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The Wedding Present / Rogue Freak Vote – The Greenside, Leslie – Friday 29th August 2014

Until their last visit to Fife, the Wedding Present had played a peripheral role in my collection with one 99p E.P. (‘Brassneck’) and one L.P. (’Bizarro’) in my possession. In fact at that stage I was probably most familiar with an early (pre-George Best) Peel session on a tape.

But their performance that night persuaded me to delve into the back catalogue and to get their last LP ‘Valentina’ albeit on download.

For all that, I didn’t rush out and buy tickets for this intimate show largely because I was toying with the idea of seeing them the next day as part of the Last Big Weekend. In the end, despite a very attractive bill, I ditched LBW with this show as some form of, less physically demanding, compensation.

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First off it was an unusual set as the regular band members were all unavailable. So David Gedge was backed by members of past (and possibly future) line-ups. With limited rehearsal time, I think it was intended that the set would be the same as the LBW set so we got a short set at barely 45 minutes. But it was still very impressive.

Whilst I have no doubt that the set drew on fan favourite songs (each one was greeted rapturously at least) there were few of what I would regard as the hits. The only songs that I recognised as singles were the aforementioned ‘Brassneck’, an extended ‘Cordurouy’ and the stone cold classic ‘Your Favourite Dress’. (My relationship with the Weddoes might have developed rather differently had I heard that song at the time.)

So if Friday’s set was less obvious (to these ears at least) it was still as every bit as good as their last, longer, visit to Fife. Whilst their recordings have never been short of energy, it has to be said that the songs do gain another dimension live.

I didn’t manage to follow up that last Leslie show with a bigger show but Friday was a timely reminder to do so at some point in the future.

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Support came from Fife act Rogue Freak Vote featuring Tomas Bird, who with his band at the time, the Blonde Spirit, also supported the Wedding Present last time out. If I was a little ambivalent about that performance, this time I’m convinced. At times, particularly on the penultimate song, they sounded like a wired version of the Phantom Band (no bad thing) whilst at others they sounded more like a psych band.

I confess I find some of that genre a little self indulgent but RFV were never that. Far from it in fact. Rather they were purposeful and at times quite thrilling. I’d definitely like to catch them again.

Rather shamefully this was only my second visit to the Greenside. The venue has certainly been refurbished since the last time but fair to say I’m not 100% convinced by the disco curtains!

Photos from the show (but not of the disco curtains) here.

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