Missed out on tickets to SITG? Or just can’t be bothered to battle the 18 hour drive up to Byron Bay? What ever your reason may be for missing the festival, you can still get a slice of the SITG action sans tent pegs, gumboots and over-priced beer.
The legendary UK indie band come to Australia for the first time ever
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Wedding Present cult hero David Gedge was at the merch stand before this gig. Indie ethic everyman writ large over that one. Britpop kinda killed off the greater popularity of the Wedding Present, if not the band itself. Liam and Damon and Jarvis and Brett and Justine had a bit of glamour and arrogance which lifted them above their fans. But Gedge was the bloke you’d kick a ball around with, and meet at the boozer to complain about girls. The songs were little kitchen sink dramas about minor romantic dust-ups. And they remind us tonight just how good that extra-tuneful Velvets-on-speed stuff still is: wonderful lengthy outros with the two guitars and bass all weaving their own melodic paths and creating an hypnotic whole.
The Steve Albini-produced 1991 LP Sea Monsters is performed in full, and in truly clichéd fashion, it sounds better now than ever. “I hope you enjoyed it,” smiles Gedge afterwards. “I find it a bit dark myself.” Ha!
A few songs from the new Valentina album are as good as anything the band (now in about its 500th incarnation) has ever written. The story is far from over. “We don’t do encores,” says Gedge before they conclude with ‘Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?'.
Maybe not, but the great man is back at the merch stand the moment he put down his guitar.