heard on the wire

Day 27 — a song I wish I could play

I was a late comer to The Wedding Present, despite the fact that together with The Smiths they were the indie darlings of the mid-to-late 80s.

I can’t account for the oversight. Perhaps it was David Gedge’s rough-edged voice, or maybe it was the appearance of the eponymous George Best in Manchester Utd garb on the cover of the first LP.

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t until after I’d fallen in love with Gedge’s second band, Cinerama (see Day 19) that I sought their begetter’s back catalogue and discovered what I’d missed.

There’s a story that says people who heard the band’s early recordings went to gigs thinking that there was no way that Gedge and co. could reproduce the seemingly unfeasible, frenetic guitar playing. They were wrong. But it’s surely a measure of how difficult it is, that few, if any, have tried to emulate it. And it reaches a zenith on this brilliant, bittersweet love song that, had I the talent and the digital dexterity, I would play until my fingers bled.

The Wedding Present :: My Favourite Dress

Audio MP3

And this is Gedge singing a rather different version, accompanied by the BBC Big Band.

David Gedge and the BBC Big Band :: My Favourite Dress

Audio MP3


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