Wedding Present -‘Valentina’ (Scopitones)
Four years since their last studio album, El Rey, the Wedding Present return with what is their eighth or ninth album (depending on how you’re counting). As with those other John Peel faves, The Fall, there remains a sense with the Weddoes that they are ‘always different, always the same.’
Whereas sometimes (and more frequently with me when I have really got saturated with it all) heartfelt lyrics, with associated honesty and pain seem to descent into MOR dross, David Gedge and his changing band of merry men (and the occasional woman), have demonstrated that it is possible to write about human emotions and be very cool indeed, in a way that has not mellowed over the course of more than a quarter of a century. And he and the world containing him are all the better for it.
This is not to say that this is the Weddoes’ greatest album – for my money that’s still a toss-up between Seamonsters and George Best – and I think album opneer ‘You’re Dead’ really isn’t the best place to get started on it. But there’s a good number of songs here to add to the list of great Weddoes songs – including ‘Back A Bit…Stop’, ‘End Credits’ and first single ‘You Jane.’ It certainly holds its own well next to albums like Watusi and the aforementioned El Rey. If you’re a Wedding Present fan, you will love it. If you haven’t (really) heard them before, this is not a bad place to start.
Valentina is released on Scopitones on March 19.