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Wedding Present, The

This rapid-fire band of jangly punk/poppers was formed in Leeds in 1984 by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter David Gedge and bass player Keith Gregory who’d previously been in a small time indie outfit, The Lost Pandas.

They brought in Gedge’s old school chum Peter Solowka on guitar and after a series of unsuitable drummers, Shaun Charman was chosen to complete the line-up.

Their ramshackle DIY charm was matched by Gedge’s steely determination to get his songs of lovelorn life in a northern town to a wider audience.

They formed their own label, Reception Records and released debut single Go Out And Get ‘Em, Boy which gained them plenty of plaudits and press coverage.

Two further singles established them as Indie Chart regulars, but despite major label interest the band decided to remain independent, releasing their debut album George Best, with its iconic cover shot of the wayward footballing genius, in 1987.

Charman was then replaced by Simon Smith and in 1988 they signed to RCA, recording their second album, Bizarro. The first single from it saw the Weddoes (as they were affectionately known by fans) crash into the Top 40.

Outside of the hermetic world of John Peel‘s Festive 50 (where they were forever kings), The Wedding Present rarely received their critical due in their late 80’s heydey.

Snobbery dictated that they were routinely derided as grey, provincial and ordinaire, perennially churning out dirges about adolescent infatuations cruelly terminated in wet bus shelters.

They did do that, true, but a fragile, spectral beauty was oft conjured up between the rabidly thrashed guitars and Gedge’s halting, gruff bark of a vocal.

1990’s 10″ release Corduroy bore the legend “All The Songs Sound The Same” in reference to frequent criticism levelled at the band’s output.

Guitarist Pete Solowka was replaced by Paul Dorrington as the band started to become regulars in the Top 40 (a rare occurrence for indie bands up until that point) and 1992 saw the band release one single a month – all of which cracked the Top 30.

David Gedge put The Wedding Present on hold in 1997 to concentrate on a solo project which ultimately led to him forming another band called Cinerama. They released three albums before he returned to The Wedding Present to release a new LP, Take Fountain, in 2005.

David Gedge
Vocals, guitar
Pete Solowka
Keith Gregory
Shaun Charman
Paul Dorrington
Simon Cleave
Simon Smith