The moment's gone (a tribute to The Wedding Present)

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Evening Sessions 1986-1994

Evening Sessions 1986-1994

New Musical Express 12 July 1997

Evening Sessions 1986-1994
(Strange Fruit/CD Only)

ONE DARK night on the way back from the all-night garage, David Gedge lost it. He's been tracing his steps back along the High Street, past the chip shop, down tree-lined avenues and lamp-lit clearways for the best part of a decade, but still, it remains lost.

This brief selection of Radio 1 recordings is a series of time lapse photographs of The Wedding Present's swandive into the abyss. The earliest session from 1986 catches them on the brink of greatness, their righteous alliance of tinnitus-inducing guitar and Gedge's Fozzie Bear growl approaching its terminal velocity. 'My Favourite Dress' and 'Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft' were little celebrations of lovers' tiffs and break-ups, expressed in heart-rendingly plain English.

Six years later and it had all gone sour. Twelve Top 20 singles in a year were the Weddoes' untidy public execution, each one more barrel-scrapingly wretched than the last. The guitars got louder, Gedge's guttural howl became more pronounced, more desperate. The 1992-94 sessions are suffused with the stench of the pop elephants' graveyard, as if they were recorded somewhere beyond death.

Gedge is still retracing his steps, still hoping to claw it back but the cars whizz past him as he stumbles around, tears falling onto the collars of his duffle coat, bound for newer and greater things. (5)

Jim Wirth

©2005 Chester Severien (