, so you don't miss a word Dave Gedge is singing.

(The Moment Before) Everything's Spoiled Again fairly flies by in a hail of super speedy guitars and Dave Gedge's now careworn vocals now full of regret for screwing up another relationship.

I have timed this review to go with my review of the re-issue on www.opticnerverecordings.com of the bands second single Once More and the version on Tommy 30 sounds brighter than the original and with a lot more musical separation in the production as Dave keeps on begging for that second chance, it still sounds great.

At The Edge Of The Sea still has the immense bass line intro, but the guitars seem more constrained than the original, while the vocals are certainly clearer than on the original.

Living And Learning is a speedy jangle of a love song that careens along sounding like a more or less faithful recreation of the original version only a bit clearer.

This Boy Can Wait no matter how much of a hurry this tune is, The vocals are nice and clear and the ear assaulting jangle monster guitars switch from the right speaker on most of the album to the left speaker for this song.

The B-side opens with You Should Keep in Touch With Your Friends that really begs the question of Dave Gedge, have you kept in touch with the friends who were in the original line-up of The Wedding Present? Who by the very nature of this project have been cut out of there share of the spoils while listening to this jangle pop classic that still sounds brilliant.

Felicity is the only song on the album not written by Dave Gedge as its a cover of the Orange Juice classic that this version makes sound like a pop punk classic and a damn good cover.

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted? takes apart the idea in the classic song of the same name and re-writes and retools it as only Dave Gedge can into a yearning plea for redress that has less impact than The original version on Tommy the first.

Never Said is a good tale about wanting to go back to Manchester, which is odd for a band from Leeds to want to do, but still this is properly complicated with lots of odd time signatures and feels nicely warped both by time and intention.

Every Mother's Son is yet another super speedy jangle of Desperation and the need for approval and makes me wonder if I approve of the need to re-record old albums again or not. Generally speaking they had better sound damn good to justify it and this is certainly in the ball park.

The album closes with the timeless classic My Favourite Dress that was also the only song that was also on the debut album George Best, making this yet another version of one of my all-time favourite songs by The Wedding Present, it's also just about the slowest song on the album. It's not quite as brilliant as the original but Dave Gedge still sounds like he's consumed with jealousy for the guy who is currently going out with his ex who is still wearing his favourite dress. It is of course the sort of lyrics and jealousy that makes more sense when your young.

This album is really one for The Wedding Present's more ardent fans or anyone who doesn't have the original Tommy album find out more at https://www.hhbtm.com/product/wedding-present-tommy-30/ https://scopitones.co.uk/archives/8113
  author: simonovitch

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