The Wedding Present – Greenside Hotel, Leslie – 28th December 2011

Last night was a rare outing to see a band I don’t know very much about despite their longevity.

For whatever reason, the Wedding Present have never loomed large on the MPT radar and I’m fairly sure the only LP I own, ‘Bizarro’, was picked up in a sale. But they’ve still been a band that I’ve had some time for so the geographical proximity of this show, coupled with the fact that it came at a good time made it quite attractive.

The show was also a chance to check out the Greenside, a fairly local venue which has sometimes had interesting bands on but never quite at the right times for me to catch. It turns out to be roughly 150 capacity with a proper venue layout rather than the hotel ballroom I’d been kind of expecting.

Despite the show being a sell-out there still feels that there’s plenty of room at the show, even when some ageing (and large) fans decide to pogo like it’s 1987 towards the end.

My overwhelming impression of the Wedding Present is of the earlier material that sounds like hyper early Orange Juice. So when the first three songs seem cut from that cloth, I briefly wonder if that’s been the extent of 25 years development.

Of course, that’s nonsense and over the course of 80 minutes or so Gedge and co delivered an excellent and varied set, of which I’m familiar with only around a third, if that. So yeah, the early singles that I recognise (‘Favourite Dress’, ‘You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends’, ‘Don’t Talk, Just Kiss’) are great but there are also plenty of other tunes that are just as good. No idea what they’re called but a couple at least sounded like they might have been from the new LP due out in March.

I do rarely have the time to go and see bands on spec but this one turned out to be well worth the (minimal) effort.

Support came from Tomas Bird and The Blonde Spirit. Didn’t know quite what to make of them, they ended up sounding quite bluesy. Their Myspace talks of folk/psychedelic, could hear the latter, particularly earlier in the set whilst one song did sound quite anthemic/folk as well. Their debut single is free from their Bandcamp if you want to check it out.

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