Preston welcomed The Wedding Present for the first time since 2010, for two sell out shows at the New Continental. A capacity of 220 gives you a good idea of the intimacy of these gigs and also why they sold out so fast! 21 songs on each night, with only 7 played twice…mostly from the most recent album Going, Going… .
'Go Out And Get ‘Em Boy' (night one) and 'You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends' (night two) from the Tommy compilation plus a smattering of crowd pleasers from George Best ('My Favourite Dress', 'Give My Love To Kevin', 'A Million Miles' and 'Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft' being your reviewer's personal highlights) were all played as if they were brand new songs, crackling with energy and David Gedge singing like he still meant every word. Their cover version of 'Mothers' is as brilliant as ever…Gedge must wish he wrote that song! Requests from the crowd are met with the Gedge standard response “we don’t do requests, what do you think I am, a jukebox?”, delivered with a smile. The easy going vibe continues with the Wedding Present facts of the day, delivered in typically ramshackle fashion.
Its testament to the consistency of the song writing across the years that tracks like 'Interstate 5', 'Click Click' and 'Flying Saucer' along with all the aforementioned early material sit perfectly next to tracks from the much later albums Valentina ('Deer Caught In The Headlights') and Going, Going… ('Secretary', 'Kill Devil Hills', 'Fordland', 'Emporia', 'Lead' and 'Ten Sleep'). To close, we're treated to 'Brassneck' on night one and 'Kennedy' on night two. No encores, of course.
It would be easy to dismiss the Wedding Present as indie favourites from the '90s meandering through past glories. It would also be nonsense. The band that Gedge has assembled around him bring a freshness to old songs and deliver quality new ones. The most recent album is among their best and these two shows are up there among my favourite Wedding Present shows. Catch them while you can.