Wedding Present, The – Locked Down and Stripped Back [ORANGE VINYL] – New LP
Regular price $ 20.00
Tim Sendra: When the global pandemic shelved Wedding Present leader David Gedge's plans to hold his annual At the Edge of the Sea festival in 2020, he pivoted to holding it online with bands sending in videos of at-home songs and concerts. His own band performed a 12-song set that saw them running through old classics and newly written songs in stripped-down, semi-acoustic fashion. The results were so good that they decided to commercially release the audio, thus the appearance in early 2021 of Locked Down and Stripped Back. Gedge is in fine voice as he vigorously strums his acoustic guitar and his bandmates (bassist Melanie Howard, drummer Christopher Hardwick, and ex-Sleeper guitarist Jonathan Stewart) chug along. The song choices are an inspired lot, ranging from early classics like "My Favorite Dress" and "You Should Always Keep in Touch with Your Friends" to deep cuts ("Grenadaland" and a Howard-sung "Sports Car"), a brilliant take on a beloved stray track ("Crawl"), and a new song ("You're Just a Habit I Was Trying to Break") co-written by Gedge and Stewart. The Sleeper connection led to the Wedding Present tackling a previously unreleased song by that band, "We Should Be Together," a charming duet sung with Louise Wener. This is a Britpop dream come to life and the meshing of their voices makes it clear that it's long past time for Gedge to do an album of duets with female vocalists. There's no doubt that plenty of singers would line up for a chance to go toe-to-toe with Gedge. When they do, they'll find a singer who hasn't lost an inch due to age or boredom, fronting a band who continue to figure out new ways to breathe life into their catalog and write new tracks that continue to explore the intricacies of love and disappointment in microscopic detail."