The Wedding Present almost passed me by back in the day. By the end of the 1980s I had kind of stopped listening to nighttime radio and so my source of non-chart "decent" guitar music had pretty much dried up. It was not that I was unaware of them and who could have failed to notice the iconic "George Best" album cover in the record shops at the time.
The first material I bought were the "Hit Parade" albums which were the compilation albums of the twelve 7" singles released one every month over a year. The singles were all brilliant and had cover versions on the flip sides and I was to discover the band has always done amazing cover versions over the years. I originally had these albums on cassette, then on CD, and now finally as mp3s.
In 2010 I saw the band live for the first time finally! The 21st anniversary tour of "Bizarro". It was an album that had completely passed me by until then, and I got hold of it before the tour, and over the last 12 months it has to be the most played album on my IPod! Just fantastic energetic, melodic jingly jangly indie guitar songs. Another case of wishing I could write and put together such brilliant songs. Seeing the songs live was amazing and Dave Gedge and the band put on one of my favourite shows of recent years.
Bringing things right up to date as March 19th saw the release of the new album "Valentina", which shows that Mr Gedge has lost none of his songwriting skills, and this album stands out like a beacon in an era where we are swamped by cheap, trashy, plasticy nothing music everywhere. The track "Mystery Date" could have been written for me! Can't wait for the live shows later in the year.