If I was going to choose someone to sing me a love song, it might just be David Gedge. With his north-east twang and tell-it-like-it-is lyrics, he beats the likes of James Morrison and Ed Sheeran hands down.
Since the early days of ‘My Favourite Dress‘ and ‘Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm‘, David Gedge has been crafting songs for the the rejected and the unrequited – all with the bitterest of twists and all swathed in the comforting sound of his unmistakeable chainsaw jangly guitar.
So what of ‘Valentina‘, The Wedding Present’s eighth studio album that comes a lengthy four years after 2008’s ‘Del Rey‘ due to the band’s heavy touring commitments?
From the opening few drum beats of ‘You’re Dead‘ it’s like putting on a favourite pair of shoes – comfortable, familiar and heart-warming. ‘Valentina‘ offers no surprises, there’s no great departure from the Wedding Present template. Phew, thank goodness…
David Gedge ploughs a lone musical furrow. He’s still churning out stuff that could happily sit alongside Wedding Present releases from the 80s, with his grouchy talk/sing delivery style and his ever-so-slightly-out-of-tune voice. He’s played around a bit over the years (a swing version of ‘Brassneck‘ with a full orchestra???), but with ‘Valentina‘ he’s clearly acknowledged that the old format endures .
In an interview about writing this latest abum, Gedge said he just sang about things that people say to each other “against a backdrop of guitar carnage”. An inspired description. That just about sums up the 10 tracks on ‘Valentina‘…
These are the tales of everyday love and attraction. “You’re not the one for me I know, but I just can’t seem to let you go.” “I’ve realised that I don’t think I’m ever going to leave my girlfriend for you.” Lyrics that will resonate in the homes of Wedding Present fans up and down the country (and with others too if they took the time to listen).
Admittedly there was little chance I wouldn’t like this album. I’ve been carrying a torch for Gedge since ‘George Best‘. I loved Cinerama’s 2000 album ‘Disco Volante‘ and played The Wedding’s Present’s 2005 release ‘Take Fountain‘ to death.
But it’s not that I’m easy to please. With Gedge I’m seduced by the poetry of his laconic lyrics, coupled with that guitar sound. Anyone who feels the same won’t be disappointed…
The Wedding Present ‘Valentina’ tracklist
Back A Bit… Stop
The Girl From The DDR
Deer Caught In The Headlights
The Wedding Present release ‘Valentina‘ on 19th March via Scopitones.