Thursday, 12 November 2009

751 THE WEDDING PRESENT, The Container Drivers, Swindon 12 Bar, Friday 25 July 2008

"A band I lost touch with a few years ago gave me no reason to get back in touch with them". This was what I wrote after the Weddoes' last trip to Swindon, way back in 1996 (gig 330). Since then they've split, reformed and released a couple of new albums, but stayed studiously off my radar. I might have played "I'm Not Always So Stupid" once or twice in the past 12 years, but that's about it!

So I was less than enthusiastic about this one when I heard about it, and was persuaded only by Rich to regard it as "a night out". Fair enough, I thought, so booked a ticket, donned shorts and wandered down to this fairly new pub venue, hitting the bar at 8.15 and catching up with various old friends. Missed the support due to my socialising in the front bar - a great name (from a Fall song) but an unenticing noise.

Eventually remembered what we were there for, about 9.30, at which time the Weddoes took the stage, so we repaired to the packed back bar for this sold-out show. Hovered near the back as the Weddoes eased into their set with some unfamiliar, low-key and not particularly full-sounding numbers. I drifted for about the first 15 minutes, thinking that, apart from a choppy "No", this was going the same way as last time! Then vocalist David Gedge surprisingly announced, "an old number," and launched into "I'm Not Always So Stupid", and I was straight into the mosh, having my breath pummelled out to the tune of my favourite Weddoes number by miles. Thereafter, they had my attention, occasionally showing signs of the form which briefly had them installed as the successors to The Smiths' 1980's Indie Guitar throne. "Brassneck", "Don't Talk Just Kiss" and an entirely appropriate "You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends" were actually great, noisy and staccato guitarry as ever.

I shook hands with Gedge on the way out, telling him that the set was better than I expected! I might not buy any of their new records, but I might just go back and play some of the old ones again...

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