The Wedding Present

RICHARD BALLS Norwich Arts Centre

RICHARD BALLS

> Norwich Arts Centre

Tell someone that The Wedding Present once recorded an entire album of Ukrainian folk songs and they could get the wrong impression. For wherever David Gedge's musical impulses have taken him since the late John Peel championed his group towards the end of the 1980s, his feet have remained firmly rooted in pop.

Take Fountain, the new album, was originally recorded as the fourth Cinerama album, but after his relationship with its co-founder crumbled, he decided to make it the first Wedding Present release for nine years. The mood, not surprisingly, is darker than anything he has produced since embarking on that project and an invigorating set at Norwich Arts Centre reflected how very different his new material is from that which once imbued the indie scene with such breathless energy.

Gedge appeared on stage amid the feedback hypnosis of On Ramp, segueing into the towering, guitar-drenched Interstate 5 and providing a compelling overture to an evening that pleased both long-time devotees and more recent converts.

Highlights from the Wedding Present's early 90s heyday included My Favourite Dress, Kennedy and The Queen of Outer Space (from the 'single-a-month' experiment).

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But for my money it was the current single I'm From Further North Than You, Ringway to Seatac, Perfect Blue and other tracks from the new album that rose to the top. If you couldn't get along, go buy Take Fountain.

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