Tag Archives: Simon Smith

Thanks

Lyrics:

I bumped into Joe on Victoria Road
And he told me something about last weekend
He knows your new boyfriend
He said he saw it coming
And those letters I wrote
So now I know what you do with them
Well of course he looked
You sliced me up and then showed it to him

He’s changed around the posters on your wall
And finished all but one glass of your wine
His head’s been on the pillows that I bought
And now he’s seen me say “I love you” all those times

And the old photos in those silly clothes
There must be much more
God, the poems I sent and that massive dent I left in your door
I don’t want them back, you can burn the lot
I just feel betrayed
Well it’s been this long and all the flesh has gone but the bones remain

He’s changed around the posters on your wall
And finished all but one glass of your wine
His head’s been on the pillows that I bought
And now he’s seen me say “I love you” all those times

I still can’t get mad at you, no matter how I try
I still can’t get mad at you, no matter how I try

No

Lyrics:

Why can’t you pick up the telephone?
Oh, I know that you’re at home
I’m really past caring how you think
I just want to know about him

And you’re so right, they don’t miss a thing round here
And how do you think I feel?
Oh, you can try but you’re not getting out that way
You’re just as much to blame

And if it didn’t mean a thing
And you’ve told him to go
And if you’re as sorry as you say
Why didn’t you just say no?

It’s strange that this room’s so different now
Oh I didn’t come to row
It’s just this razor; he’s left it on your shelf
I’ll throw it out myself

And if it didn’t mean a thing
And you’ve told him to go
And if you’re as sorry as you say
Why didn’t you just say no?

Crushed

Lyrics:

Somewhere, sometime, I’ve got to say this somehow
Oh no, it’s fine, I couldn’t face it just now

Oh, oh, please don’t use that voice, I think I’ve made my choice
I’d change it if I could
Oh, you know I’m crushed inside, but goodness knows I’ve tried
I think I’ve had enough

Oh no, I swear. there’s no one else I promise
The ‘phone? Up there
But please don’t leave here like this

Oh, oh, please don’t use that voice, I think I’ve made my choice
I’d change it if I could
Oh, you know I’m crushed inside, but goodness knows I’ve tried
I think I’ve had enough

You’re late, been where?
Worried sick about you
All right, take care
I’m sorry that I hurt you

Oh, oh, please don’t use that voice, I think I’ve made my choice
I’d change it if I could
Oh, you know I’m crushed inside
Goodness knows I’ve tried
I think I’ve had enough
Ah

A Million Miles

1988 and I was in the Sixth form at a high school in Surrey. Over the previous year I’d started to broaden my musical horizons into the world of indie and along the way had picked up on a band from the North of England that just struck a chord, some pun intended. By now they were developing from their early roots into a band that would soon court the major labels but I had missed out on the very early days.

Thankfully a friend at school (thank you Martin Short) made a copy of George Best on cassette for me. I can’t even remember what was on the other side of that C90 tape but it wasn’t a band that became a love and obsession like TWP.

Of the songs that made up George Best, four in particular stood out and A Million Miles was one of them. If you’re reading this then you probably know why. It’s the lyrics, it’s the gorgeous melody, it’s the chiming layered guitars, it’s the overall pang of the joyous love that the whole thing evokes.

Since 1988 I have purchased about 4 copies of George Best in various formats and re-mastered editions.  I think it’s safe to say that Home Taping did NOT kill music.

Questions and Answers with David Lewis Gedge:

I’ve always preferred titles that aren’t just the main words in the chorus. I like mysterious titles and I like titles that are just hidden there in the verses. It can make those particular lines resonate even more. So for example when titling this song would you have ever thought of calling it ‘You’re Not Like Anyone I’ve Ever Met’ or was it always what it came to be?

DLG: I know what you mean and I do like those kinds of titles myself. I do often have a working title, which will be a recognisable line from the chorus or whatever, but then I’ll go back and change it when I’m putting the finishing touches to a song. However, in this case, the title was always going to be ‘A Million Miles’; I never liked the idea of calling it ‘You’re Not Like Anyone I’ve Ever Met’ because it sounded too obvious.

Do you have any memories of how this song came about? I’m guessing at this time new song ideas were pouring out so was this just one in the crowd or did it stand out at all?

DLG: There are always new song ideas pouring out… it’s a blessing and a curse, to be honest! But this one did always stand out, yes. I wanted the lyric to evoke a very real situation that is familiar to everybody. We actually talked about it being a single at one point; obviously that never happened… but when we released George Best we put out a two-track ‘radio sampler 7”’ [Catalogue Number LEEDS 1X] and this song was the A-side.

From doing surveys and speaking to fans over the years, this is certainly one of the favourite tracks from George Best and often people’s actual favourite. The lyrics are a big factor in that adoration. It was kind of opposite to The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now?’ from a few years earlier in that the narrator, despite his shyness goes out to a party, chats to a girl and walks her home. To the awkward teenage boys of the world, that sounded like a wonderful dream. How were you at parties as a lad?

DLG: Ha, ha… I was completely useless at parties as a lad… and I still am, to be honest. I’ve never been comfortable at any social gatherings when the numbers are greater than about four, really! And I was truly hopeless at chatting to girls and stuff. I do hint at that kind of discomfort in the second verse of this.

Who was Charlie?

DLG: I use to have a practise of name-checking acquaintances in songs and the Charlie in this case was Charles Gant, a school-friend of Keith Gregory [bass; The Wedding Present, 1985-1993]. We used to always stay at his flat in London whenever we played down there and I don’t know how he and his house-mates put up with us for so long, to be honest. He’s now a successful writer about films.

On the George Best version it always sounded to my ears more like “sharlie” so for years I thought you were singing “Sally” despite the ‘him” reference in the next line.

DLG: Ah, no… I didn’t meet Sally until much later.

Did people used to come up to you and ask if they were the people in your songs?

DLG: They did, yes. But I rarely confirmed or denied it, to be honest. I think people liked being immortalised in song, ha, ha… even if it it’s not a particularly flattering reference.

There’s an unusual way you have the lyrics written: the song is told in the first person perspective and yet in the first verse it seems to be the narrator talking to himself (I assume) and by the end talking to another friend on the phone. But all three perspectives use “you” whereas one might expect “she” and “he” to be used instead. Would you write this differently if you doing it today? Anything else you’d change?

DLG: That’s correct… in the verses and choruses the narrator is talking to the subject directly [in either a real or imagined conversation!] but in the middle eight [well, middle fourteen, strictly speaking] the narrator is telling a friend about the meeting with the subject. Is that not obvious? I thought it’d be clear by the way the melody and instrumentation have a different feel in that section… but perhaps you’re right…

One other way this song stands out on George Best is the guitar work which is less thrashy and frenetic and more layered. The tone especially throughout the verses really adds to the overall wistful mood of the song. Did the sound come about early in rehearsals or later in the recording process?

DLG: It’s funny because when I imagine this song I always think of it as one of the slower George Best tracks but it’s still pretty pacey. I do like those layered guitar parts, though. It was all worked out before the recording… as you can tell because this is pretty much what it sounds like live. There is an acoustic guitar overdub playing over everything, however, which, although it’s not that prominent, helps smooth it all out and adds to that wistful tone, I think. That was the producer’s idea.

Do you enjoy playing it live?

DLG: Very much so… for me it’s an easy one to play and I there’s a real sing along feel to it.

“Well, at least not yet” – the final lines take this song up another level from being just another love song but there’s conjecture about what it means. Is it just realism, sarcasm or something else entirely?

DLG: Definitely realism. I like to make all my lyrics and the subjects behind them as authentic as possible and in this case I’m just saying “Let’s not get too carried away here…”

Official Lyrics:

I must have walked past this doorway thirty times, just trying to catch your eye
You made it all worthwhile when you returned my smile
It all became worthwhile
Don’t you feel a little cold stood by the door?
You know I’d really like to talk some more
Oh don’t be worried about your friend; I think she left some time round ten
What was her name, again?

You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met
You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met

Do you see much of Charlie over here?
Oh I’ve known him off and on for years
He’s never mentioned you before
Oh that didn’t come out right at all and now I feel this small
That seems to be it
Don’t get me wrong but how’re you going to get back home?
Oh, I’d be willing to walk that way
There’s something I’ve just got to say
I could walk a million miles today

You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met
You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met

I kept bursting out with laughter all the way home
I had to tell somebody, and you happened to phone
I can’t think of anything else, no matter how I try
But you know I can’t even remember the colour of her eyes and that’s right

You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met
You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met
Well, at least not yet…

Studio Versions:

1 – George Best version  released 12/10/1987 TIME: 3:33

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Shaun Charman (drums);  Chris Allison (producer) and Alan Jakoby/Mick Williams/Steve Lyon (engineers)

2 – Peel Sessions version recorded 03/03/1987 TIME: 3:20

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Shaun Charman (drums);  Dale Griffin (producer) and Mike Robinson/Martin Colley (engineers)

3 – Swedish Radio Session version  27/03/1988 TIME: 3:37

(Recorded at BBC Broadcasting House; commissioned by Sveriges Radio and broadcast on Bowmen programme)
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums)

Live Versions:

1 – Live 1987 (Disc One) – TIME: 3:31

Recorded 05/05/1987 at Leicester Polytechnic
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Shaun Charman (drums); Mike Stout (live sound mix)

2 – Live 1987 (Disc Two) – TIME: 3:51

Recorded 22/11/1987 at Munchen Alabama-Halle
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Shaun Charman (drums); Mike Stout (live sound mix)

3 – Live 1988 (Disc One) – TIME: 3:40

Recorded 30/03/1988 at Rotterdam
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums); Mike Stout (live sound mix)

4 – Shepherds Bush Welcomes – TIME: 3:55

Recorded 20/11/2005 at London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro(bass); Simon Pearson (drums); Roger Lomas (live recording); Chris McConville(live sound mix)

Video Version:

1 – An Evening With The Wedding Present  released 2008
Live version – same details as Shepherds Bush Welcomes cd as above

George Best
George Best
Live 1987
Live 1987
Live 1988
Live 1988
Complete Peel Sessions
Complete Peel Sessions
Shepherd's Bush Welcomes
Shepherd’s Bush Welcomes

Live:

A Million Miles was a strong live favourite from its first appearances around 1987 through to 1988. It reappeared in 2005 during the reformation tour and of course again during the George Best +20 tour of 2007.

Video:

Here’s the video from the Evening with the Wedding Present dvd:

Brassneck

It’s kind of an odd thing for me to write this entry. Brassneck is the song that epitomises my love for The Wedding Present more than any other song. To try and sum it up in mere words is very difficult. So I will keep it simple.

The first time I played Bizarro, I barely listened to the first track, so desperate was I to get to the others that I’d already heard live like What Have I Said Now? Seems inconceivable to me now but when a friend mentioned that Brassneck was his favourite song on the album I was a little surprised. The album version was great but the pace was a little pedestrian compared to some of the other tracks. Over time I started to invest in the lyrics a little more and realised they were hitting some pretty poignant personal demons right on the nose.

Interestingly (see Q&A below), David Gedge also thought the production on Brassneck could do with being beefed up. Having long-admired the American recording engineer Steve Albini, Gedge elected to make their first collaboration an EP with the lead track being a re-working of Brassneck.  The band and Albini would go on to work together again several times and it’s no surprise given the quality of that initial recording session.

The song was transformed into a powerful pounding beast of a record. Angry snarling lyrics dance on the edge of fizzing guitars and primal beats. The opening riff is one of indie rock’s most exhilarating. The angst-ridden rhymes burn with truth and pain. The song turns on a sixpence in the final furlong, spinning off into a dark moody coda. There’s a charge of electricity that flickers through every line and the song bows out on a desperate final line that breaks hearts.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the best song ever written.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

How did this song come about? Did you draw on one particular relationship for the lyrics?

DLG: As you know, I don’t discuss specifics… but I think we’ve all been in a relationship where the other person changes over a period of time and you don’t. I wanted to write a lyric which describes the way that someone can feel let down that the other person has changed. It’s not until the very end that you find out that that other person has ‘met someone else’, too.

Was the slowed-down coda always like that?

DLG: Yes, the end bit was always there as a respite from the muscularity of the main body of the song.

Did you realise how good that riff was as soon as you came up with it?

DLG: Ha, ha… well I wouldn’t’ve used it if I’d thought it was rubbish!

Do you enjoy playing it live? It’s certainly a favourite among fans.

DLG: Certainly… I think the tribal drumming really helps drive it along and makes it sound exciting.

This song, of course, has two pretty different versions on first Bizarro and then the single release. What were the reasons for recording it again?

DLG: I personally didn’t think that the album version captured the intensity the song had when we played it live. I don’t think the Bizarro version is bad, or anything… but around that time we’d become interested in the idea of working with the American engineer, Steve Albini, and so there was a feeling that perhaps we could re-record it with him as a way of seeing how an Albini / Wedding Present relationship might work. I think the Albini version of Brassneck added more colour and depth… and sounds more succinct than the Bizarro version.

Between the two versions you changed the final line of the chorus to “I’ve just decided I don’t love you anymore”. Why the change?

DLG: I never feel that lyrics are ‘finished’ and so if I think they can be improved, even after the song has been recorded, I have no qualms about changing stuff. In this case I feel that the alteration adds poignancy.

How did RCA feel about you releasing it as a single?

DLG: I’m not sure we ever asked them, to be honest. In The Wedding Present it has always been the band making those kinds of decisions.

I loved the artwork from this period of releases – how much say did you and the band have into that?

DLG: That was the period when we worked mostly with ‘Hitch’ who was interested in a specific style of graphic art. We felt that his style totally complemented and enhanced what we were doing and so he had pretty much free reign. I mean, he would show us stuff and we’d say “yes, this is great… not too keen on that”, etc., but, by and large, we all loved his work.

I may have mentioned a few hundred times that this is my favourite song ever, how do you feel when people say that about something you’ve written?

DLG: I obviously feel flattered. But then it’s also… kind of… just what I do, really…

Why were you so pissed off during that infamous Top Of The Pops performance? And… were you all equally as fed up filming the video?

DLG: I wasn’t! I was just following an old tradition established by some of my heroes… those punk bands who didn’t take Top Of The Pops seriously and who took the mickey out of the whole ‘miming’ thing. I started doing it during the TV rehearsals, fully expecting a producer or director to tell me to stop messing about but no one did. So with each run-through it became a little more… extreme, ha, ha.

The Brassneck video was the inspiration for the Top Of The Pops performance, actually, with the band looking bored and oblivious to the frantic, theatrical performance art going on around us. The two things aren’t that dissimilar…

Where did the odd title come from?

DLG: I’ve always been a fan of comics [to the point where I even have my own, now!] and Brassneck, the robot, was a favourite character of mine from The Dandy in the 1960s.

How do you feel about the version you performed with the BBC Big Band in 2009?

DLG: I love the sound of that version, even though I was nervous about singing it. I think of all the songs we collaborated on for that concert this works the best. It’s very Las Vegas!

Official Lyrics

No, I sent you that letter to ask you if the end was worth the means
Was there really no in-between?
And I still don’t feel better
I just wondered if it could be like before and I think you just made me sure
But then that’s typically you
And I might have been a bit rude but I wrote it in a bad mood
I’m not being funny with you
But it’s hard to be engaging when the things you love keep changing

Brassneck
Brassneck.
I just decided I don’t trust you anymore
I just decided I don’t trust you anymore

The first time you came over, do you remember saying then you’d stay for good?
No I didn’t think you would
Well we couldn’t have been closer
But it was different then, and that’s all in the past,
There…I’ve said it now at last!
You grew up quicker than me
I kept so many old things; I never quite stopped hoping
I think I know what this means
It means I’ve got to grow up
It means you want to throw up

Brassneck
Brassneck.
I just decided I don’t trust you anymore
I just decided I don’t love you anymore

Oh, I know you weren’t listening, were you?
Oh, just go, whenever you’d prefer to
I said it means a lot, when you use an old phrase
But then so what?
We can’t have it both ways
I know you’re not bothered are you?
Even so, I’m not going to argue
He won’t object; keep writing to me
Just don’t forget you ever knew me

Written and published by Gedge [whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV].

Studio Versions:

1 – Bizarro version recorded 1989 TIME: 4:53

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Chris Allison (producer) and Steve Lyon (engineer)

2 – Brassneck EP version  released 05/02/1990  [RCA PT43404] TIME: 4:19

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums) Engineer: Steve Albini;  Mastered by: Miles Showell

Live Versions:

1 – Montreal single released 13/01/1997  TIME: 3:56

Recorded 25/08/1996 at Reading Festival
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Smith (drums); Simon Cleave (guitar) and Jayne Lockey (bass). Engineer: Miti; Producer: Sam Cunningham

2 – Cinerama – Live in Belfast released 06/10/2003 [TONE CD 015] TIME: 4:46

Recorded 05/09/2002 at The Empire, Belfast
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); and Kari Paavola (drums).  Live Sound Mixed: Richard Jackson; Mastering: Guy Davis

3 – Shepherds Bush Welcomes…
released 2007 [SECRET RECORDINGS CRIDEBI] TIME: 3:42

Recorded 20/11/2005 at Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); Simon Pearson (drums). Mixed & mastered: Roger Lomas; Live Sound Mixed: Christopher McConville

4 – Live 1989 released 2010 [TONE CD 034] TIME: 4:41

Recorded 03/11/1989 at Batschkapp, Frankfurt
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums). Live Sound Mixed: Joe Hickey; Mastered: Andy Pearce

5 – Live 1990 released 2011 [TONE CD 036] TIME: 4:00

Recorded 10/06/1990 at Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums).Live Sound Mixed: Joe Hickey; Mastered: Andy Pearce

6 – Live 1991 released 22/10/2012 TIME: 4:04

Recorded 30/11/1991 at Barowiak, Uppsala
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums). Live Sound Mixed: Joe Hickey; Mastered: Andy Pearce

7 – Live 1992 released 2013 TIME: 4:16

Recorded 30/10/1992 at Paard, Den Haag
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums). Live Sound Mixed: Joe Hickey; Mastered: Andy Pearce

8 – Seamonsters Edsel records re-release from 2014 [EDSJ 9006] TIME: 3:47

Recorded 19/01/1991 at The Brits, Wembley Arena

Video Versions:

1 – An Evening With The Wedding Present  released 2008
Live version – same details as Shepherds Bush Welcomes cd as above

2 – Bizarro – Edsel records re-release from 2014
Brassneck promo video & Brassneck Top of the Pops appearance (27/09/1991) – see below

Brassneck EP
Brassneck EP
Bizarro
Bizarro

Live:

As you can tell from the number of live versions available, Brassneck has been a staple of the live set ever since its debut in 1989. Even when Cinerama were in full force, this song was one of the first TWP tracks that returned to the set. Generally, unless it’s an album-specific set, it’s almost unusual to NOT hear Brassneck played at a gig.

Video:

Please enjoy the marvellous video for Brassneck:

 

and here’s the Top of the Pops appearance recorded off telly by yours truly:

 

Octopussy

As the epic that is Seamonsters draws to a close, there’s one last grab of the heart to come. The setting is Winter and snow is in the air  (I always think of this song when I see snow fall). As alluded to in my last question below, I started just drifting off into a soft layer of love when I first listened to this song. But over the years, the song has changed somewhat, the same way snow can turn dark and mucky, as different potential interpretations of the song came to light. Mr Gedge’s answer doesn’t really help us much.

I think I still prefer to think of how I did with those innocent ears from 1991: a beautiful poignant love song, stuck inside with my significant other, curled up by a fire as the world turned white outside.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

I’m fascinated with sequencing on albums. You have tended over the years to end albums with quieter/gentler tracks. Is this something you favour and if so why?

DLG: I guess it has been something of a theme, ha, ha. It’s typically very ‘Wedding Present’ to not finish an album with the obvious album-finisher, I think! So we’ve tended to have something loud and dramatic as the penultimate track and then followed it with a softer track to act as a kind of a postscript.

The title references, of course, the James Bond film of 1983. Why did you choose this for a title? What is your favourite Bond film and who is your favourite Bond?

DLG: I’m fond of referencing popular culture and in this case this film title just seemed to fit the song. I’ve always thought it was a bizarre title, actually; it makes more sense when you read the original Ian Fleming short story.

It’s as hard to compare Bond films these days as it is to compare Wedding Present albums! The style has changed so much over the years that it’s difficult to compare something like ‘Octopussy’ with ‘Skyfall’ or even ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ for example. Likewise, a favourite Bond actor sometimes means he just happened to appear in your favourite style of films. Until Pearce Brosnan got the job Roger Moore was always my favourite Bond… even though some of his later films weren’t always of the, erm, highest calibre. Having re-watched the early films recently I’m now thinking that Sean Connery really did set the standard of actors being how you’d expect a ‘Bond’ to be. Daniel Craig, on the other hand, I think is the least Bondlike of them all.

What do you think of cover versions of your songs in general? There’s a version of Octopussy on one of the Dare albums (the Orange Slices cover albums), did you like it?

DLG: I like cover versions of any songs as long as they add something to the original.

Similar to your recent Valentina release by Cinerama, I’ve often wondered what some Wedding Present songs would sound like in alternate versions. I’d love to hear Octopussy done in the way Mystery Date was, just vocals and piano. Ever thought about doing something like that?

DLG: I have, yes. As usual it’s just finding the time. I was inspired to re-record Mystery Date with just piano because I really enjoyed the version of Don’t Touch That Dial I recorded with the BBC Big Band in 2009 and I have definitely have plans to do more so maybe I’ll add Octopussy to the list!

The line about the snow at the start is so evocative – do you write this in Winter or were you just conjuring up this image in the middle of a heatwave or something? 

DLG: My lyrics are generally written over very long periods [in that I will note ideas down in my little book and then possibly not use them until I find the right moment, which could be possibly be several years later] so I’ve no idea when I actually wrote that down!

At the time of release I just listened to this song as being a beautiful love song. So many romantic little lines and a sense of blurry wonder. Many years later and the song became corrupted for me somewhat by fans mentioning that the lyrics sounded to them a bit weirder and perverse.  Specifically, the lines about “you’ve become my family”, “you don’t take away my hand like you ought to” and even, “you laughed and pulled your knees up to your chest” all could hint at maybe something a lot darker. Would you comment on this and let us know what the song is really about?

DLG: Nope. As you know, I’d rather the lyrics speak for themselves. I personally think it’s more satisfying for the listener if they’re not having their hand held. I don’t really even like printing lyrics on sleeves, although I’ve started doing that recently, of course. But that’s as far as I’m going!

Official Lyrics:

Some bits of snow still hanging in the air but that’s outside
Take off your clothes and lie down over there (oh, that’s just right)
I sat by this window and just watched for you (no, you weren’t late)
There was a thousand things I had to do (they can all wait)

You don’t take away my hand like you ought to
You’ve become my family
I don’t want to understand why I need you
You’ve just become my family

I lay down there and watched you getting dressed (it’s still so clear)
You laughed and pulled your knees up to your chest if I came near
God knows, I’ve always had to fear the worst (but not that time)
You brought me home and then you kissed me first and you were all mine

You don’t take away my hand like you ought to
You’ve become my family
I don’t want to understand why I need you
You’ve just become my family

You don’t take away my hand like you ought to
You’ve become my family
I don’t want to understand why I need you
You’ve just become my family

We don’t have to do anything
We don’t have to do anything except watch the leaves turning in the wind
Say what you want to say
We don’t have to go anywhere
We don’t have to go anywhere (let’s just sit and talk about the usual things)
I couldn’t move anyway!

Written and published by Gedge [whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV]

Studio Version:

1 – Seamonsters version released 28/05/1991 TIME: 6:19

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums) Engineer: Steve Albini

Live Versions:

1 – Seamonsters deluxe re-issue released by Edsel Records in 2014 [EDSJ 9006] TIME: 6:13
(originally issued on Live Tape 10 Uppsala)

Recorded 13/11/1991 at Barowiak, Uppsala, Sweden
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass);  Simon Smith (drums) Joe Hickey (engineer)

2 – Live in Leeds version released by Scopitones  (download only) in 2010 TIME: 6:55
Recorded 06/06/2006 at Metropolitan University, Leeds
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Christopher McConville (guitar & mixing); Terry de Castro (bass);  Graeme Ramsay (drums)
seamonsters-2
R-4951894-1380394524-9571.jpeg

Live:

 After the song’s debut in the live sets of 1991, the next time it fully appeared was after the re-formation in 2006. It was also part of the set in 2012/3. It also featured as part of the fabulous French Black Sessions in 1992.
Covers:
There’s a version by Midflight on the Dare 2 tribute album. Also, have a listen to this version on youtube by Janelle LaMarche
Videos:
10/01/2012 – Paris Trabendo
08/11/2012 – Liverpool O2
11/02/2013 – Sydney Annandale Hotel

Convertible

Early in 1996, The Wedding Present released their one and only mini album. It was called Mini and the concept was a collection of songs that were car-related. The band were going through a change of line-up and were in a transitional phase away from the surf-pop of Watusi.

Convertible was the poppiest and jolliest of the six tracks on Mini. It was a tale of adultery enlivened by a delightfully cute duet with new bassist Jayne Lockey. As evidenced below the introduction of a permanent female member of the band led to several other more songs written with duets in mind but this was the first.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

Any thoughts on the creation of this song? Did the Mini songs come after the concept of the album was created or was it the other way around?

DLG: The songs were written ‘to order’ once we’d decided on the Mini plan. There are always musical ideas knocking around, of course… but, once we’d decided on the album title and concept, the lyrics and titles were shaped around that.

What are your thoughts on the song now and what you would change?

DLG: I think it’s possibly a bit of a cop out that, although the Mini songs appear to be car-themed, they’re not really! So linking ‘convertible’ as it’s meant in the lyric with a particular style of car is a bit of a tenuous link, ha, ha. But then, ultimately, it’s just pop music… and I actually think that this is one of our best pop songs ever.

It has such a cool feel… a really full sounding guitar because of the way it’s tuned… and a great section where the bass and guitar double the same riff. The Hammond organ part is the icing on the cake! And I love the fact that it’s just over two minutes long, too…

There were some female backing vocals by Amelia Fletcher on some earlier tracks but this was the first proper duet in one of your songs. Any story behind this and was Jayne Lockey already a singer or did she have to be persuaded?

DLG: Jayne had already been a singer in her previous bands so I don’t think she had to be persuaded too much. I’ve always loved male/female duets and still do… but it wasn’t until we had a permanent female Wedding Present member that I felt confident about writing one. I just didn’t want it to be a studio thing… or a ‘guest’ vocalist type situation. I love Jayne’s singing on this, though… it’s so charming.

It’s a very jolly tune, very poppy but the tale is still one of disappointment. Are there any differences to you when creating happy/poppy music compared to darker/rockier tunes?

DLG: It’s a different mind set, of course, but it’s ultimately the same process. There are countless diverse ways of writing songs… which is why it’s always an interesting challenge.

Do you enjoy playing it live? Not sure I’ve heard it much over the years even with all the female bassist/vocalists you’ve had.

DLG: My guitar part’s a bit tricky, which adds pressure for me when we do it live. But that isn’t the reason why it’s rarely in the set… because I don’t do the set-lists! No… I think it’s a great little song to play live.

Have you ever owned a convertible?

DLG: Ha, ha… no… but we did hire one in Los Angeles… a Jaguar, actually… for the ‘Holly Jolly Hollywood’ video in 2008.

Official Lyrics:

His

You know that I could make you very happy and I warn you now that he won’t call
Sure, he said he’d try but he talks so much crap!
He never means what he says at all
Oh… yes, her, I’m still with her
But, I guess, I’m always convertible
Just flick the switch and I’m yours

I don’t want a friend because I’ve got friends already
I just want to go back home with you
Oh, I won’t pretend because I’m more than ready
Oh, please say you feel it too
Oh… yes, her, I’m still with her
But, I guess, I’m always convertible
Just flick the switch and I’m yours

Yours
Just flick the switch and I’m yours
Yours
Just flick the switch and I’m yours

Hers

But you’re still with her
But you’re still with her

But you’re still with her
But you’re still with her

Oh, yes, I hear what you’re saying but I’m afraid you’re not staying
Because I’m not as naive as you believe
Oh, yes, I hear what you’re saying but I’m afraid you’re not staying
Because I’m not as naive as you believe
Oh, yes, I hear what you’re saying but I’m afraid you’re not staying
Because I’m not as naive as you believe

Written by Gedge / Smith / Belk and published by Cooking Vinyl Publishing.

Studio Versions:

1 – Mini version recorded at Rockfield Studios, Wales in Autumn 1995 TIME: 2:14

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Darren Belk (guitar, bass); and Simon Smith (drums); Jayne Lockey (additional vocals) Producer: Cenzo Townsend

Live Versions:

1 – The Complete Peel Sessions  released 26/03/2007 TIME: 1:56

Recorded 12/04/1996 at Metropolitan University (BBC Sound City), Leeds
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Darren Belk (guitar); Simon Smith (drums); and Jayne Lockey (bass, backing vocals)

2 – Mini Edsel records re-release from 2014 [EDSJ 9010] TIME: 2:06

Recorded 21/03/1996 at Shelter,  Detroit
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Darren Belk (guitar); Simon Smith (drums); and Jayne Lockey (bass, backing vocals)

Mini
Mini

Live:

As mentioned above, this song hasn’t had that many outings over the years. Of course in 2014, Mini was showcased by the band so it got a few airings then.

Video:

Fan-made video:

The Queen Of Outer Space

The Queen Of Outer Space was the eleventh single released as part of The Hit Parade series in 1992. If you’re not aware, The Wedding Present put out a single a month for each of the twelve months. It gave the band several chart appearances including this one with its one week visit to 23 in the pop charts.

Opinion will vary as to the quality of all the records in this run but personally I think they hold up really well as the band were really firing on all cylinders at this point. Behind the scenes founding member Keith Gregory was on the verge of departing whilst the band continued with their eclectic run of  cover songs on the B-sides. Here, we have the theme tune from quaint sci-fi curio UFO which fits with the A-side: a song that borrows somewhat from the quirky and ‘of its time’ 50’s movie but deviates into bizarre realms of fictional spiders and  the nature of beauty. David swears he wasn’t on anything when he wrote this.

I loved the energy and ferocity of this song. Shouting along with the choruses is a joyous thing. It may all mean nothing at all but sometimes that’s all you need.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

I assume this has a lot to do with the 1958 Zsa Zsa Gabor film.

DLG: No, not really! I actually didn’t see the film until ten years after the song was written. I just came across the title in an article about 1950s sci-fi films and loved it… but I added a ‘The’.

Do you like all those schlocky sci-fi B-movies?

DLG: I always think I’ll like them… mainly because of the titles… or the DVD sleeves or whatever… but then I’m almost always bored after half an hour. Having said that, I thought ‘Queen Of Outer Space’ was an entertaining one although it’s, erm, full of pre-feminist dialogue! It’s set in 1985, by the way…

The lyrics are quite surreal in places and not related to the film directly, where did they come from?

DLG: It’s just a playful love song, really, into which I’ve just thrown some dreamlike imagery based on my fondness for science fiction and comic book culture. When Keith Gregory [bass; The Wedding Present, 1985-1993] heard it he asked me if it was a song about drugs!

Maybe related to the above question, this was the eleventh song in the 1992 Hit Parade series. By that point you were writing songs not that far in advance on recording them? How was that?

DLG: None of the Hit Parade songs were written that far in advance. We began the project late in 1991 and wrote and recorded the songs in four batches of three… give or take. The first three singles were actually recorded in October, 1991. So each song was written maybe only three or four months in advance of its release. It was certainly an interesting way of writing… obviously songwriters don’t usually work to a deadline like that… and I found it quite stressful at times. But we had this rule that if we ever felt the quality was suffering because of our need to keep to the schedule we would just abort the series. I’m happy that all the A-sides did keep to our high standard in the end but I was also glad when the project was completed!

Any thoughts on the song in general?

DLG: It’s a rocker! The verse is quiet and restrained compared to the choruses and instrumental section so there’s an exciting dynamic. I think Brian Paulson’s production really heightens the drama…

It’s quite a fun song live, do you like playing it (and shouting the choruses)?

DLG: Yes… I do. It’s one of the only times I ever play a guitar solo because I usually don’t like them and I’m also not very good at them. Having said that, the first 24 notes of my solo are actually the same note.

In the video you are wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt. Are you a big fan? I’m guessing you might be an Alan Scott fan.

DLG: Alan Scott was the ‘first’ Green Lantern, right? I don’t think I’ve ever read any of those stories… though I know DC brought him back for later comics. I did love the Hal Jordan ‘re-invention’, though, yeah… I thought it was an unusual character.

Official Lyrics:

She’s a mixed up girl from a different world
She’s come, come, come, come to a yellow sun
When she began she was a man
Go, go, go, go like a dynamo

She’s my colonel spider
You know, she’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her

She doesn’t need air; she can breathe anywhere
Come, come, come, come and you can have some
We like to chase through outer space
Go, go, go, go you know

She’s my colonel spider
She’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her

She’s my colonel spider
You know, she’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her
I feel wonderful beside her

Written by Gedge and published by SM Publishing [UK] Limited.

Studio Versions:

1 – Single version released 02/11/1992 TIME: 2:59

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Brian Paulson (producer) and  (engineer)

2 – The Hit Parade 2 (session version) released 04/01/1993 TIME: 2:50

Recorded 17/10/1992; First broadcast 02/11/1992 on Mark Goodier Show, BBC Radio 1
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington  (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums); Paul Long (producer) and Dave McCarthy (engineer)

Live Versions:

1 – The Complete Peel Sessions released 26/03/2007 TIME: 2:40

Recorded at The Phoenix Festival 14/07/1995; First broadcast 15/07/1995 on John Peel Show, BBC Radio 1
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington  (guitar); Darren Belk (bass); Simon Smith and Hugh Kelly Jnr (drums)

2 – Live 1992 released 2013 [TONE CD 049] Disc One – TIME: 3:01

Recorded 30/10/1992 at Paard, Den Haag
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Joe Hickey (live sound mix); Andy Pearce (re-mastered)

3 – Live 1992 released 2013 [TONE CD 049] Disc Two – TIME: 2:58

Recorded 12/12/1992 at Brixton Academy, London
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Joe Hickey (live sound mix); Andy Pearce (re-mastered)

Video Versions:

1 – Dick York’s Wardrobe – The Hit Parade videos

2 – The Hit Parade Edsel records re-release from 2014 [EDSJ 9007] TIME: 3:01

Live Acoustic version recorded in Hove, East Sussex; performed by David Gedge and Katherine Wallinger

 

The Queen of Outer Space
The Queen of Outer Space

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Live:

The Queen of Outer Space was played fairly regularly from its debut in 1992 through to the hiatus in 1997. As well as the re-releases mentioned above, it featured on several of the official cassette bootlegs such as #12 (28/10/1993, Windsor), #13 (16/12/1994, Strasbourg) and #15 (22/11/1995, Portsmouth). It also returned straight to the setlist when the band reformed for the tour of 2005 and was again played around 2010 and of course whenever the band played the whole of the Hit Parade in 2012/3.

Video:

Here’s the official video from 1992.

Take Me!

In late 1988 as The Wedding Present toured with some new songs that would become familiar on Bizarro, there was one oddity. Up until now their songs had lasted between three and four minutes. When Take Me, I’m Yours (as it was originally known before being changed as David Gedge kept getting told about the Squeeze track of the same name) was aired it was a seven to eight minute epic. Not only was the length impressive but the fact that it isn’t a ballad, is. For the majority of its life, it is played at the usual breakneck speed so all four musicians were physically shattered  after playing it. Why they put themselves through this torture for art, who knows?!

This was a lyric that made me feel gooey inside. I loved the personal little touches like “orange slices and that Fall lp”. The Fall are a bit of a love of David’s and other than the cover of Jumper Clown and the occasional impersonation on tracks like Sucker, this is the only actual direct reference. “Orange Slices’ of course became the name of a major TWP/Cinerama fanzine created by Darren Bugg which your author today wrote many articles for.  The line “And when someone brings up your name/I can feel myself begin to change” is such an apposite description of the frisson when you fancy someone that it just can’t be bettered.  I never liked the line about washing hair on alternate days though – who doesn’t wash their hair every day? The other most swoonsome line is “And oh that feeling/When your hand returns to mine”. I know girls won’t believe this but some boys really like holding hands too.

After the refrain of “you get lovelier every day” we enter an instrumental section which is just delirious to listen to, especially live. Back in 1988, this used to end the set before the encore. Yes, you heard me right, The Wedding Present used to do encores no matter what Mr Gedge might like to pretend to you now. ;) By the time it arrived on Bizarro it was over nine minutes long and sometimes at gigs has gone beyond that. It is the longest song they’ve created and therefore remains for many, their magnificent octopus.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

Infamously, it was originally called ‘Take Me, I’m Yours’ but you were reminded of the Squeeze song and so changed it.

DLG: Ha, yes… you know, I had totally forgotten about that Squeeze song when I was writing this, which is a bit embarrassing, really. Then afterwards I thought, well, it’s too late now… and does it matter if my song has the same title, anyway? Finally, however, when we came to record it for Bizarro I decided that it did matter and retitled it.

Any alternate versions that never saw the light of day? This could be lyrically or musically. Some versions have it as “Guess I might as well stay out here” rather than “Think I might as well stay out here”

DLG: I don’t ever consider my lyrics as being set in stone, to be honest. I see the songs as living things, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious! Sometimes I change words because I feel they can be improved. But other times I’ve probably just remembered them incorrectly!

What do you feel about it now? Do you like playing it live? Was it always planned to have a 6+ minute instrumental coda? The Bizarro version is 9:14 minutes but the live versions seem to vary from 4:30 to 9.

DLG: Yes, we’d always planned to have the long outro. I love the interplay between the guitars and the bass and the ‘big’ guitar tune that comes in just before three and a half minutes and returns later. I think there’s so much going on melodically that, even though it’s just three chords, it doesn’t get boring.

I think we were revisiting the idea we’d had previously on ‘This Boy Can Wait’ but with the notion of doing it… better. Occasionally, depending on which live set we’re playing, some shortening may be appropriate, yes.

What made you make this song so long?

DLG: One of my favourite ever pieces of recorded music is the live version of What Goes On? from The Velvet Underground’s Live 1969 album and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that that song was influential in the making of this one!

Do some people balk at the length when playing it live? It’s always been a massive live favourite but is this offset by the any ‘pain’ at playing it?

DLG: Not really… I mean, I think initially it can seem a little daunting… but I find that band-members are usually very keen to rise to the challenge. It can be especially tough on drummers, though. I remember when we were rehearsing for the Bizarro tour in Los Angeles, Charles Layton [drums; The Wedding Present, 2005 onwards] made us turn the air conditioning off so that we could experience proper hot and sweaty ‘concert’ conditions! That was a very good idea actually; rehearsing this song is a bit like training for a sporting event.

Is there anything you would change about the song now?

I’m not too keen on the little scream I do after the final chorus, ha, ha. And sometimes I think that the ‘Status Quo’ section is a bit silly… but then it works well as a respite before ‘the onslaught’ returns. And I suppose I quite like the fact that it’s a little tribute to a band who I loved when I was in my early teens! In recent years we’ve used that ‘Status Quo’ section as a chance to ‘take it down’ – as they say in the rock ‘n’ roll game – which allows the song to re-build better and heightens the impact of the following bit even more than it does on the recording.

As with so many other songs from this period, it has so many extremely personal touches of angst in the lyrics. How much is exact truth and how much was made up? For example a line like “Orange slices and that Fall LP” must be based on a real moment – how does that resonate today? Funny that Orange Slices was used by Darren Bugg as the name of the fanzine from the late 90s/early 00s. Was there a specific Fall album that this referred to?

DLG: I can’t remember which Fall album it was… but, yes, I do like throwing in bits of real life into the lyric from time to time… I think it makes a song more ‘real’. Orange Slices was a great name for Darren’s fanzine… and one I would never have thought of.

What was the book you were competing with? You keep asking her to put ’that’ down.  

DLG: No specific book that I can recall. I think I just put that in there as way of explaining that I felt ‘the object of my desires’ was being too… intellectual… about everything and that they should just throw caution to winds and run away with me!

Some of the lyrics combined with the vocal melodies in this song are just bliss. Lines like “It’s like a panic and a rushing sound in my head”, “And, oh, that feeling when your hand returns to mine” and “Can’t you kiss me once properly? Well of course I mean it” are all so full of bursting emotions that it’s hard to write about them objectively. Do those lines still make you feel how you felt when you wrote them?

DLG: Yes, it’s easy for me to recapture those feelings of desire and panic. They’re common emotions, aren’t they? I remember Peter Solowka [guitar; The Wedding Present, 1985-1991] thought I was singing about a ‘Russian’ sound in my head… or so he claimed at the time.

‘Take Me!’ is slightly unusual from this era in that it’s an out and out love song with absolutely no dark or negative connotations. When you write about the joyous moments of love and lust you seem to capture the perfect moments. Do you think about this sort of romantic perfection a lot? The final lines about “Warm hands and the things you say” is such a beautiful final image.

DLG: I think about every aspect of my writing a lot… that’s why it takes me so long!

Official Lyrics

I’ve spent all day trying to decide about the things that you said last night
Did they mean nothing or were they filled with hidden clues?
And can you really have stayed till three?
Orange slices and that Fall LP

I feel so lonely when I get back from seeing you
And when someone brings up your name I can feel myself begin to change
It’s like a panic and a rushing sound in my head
A huge weight pressing on my chest
And now I spend hours trying to look my best
But I still meet you the day before I wash my hair

Oh won’t you put that down and take me, I’m yours?
When will we have this chance again?
Oh, please just put that down and take me, I’m yours
We might never have this chance again

That must’ve been a knowing look, oh, when you moved to pass your friend his book
And, oh, that feeling, when your hand returns to mine
I think I might as well stay out here, oh but, can’t you kiss me just once properly?
Well of course I mean it!
I think about you all the time

Oh won’t you put that down and take me, I’m yours?
When will we have this chance again?
Oh, please just put that down and take me, I’m yours
We might never have romance again

Warm hands and the things you say
You get lovelier every day
Warm hands and the things you say
You get lovelier every day

Written and published by Gedge, whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV.

Studio Versions:

1 – The Complete Peel Sessions recorded as Take Me, I’m Yours! 24/05/1988; broadcast 30/05/1988 TIME: 8:06

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass);  Simon Smith (drums); Dale Griffin (producer) and Mike Robinson (engineer)

2 – Bizarro version recorded 1989  TIME: 9:21

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Chris Allison (producer) and Steve Lyon (engineer)

Live Versions:

1 – Live 1988 Disc 2 (Valencia)  TIME: 7:26

2 – Live in Leeds 2010 TIME: 6:25

3 – Live in Tokyo 2010 TIME: 9:14

220px-TWPBizarro
Bizarro
Complete Peel Sessions
Complete Peel Sessions

Live-1988-sleeveThe+Wedding+Present+-+Bizarro-+Live+In+Tokyo+2010+-+Sealed+-+CD+ALBUM-55095051N+ZPLXP4L._SL500_AA280_

Live:

Played a lot from 1988 to 1991 and was often the final song before the encore!  Was resurrected in 2006/07 and of course was part of the Bizarro gigs in 2010 onwards.

Video:

No official video so here’s a live version from 2010.

Don’t Talk, Just Kiss

It was February of 1990 and things were about to change. The Wedding Present had recently come out of the studio with renowned engineer (not producer!) Steve Albini, he of Pixies, Nirvana, Black Flag etc. fame. According to David Gedge at the time, he might finally be able to reproduce the ferocious sound that the Leeds-based band had so far not been able to capture on record. The Brassneck EP [RCA ‎– PT43404] was the first result of that collaboration and it was a blessing from the gods. Four tracks of blistering and powerful guitars including the finest song ever recorded in the title track. Nestled comfortably on that EP was Don’t Talk, Just Kiss, a song of yearning and lust.

The protagonist is pleading with the girl to forget her boyfriend (“He’s probably not even there”). There’s a desperation inherent in the lyrics familiar to many a young male. Nothing is more important than this moment even if it involves cheating and infidelity. “Don’t talk, just kiss”: so simple and yet words that resound with anyone who has ever been drawn to someone they can’t or shouldn’t have.

The most striking thing about this song however and something that really comes across live is the tempo change between the verses and the choruses. Twice, the verse leads into a ferocious storm of guitar as the drums double up in speed and lead into the “If you’re worried he’s so near” segment. At a gig, this has always led to an uncontrollable amount of moshing, such is the excitement that this combination of speed and rhythm and noise create.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

Do you have any memories of how the idea first came to you?

DLG: I have a vague memory that “Don’t Talk, Just Kiss!” was the title of a novel I saw in a bookshop once and the idea of how lust can be so powerful that it can overcome the need for conversation immediately appealed to me!

Any general thoughts on the song now and whether you like playing it live?

DLG:  It’s an exciting song to play live, primarily because the fast bit is so frantic. Charles Layton [drums; The Wedding Present, 2005 onwards] agrees and adds: “I love playing this song live. It has a great driving and punky feel to it… from the two thumping drum hits at the beginning to the guitar driven verse and then the double time chorus. The bass intro back to second verse is a nice touch, too. An early precursor to Corduroy, I feel!”

Is there anything you would change about the song now?

DLG: From a boring technical point of view I think it should be in a slightly higher key because the vocal is right at the bottom of my range. The only other annoying thing is that the pop group Right Said Fred released a single the year after we released “Don’t Talk, Just Kiss” with exactly the same title… and theirs went to Number 3 in the British charts!

I remember hearing this song live for the first time. It was ferocious and hasn’t let up since. Do you deliberately play it as aggressively as possible knowing it will generate a massive physical response?

DLG: It’s not played like that just to generate a response, no… it’s just that a certain amount of aggression is required for the playing of some Wedding Present songs… and this definitely falls into that category!

Did a specific incident lead to this song? Some of the lines seem so spot-on that I can’t imagine any of it being ‘made-up’. Lines about missing trains and waking up “near you” put this in the sometimes-rare category of ‘Romantic Songs’. Do you find it as easy to write such happy, thrilling lyrics as this compared to the more painful, angst-ridden ones?

DLG: I find it difficult to write any kind of lyric, to be honest, which is why I spend a long time doing them. If an incident in a song hasn’t happened to me directly I’m usually writing from the point of view of… if this had happened to me, what would I think? What would I say? What would I do? Etc. In this case I wanted the lyric to match the urgency and impatience of the fast section.

At the time it felt wasted as a b-side. I remember people thinking it should be a single before it appeared on the Brassneck EP. Any thoughts to it being an a-side?

DLG:  I think that any song that reaches a standard high enough for us to consider recording has the potential of becoming a single. I guess we just thought Brassneck was the more appropriate song for the A-side on this occasion.

The tempo change for the chorus was a first for you I think. Any idea what inspired that?

DLG:  When we are arranging a tune we will try countless different ways of playing it until something clicks. That kind of tempo change technique only suits certain songs, though… so we don’t use it that often. But it when it does work it can really enhance an arrangement.

Official Lyrics:

He didn’t see me
He sort of looked uneasy but I’m sure he didn’t guess
Oh, he’s never liked me
And, yes, OK… it might be a bit better if you left
Oh, was it me who said that?
No please, come straight back
You’ve got to stay with me somehow
Well, say you missed your train
What have you got to gain by leaving here right now?

If you’re worried he’s so near you might as well go back
You were never here, oh, why would I say that?
Look, everybody lies about this
Don’t talk, just kiss!

If you’re worried he’s so near you might as well go back
You were never here, oh, why would I say that?
Look, everybody lies about this
Don’t talk, just kiss!

I want to wake up near you
Oh, yes, of course I hear you but you’re just off back to row
Well, put yourself above him
Look… if you really loved him I don’t think you’d be here now
Oh, come on, what do you care?
He’s probably not even there
Oh, yes, I’m sure he’d sit and wait|
It’s just whenever you touch…
Oh, God, I want you so much
And you can’t say it’s too late

If you’re worried he’s so near you might as well go back
You were never here, oh, why would I say that?|
Look, everybody lies about this
Don’t talk, just kiss!

If you’re worried he’s so near you might as well go back
You were never here, oh, why would I say that?
Look, everybody lies about this
Don’t talk, just kiss!

Don’t talk, just kiss
Don’t talk, just kiss
Don’t talk, just kiss
Don’t talk, just kiss

Written and published by Gedge. Gedge’s publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Music International.

Studio Versions:

1 – Brassneck EP version  released 05/02/1990  [RCA PT43404] TIME: 3:16

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Peter Solowka (guitar); Keith Gregory (bass) and Simon Smith (drums) Engineer: Steve Albini;  Mastered by: Miles Showell

Live Versions:

1 – Shepherd’s Bush Welcomes released 2007 [SECRET RECORDINGS CRIDEBI] TIME: 3:26

Recorded 20/11/2005 at Shepherds Bush Empire, London
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); Simon Pearson (drums) Mixed & mastered: Roger Lomas; Live Sound Mixed: Christopher McConville

2008-03-04_brass

Shepherd's Bush Welcomes

Live:

Played regularly from 1989 to 1991 and then on and off since the reformation in 2005. In 1989, it often opened the shows such was its popularity.
It was finally officially released as a live version in 2007 on the Shepherds Bush Welcomes cd [Secret Records Limited ‎– CRIDE81] plus there’s the appearance on the video Spunk which combined live performances with promo videos (See below).

Video: 

From Spunk: