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

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New Musical Express 3 July 1989




Tommy (Reception LP/Cassette/CD)

GEORGE BEST! Tommy! What wacky chaps The Wedding Present are! Perhaps they could have called this record 'The Baffling Success Of The Wedding Present'. But no, I'm being cruel. Just as there will always be 'A' levels and naughty girls who run off with other boys so there will always be Wedding Presents to sing about them. Tiny songs with trembling lips, bashful songs with deadpan titles, and lots and lots of girls. Somewhere between your last train set and your first divorce, you may well have fallen in love with The Wedding Present.
'Tommy' is a mid-price, mid-table compilation in the (evidently successful) vein of 'Hatful Of Hollow' and 'Barbed Wire Kisses'. Pimply completists will undoubtedly already have the early singles ('My Favourite Dress', 'This Boy Can Wait' etc) in their original form. But also included are several radio sessions to remind you of the days when you sat in your bedroom crying into your hot chocolate over Janice or Sandra with only Andy Kershaw for company. Think of Mozzer and you think of Oscar Wilde swooning on a chaise longue. Think of David Gedge and you visualise Norman Wisdom, cap on back to front, sighing heavily at life's injustices.
Bags of morbid, breakneck fun for you all here. Songs that tread the precarious line between melancholia and migraine. A
splendid, inebriate version of Orange Juice's 'Felicity', plus 'Go
Out And Get 'Em, Boy', 'Once More' and the previously unreleased 'If You Let Me Put My Hand Up Your Jumper, I'll Get You Norman Hunter's Autograph'.
But I digress. Groups as ingenuous and cheerfully uncool as The Wedding Present should be cherished. They celebrate the
ordinary, glorify the every day. Eensy-weensy dramas of rejection and polytechnic lurve-angst wrapped haphazardly in tinny guitars and squalls of feedback. They are amiable luddites with a doomed crush on the girl who sells the programmes at Elland Road. And for that, I shall give them...(7½)

Stuart Maconie

©2005 Chester Severien (