Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Week(end-ish) 2 (part 1): The Wedding Present @ Rock City Wednesday 8 December 2010

From thrashy guitars and the most bittersweet lyrics, to a bittersweet prince of Denmark: it's been that sort of week.

Wedding Present play Bizarro: Rock City, Nottingham Wednesday 8 December 2010

I heart The Wedding Present anyway - I still tingle at the glorious couplet from their song "I'm from further north than you" (from 'Take Fountain') --- "And I admit we had some memorable days / But just not very many". Awh.

But Bizarro has to be one of the most perfect and bittersweet albums ever made.

And you’re so right, they don’t miss a thing round here
And how do you think I feel?
Oh, you can try but you’re not getting out that way
You’re just as much to blame

And if it didn’t mean a thing
And you’ve told him to go
And if you’re as sorry as you say
Why didn’t you just say no?
It's album full of such pain and heartbreak (a point well made in the sleeve notes for the re-release a few years ago). What makes it so breathtaking is that all this anguish could easily get lost in amongst the breakneck speed and exhuberance of 'Brassneck' and 'Kennedy' --- let alone the distinctively more upbeat 'Take Me!' (a song whose 9 minutes NEVER drag and still thrill: "warm hands and the things you say, you get lovelier every day"). The observations of Gedge are always acheingly poignant, but there is something especially great about this particular album, where lyrics capture the hurt and the bite of relationships so acutely:

Oh no, I don’t know her name and no, it’s not just the same
I just thought she looked quite pretty
What do you want me to do, smile at nobody but you?
Well, if you’re going to be that petty
I’m not being unfair
OK, I am, but who cares?
Well, now at least we’re talking
And what about all of those friends and all those letters they send?
They can’t all be that boring

Why can't I ever say what I mean?
Ouch: that's a relationship on the brink right there, played out in brutally honest lyrics.

Another live video: and here's one of my other favourite heartbreakers from Bizarro: the sublime "Bewitched" (and whose heart can fail to be moved by the integration of the sample from the Tin Pan Alley ballad in the original album version).

You don’t know me but I’m still here and, God, the last time I saw you, you were, oh, this near
And there’s a thousand things I wish I’d said and done but the moment’s gone
Sublime. We had all of Bizarro, preceded by selected other tracks from their vast catalogue (and new party favourite a version of the theme from Cheers), plus the most brilliant John Peel / Wedding Present tribute you could ever hear: a loop of Peel's introductions to the Pressies. the songs have never all sounded the same (whatever my new t-shirt says) but they are as delightful as ever.

And to top it all, you can rent David Gedge's Santa Monica apartment (when he's away on tour etc). Very tempting since we love SM so much!

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