SONG FOR EWE with
DAVID GEDGE of
THE WEDDING PRESENT & CINERAMA
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is both literally & figuratively a giant in the indie world, the leader of two great bands filled with a heady mix of melody and discordant guitars. He’s a man who soundtracked many of my unrequited adolescent loves, and still scores my middle aged life, it’s the songwriting genius David Gedge of The Wedding Present and Cinerama.
I first loved The Wedding Present when they audaciously thumbed their nose at the record industry and released a different 7″ every month in 1990. Each one gatecrashed the top 20 due to the big cult following of the band, the limited release of the vinyl and the dwindling numbers required to chart. It was a strangely prescient move given the mutation of the charts since and the current resurgence for limited runs of collectable vinyl, but at the time it just felt like a punk rock thing to do. I was avidly reading The Melody Maker and I was keen to see whether the band stuck to their gutsy plan. They did, and I have been loyal ever since.
John Peel has obviously been a big part in the longevity of Velvet Sheep (listen here) but no band other than perhaps The Fall have epitomised a John Peel band than The Wedding Present. Their sessions have been manifold, including the famous and suitably obtuse folksy Ukranian ones that saw the band fork off (!) down a different path for a bit.
My favourite ever Wedding Present album is “Watusi” and it was mostly because I had the John Peel Festive 50 from 1994 on tape and four different songs from the same album featured in it, including one of my all time favourite ever songs “Swimming Pools & Movie Stars”.
When I went to university, I played in a loose punk rock band with a good mate called Big Rich Angstmann. He was from Leeds, and whenever I popped to his dorm to practice we’d inevitably end up listening to and strumming along to “Brassneck”.
More recent album “El Rey” still made the hairs on my own less than brass neck bristle. Gedge had worked with Albini again, for added abrasion, but despite living downstream of the Santa Ana winds in California the music had lost none of its gritty romance.
Gedge’s chamber pop collective Cinerama also boast a hatful of tunes and they’ve been touring, supported by The Wedding Present playing the ace “Saturnalia” in full. As a gig it’s a full-on Gedge club sandwich that any fan would relish.
I’d been enjoying reading John Robb’s book “Death To Trad Rock” recently and thought I’d try and get in touch one of the heroes i’d hitherto never met via Twitter.
I was so chuffed when David replied with his “song for ewe”, I asked my mate and one of the stars of the CBBC show I produce as my day job “Art Ninja”‘s Gavin Strange to draw a pic of the mighty Mr. Gedge. But what has our man chosen as his “song for ewe”. It’s….
…over to David:
‘Monday Morning 5:19’ by Rialto
It’s one of those rare and inspirational moments where everything… the melody, the lyric, the performance, the production… everything comes together flawlessly to create an evocative, memorable and extremely melancholic little drama within a perfect four-minute pop song.”
THANKS VERY MUCH TO DAVID GEDGE
You can catch Cinerama & The Wedding Present on tour here.