Gig review: The Wedding Present at Morley Arts Festival
There's something reliably familiar about The Wedding Present. Within seconds of the Leeds quartet walking on stage the audience are catapulted back to the mid-80s and a time when indie meant jangly guitars and strained, emotive vocals.
Many other bands from the era have tried to progress with the times, adding a self-conscious synth part or getting a dance remix. Not so the Weddoes, whose sole original member is front-man David Gedge.
They may be promoting their ninth album Going, Going…, from which they draw tracks such as ‘Birdsnest’ and ‘Santa Monica’, but the constituent parts of post-punk guitars, buried melodies and lovelorn lyrics remain the same.
The addition of bassist Katharine Wallinger on backing vocals lightens their sound on the occasional track, including ‘Always The Quiet One’, but otherwise the material could have been recorded at any point of their 32-year career.
Yet to complain about such lack of musical development seems pointless for a band who once ironically produced T-shirts that read ‘All The Songs Sound The Same’ and who provide such an obviously welcome nostalgia holiday for the predominantly male, 40-plus audience.
These are people who’ve grown up with Gedge and have had their lives sound-tracked by ‘Brassneck’ and ‘My Favourite Dress’. This dedicated fan-base has permitted the band to exist in a time capsule up to the point that the decade of their inception has suddenly become cool again thanks to the ‘Stranger Things’ drama.
Their constancy is such that when Gedge jokes the band will return to Morley in 2048 it can be predicted with some confidence that it will be to the same songs and the same crowd.