The Wedding Present recorded an awful lot of sessions for the John Peel Show, and indeed for many other BBC radio programmes.

It was often the case that they took the opportunity to unveil new songs which wouldn’t be released for weeks or even months. On the 28th October 1990 they played four songs which would be part of the Seamonsters LP that came out in May 1991, more than six months later.

I remember hearing something that night and just thinking how loud it was – loud as in just a total wall of noise. It was not the sort of sound I normally associated with the band.

It took until the release of the Peel Session box set in 2007 before I could relive those moments from all those years ago. Of the near 100 bits of music spread across the six discs, this was the first I played..I felt like a kid on Xmas Day getting the present they’ve been dreaming about for what seems like forever:-

mp3 :  The Wedding Present – Dalliance (Peel Session)

Give it a listen. The noise that so startled me back in 1990 comes in at the 2 minute 21 seconds mark. It is just after the Boy David has poured his heart out – again – and said “after all you’ve done, that I’m so…I still want to kiss you.”


Dalliance is one of the greatest ever songs about the feeling of total and utter despair from being strung along and let down at the very last moment. It’s a song I always imagined could be turned into a real tear-jerker by the original Tindersticks line-up if they had taken hold of the song and given it an arrangement with strings and keyboards.

The Peel version is shorter than that which was released on the LP – partly because it was played faster. I’m not sure if the band, having listened to the results of the Peel Session decided a change of pace was required. It makes the Seamonsters version even more intense….the wall of noise maybe doesn’t quite have the same impact, but it then seems to build and build and build in a way that doesn’t happen on the Peel version.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dalliance

Oh and let’s not forget the live version in concert for French radio.  It lets you hear just good this band were and continue to be on stage:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dalliance (Black Sessions)

Simply thrilling honeys.

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