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Review: 'Wedding Present, The'
'Marc Riley Sessions Volume 2'   

-  Label: 'Hatch Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '3rd November 2017'

Our Rating:
John Peel famously said of his all-time favourite band The Fall, “they are always different; they are always the same.” The same could also be said of The Wedding Present, another band he famously championed – at least the second clause in the sentence. They’ve even made a virtue of what most would consider a failing, as the title of their 1990 ‘All the Songs Sound the Same’ EP attests. And here they are still, in 2017, with 12 more session tracks recorded for the BBC (Riley picked up with the band where Peel left off). As with ‘Volume 1’, these sets find the band plundering their back catalogue as much as plugging new material.

The first of the sessions here, from December 2012, features two songs from ‘Valentina’ which was released that year, alongside ‘Heather’ from ‘Seamonsters’ (1991) and single cut ‘You Should Always Keep in Touch with Your Friends’, from way back in 1986.

The second and third sessions from 2013 and 2014 both feature material from the then-unreleased ‘Going, Going…’ while revisiting their 90s output for the remainder. It does make for a bit of a scattershot approach to the band’s substantial output, but because The Wedding Present always sound like The Wedding Present, none of the songs sound out of place.

Just as Jane Austin stuck to her ‘two inches of ivory,’ so David Gedge is the northern laureate of vignettes of kitchen sink heartbreak. The versions here aren’t anything special, but The Wedding Present are very much a band appreciated by their fans for their workmanlike approach to all aspects of being a band. As such, this is very much one for the fans – and there’s nowt wrong with that.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Wedding Present, The - Marc Riley Sessions Volume 2