THE WEDDING PRESENT @ Mojos Bar gets 10/10

The Wedding Present @ Mojos Bar
w/ Dream Rimmy, Rinehearts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

10/10

Due to a clash of schedules with The Undertones the night before, British indie stalwarts The Wedding Present pushed their show back to Sunday evening to give punters a chance to see both outfits. It was a move that paid dividends (and hopefully covered the extra hotel expense) as Leeds’ finest songsmith played to a full room of punters who sang along to a band they had been waiting decades to see.

Opening the evening was local pop punk trio Rinehearts, who are the latest meal ticket for Benny J Ward. With a six song EP under their belt already, the band worked through a set of punchy and melodic tunes to appreciative early attendees. Just Another Friday Night pulls on garage influences with a spattering of loneliness for good measure. Rinehearts put on a brisk no fuss set of lo-fi goodness.

A large portion of the members of Dream Rimmy are now also playing in other bands, but it is in this shoegaze band led by Ali Flintoff that they make their most impressive noise. Oxygen captured the band’s strength via their aural wave of guitars, even though Flintoff said they were all nervous about playing their first ever show without a keyboard player. It was a night where loud guitars were the order of the day, so they couldn’t have timed it better.

Their song Landslide is community radio gold and was played with class before the five piece ended with the bombastic I Know What’s Wrong With You. They may look like they have clothed themselves via the Salvation Army charity bins, but they sure do pack a sonic punch.

It took The Wedding Present 32 years to finally make their way to Perth, and they set out to make sure that they lived up to expectations. Front man David Gedge is the only original member of the band, and he was flanked by younger and fresher faces who were every bit as adept at the earlier tunes as they were with the songs they had recorded on the band’s latest album.

Be warned that you should never break the heart of David Gedge or you are likely to become the subject of his bittersweet songs of loss and rejection. The band gave a masterclass on the broken hearted with songs such as the buzz-saw like Brassneck, What Have I Said Now and You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends. The more recent tunes were given a healthy dose of muscle with Gedge describing Rachel as ‘the best song you will hear tonight’ and a fiery version of Bear showing the band have lost none of their bite.

The group’s debut album George Best was celebrating its 30th Anniversary, and The Wedding Present took the opportunity to play the record in full for what was said to be “the last time ever in the Southern Hemisphere”. The gravelly voice of Gedge then launched into Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft. The lovelorn tales then flowed with regularity.

With a pause after My Favourite Dress, Gedge joked that they had to change sides as they were playing the album version and not the CD or cassette. The frenetic guitars continued the brawny run through of the record, with melodic touches like Give My Love To Kevin highlighting the personal nature of these songs. Not a band to do encores, The Wedding Present followed George Best with a break neck version of Kennedy before calling it stumps.

Two Perth bands that were perfectly suited to the headliner and a band who deservedly remained one of John Peel’s favourite bands. A Sunday night in Perth doesn’t get much better than this.

 CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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