The Wedding present are an indie rock band that originated in Leeds back in 1985. Over 26 years, the lineup has shuffled many times. Through it all (including a hiatus of about six years), the only constant member has been the frontman David Gedge.
Although Gedge has protested the classification of The Wedding Present as a “C86” (jangly indie-pop) band, they were featured on the NME cassette that was instrumental in putting indie rock on the map.
22 bands were featured on that C86 cassette. They were all up-and-coming bands at the time. Most were unknown or little-known. Surprisingly, three are still making records. “The Weddoes”, The Pastels, and Primal Scream. The band McCarthy is closely related to Stereolab, so they’re still relevant. A few others had moderate success into and throughout the 1990s. Not bad.
On their outstanding debut record — George Best (1987)– the song titles were pretty long. The band were often ridiculed for this. On Seamonsters, they deliberately went with one-word titles. Although Seamonsters was the third proper album in the Wedding Present’s catalog, it was the first one that I knew. I’m pretty sure that for at least a year after its release, I listened to it in its entirety at least once a day every day. They played their first North Carolina show in the spring of 1992, and it was the first of many times that I’ve seen them play. I didn’t that time, but on at least two occasions, I interviewed them for the college radio station. None of the interviews ever aired, but I enjoyed doing the interviews and Gedge seemed not to mind them.
I’m not here today to outline the band’s discography or to enumerate every lineup change. I think I might have fun on a project like that, but it would take months to do it properly and probably a minimum of one hundred printed pages. I think you’ll all thank me not to go into that kind of detail here.
I’m here on a daily basis to write about songs. The Wedding Present is one of my favorite bands. Seamontsters is my favorite album of theirs. It was probably my favorite album of 1991, and remains one of my favorite albums. “Suck” is one of my favorite songs from the album. This is that song.
“Suck” by The Wedding Present
I like that it starts off a little sludgy, with the bass guitar and crisp but minimal drums. It’s nice and quiet for the first 55 seconds. Then the buzz kicks in. Really fuzzy guitars, a full kit, much louder. Much more intense.
This is about wanting someone really badly. Not in a creepy stalker-ish kind of way, but in a romantic kind of way. It’s not about lurking in the bushes, like The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”. This is about new love. It’s about staying up all night talking. It’s about laying in bed together. And yes… It’s about sex.
Darling can’t you keep
Your head next to my head?
Oh just stay here
Because I can’t fall asleep
Even in my own bed
Until you’re near
and then, later
I didn’t have to search for you.
I knew where you’d be hiding.
You astound me.
There’s nothing I won’t do
to feel your body sliding
all around me
That’s pretty interesting language there. Who says “You astound me”?
In 1991, like I said, I could listen to this record every day and never tire of it. Sometimes many times a day. I can still listen to this song multiple times and not get tired of it. It’s why I’m suggesting that you listen to it at least once today. And then listen again.
As the 21st anniversary of the release of Seamonsters approaches, The Weddoes are going on tour and playing the record in its entirety. Go here to see the details.
On the tenth anniversary, they re-issued the album with some bonus tracks. Unbelievably, I don’t have that version of the album. If anyone wants to get it for me, feel free to do so.
I think the original and the original US package are out of print, but the re-issue can be bought directly from the band’s official site in CD format here. Buy one for yourself. Buy one for me.