Open the Past

Many musicians have shuffled in and out of the Wedding Present since its formation in 1985. Even leader David Gedge shelved the seminal British quartet to front Cinerama for a long stretch. But since 2004, he has busied himself with the band that yielded 18 singles in the U.K. Top 40. Its lineup fairly static these days, the Wedding Present has become focused more on its legacy. A 2007 tour dusted off the still-great 1987 debut, George Best, and now comes a similar revisiting of 1989’s Bizarro. Gedge and company are also slowly releasing live tapes from the same era. Those first two albums have held up quite well, thanks to quality reissues and their reverberating influence on romantically challenged guitar-pop ever since. Even now, Gedge’s clipped voice, flinty lyrics, and invigorating wellspring of rhythm-guitar jangle are immediate signifiers of a classic sound. Bizarro’s 47-minute length makes it well suited for a song-by-song live rendition, and the encore is just begging for the band’s B-side hijacking of Pavement’s “Box Elder” and the Tom Jones emblem “It’s Not Unusual.” Then again, Gedge has the freedom to go rifling through a deep, revered discography.

Mister Loveless and Surf Cinema open.
Sat., April 24, 9 p.m., 2010

 
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