Review: The Wedding Present, La Belle Angele

The release of The Wedding Present’s ninth studio album Going, Going… saw them make a welcome return to Edinburgh to play La Belle Angele in the Old Town.

With line-up changes of Fall-esque proportions, the inspiration behind the band, David Gedge, remains the only surviving member from 1985.

Over the 31 years, Gedge’s diverse talents have covered a range of outputs, from his five-year sojourn with Cinerama, his dalliance with Eastern European folk music, the 1992 release of 12 singles (which equalled Elvis Presley’s record for most hits in one year) to an autobiographical comic book series.

The new album reveals that Gedge has lost none of his creative energy, and with such an eclectic back catalogue, this was a keenly anticipated gig.

First up was support act Rolo McGinty, aka lead singer of Woodentops. His attempts to warm up the audience was met with indifference, largely due to McGinty delivering what seemed like a soundcheck rather than a performance.

The evening, though, belonged to The Wedding Present and the packed crowd gave a rapturous welcome.

The band played it safe and gave the appreciative audience what they wanted; a splattering of songs from the new album mixed with a hefty dose of past glories.

Gedge’s intro of “this might be one of the first things you heard…” met with loud cheers as the band launched into Go Out & Get ‘Em Boy! My Favourite Dress followed, and the audience soon realised the night was going their way.

Material from the new album was very well received and blended in with the rest of the set, with Rachel and the closing number, Santa Monica, being particular live standouts.

On this evidence, The Wedding Present are still Going, Going strong… and hopefully still a long way from gone.

Words: Alan Hotchkiss

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