Saturday, 24 January 2015

Oliver: The Wedding Present - Felicity [Peel Session] (24 November 1991)

From the  admittedly limited exposure I've had to their work, I've never been able to work out quite what The Wedding Present did to deserve their pre-eminence on Peel's playlists.  To me, they sound no different from a dozen other similar sounding bands who came along in the mid 80s.   I appreciate they were innovative, releasing limited edition singles for every month of 1992 which harvested a slew of top 30 hits.  They clearly had a sense of humour judging by their choice of covers (Come Up and See Me [Make Me Smile], Step Into Christmas etc) and in their side projects (The Ukranians - ha bloody ha).  And their decision to put a footballer on the cover of their debut album, 1987's George Best, In an era when football was a despised and frowned upon sport was slightly revolutionary for the time.  But for all that, I go into this project as ambivalent about them as The Fall.

Nevertheless, when they hit the mark, they did it satisfyingly and they certainly made a strong start with this track from their first Peel session in February 1986.  A turbo charged cover of Orange Juice's, Felicity, from their 1982 album, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever.  The track was written by Orange Juice guitarist, James Kirk, hence David Gedge's remark about the track being "a William Shatner number".  And after breaking out their best Edwyn Collins "Woah-woh" impression, they fairly tear through the song at breakneck speed but somehow through the thrash, preserving the delicious pop pedigree of the more laid back original.  I'm delighted to include it here as I go into this blog, open minded and ready to be persuaded* of The Wedding Present's merits, but also because I get to eventually review You Can't Hide Your Love Forever and any chance to listen to an Orange Juice record should be taken wherever possible.

*Lest you think I have an unremitting downer on David Gedge and friends, I have Quick, Before it Melts & Careless by Cinerama on my 2002 Peel mixtapes and I love both of those tracks.

I wish this group had released a single a month for a whole calendar year..

Videos courtesy of Short and Sweet (Wedding Present) and Patrick Pierson (Orange Juice).

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