Live Review: The Wedding Present ‘always the same, always brilliant’ at the Roadmender

The band returned to the Northampton venue on Friday to play their 1991 album Seamonsters in full.

By Chris Fidler
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 7:19 pm
David Gedge on stage at the Roadmender. Photo by John Marshall
David Gedge on stage at the Roadmender. Photo by John Marshall

The Wedding Present. Always the same, yet always different.

Years-gone-by complaints that all the songs sounded the same were valid enough for the band to use the slur on record covers and T-shirts.

They do sound the same, in that they all sound nothing like anything another band could come up with.

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David Lewis Gedge, now 62, has managed to keep the 37-year TWP brand fresh thanks to a continually revolving line-up – and a knack of writing some of the best pop songs year upon year, which he then delights in smothering beneath layer upon layer of jangle and guitar fuzz.

As ever, with this band, there’s been some changes since they last peeled the paint off the Roadmender walls three months before the country went into pandemic mode.

There’s a new drummer, a newish bassist and a new guitarist, the latter being Jon Stewart, on loan from Sleeper, who has slotted in so wonderfully.

He still looks like a fan of the band that’s won a prize to play with his heroes.

Eyes closed and a fixed perma-grin, Stewart rattled through the songs he grew up with as a young Wedding Present worshipper - tonight's gig saw them play their 1991 opus Seamonsters in full.

While the classics are safe in his hands, Stewart’s knack of turning a simple pop song, like new-ish single I’m Not Going To Fall In Love With You, into a sonic, brooding barb-filled rush of adrenaline shows why Gedge was so keen to sign him up.

From the baggy-pop beat of Carolyn and the best-ever B-side Crawl, to relative newcomer It’s For You, and the 90s indie disco staple, Brassneck, The Wedding Present delivered something for the loyal and the newly discovering.

Always the same, always brilliant.