THE WEDDING PRESENT George Best 30th Anniversary gets 8.5/10

The Wedding Present
George Best 30th Anniversary Edition
Scorpitones

8.5/10

The Wedding Present were in Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio in January of 2008 recording the album El Ray. Having found that they had finished the album but still had studio time to spare, the band’s leader David Gedge thought it would be worth trying to squeeze in another recording while they were in one of his favourite studios. Albini cautioned against it, but as the band had been on the road playing the George Best album in it’s entirety, they decided to record a live version in the studio.

This re-imagining of The Wedding Present’s debut album then sat dormant as the band went on with other projects. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of George Best, Gedge has dusted off the tapes, had them mixed by Andrew Scheps and sent them out into the world. The result is a brash new version of an old favourite.

There is an energy that wasn’t present in the original as the band work their way through barnstorming versions of the twelve tracks. All This And More is played at breakneck speed, and My Favourite Dress is dripping with hopelessness. The band have been known for their frenetic guitars, but Albini brings the rhythm section to the fore as they muscle their way around the well worn tunes.

Upon it’s original release in 1987, George Best was a collection of fables for the brokenhearted that resonated with young men still on the losing end of their tussles with the clasp of a bra-strap. Decades later, this re-imagining has more pace and grunt to add a healthy dose of venom to these tunes of betrayal and bust ups.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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