JC’s recent Wedding Present post inspired me to dig back into my records and very quickly an ICA started forming in my head. I was shocked to discover there’s only one ICA on the site (#7 to be precise, way way back in 2015!). My experience was very different from the one described there (go back, it’s worth the read). This came to me mostly fully formed in a few minutes. If you’ll indulge me… I will explain.

The Wedding Present was the first band that I considered mine. I’m an 80s kid and thanks to a very cool older sister I grew up immersed in all the good stuff (Cure, Smiths, Joy Division, etc.). Those bands were big enough and had been around long enough that I was jumping on someone else’s train 😉. When the aforementioned cool sis did her year abroad she left her records at home and I spent those months sampling everything. When I stumbled on her copy of This Boy Can Wait, I formed an instant connection.

At first I was completely taken by the jangly guitar. The opening lic is still one of my all time favorites. If you are unfortunate enough to be around me in the presence of a guitar you will eventually hear it. This is the first experience I can remember of being into a band at their inception. We were very fortunate to have a Tower Records in town with good music nerds keeping it well stocked with imports. I still remember buying my copy of George Best and putting it on for the 1st time. The guitars seemed impossible! The stories were tragic! From that day on I followed Gedge in all his forms, seeing the band every time they came to town (which in those days was a lot). However, unlike most bands I was into, most of my friends either didn’t like it, didn’t care, or were outright annoyed when I would foist it upon them. So the WP remained my own for decades. There was a brief moment during Seamonsters when they bubbled to the surface. One of the DJs on the local commercial station even let slip once that he was a fan. That was fun.

All this is to say those records are in my DNA. While I love love love the big songs and the singles, over the years I have found that my regular catalog dives start with the other stuff. Gedge is a master of the 3min pop song, and can turn a heartbreaking phrase like few others. But this ICA is full of songs where he breaks that mold. Maybe that’s why they stick out of the pack for me. It certainly explains why there’s zero overlap with the first ICA (which is excellent, BTW). If that’s the main comp, think of this as the limited edition bonus disc.

Side A

  1. This Boy Can Wait  (This Boy Can Wait 12” Single)Dance with the one which brought ya. The opening crashes the party, and makes sure you know it. He even gets the girl! But the end implies it’s not that simple (it never is). “Tonight, when I hold you in my arms And I prove that I’m a man Oh well I hope you understand.”

  2. Crawl  (Corduroy 12” Single)This is the 1st song that came up when I started thinking of an ICA. Gedge breaks the ABABCB structure to deliver 4 verses, building to a crashing chorus that only happens once. Is it a chorus, an outro, a bridge to nowhere? Don’t know, don’t care, it works!

  3. I’m Not Always So Stupid  (Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm 12” Single)Making simple songs like this is so much harder than it seems. Somehow Gedge always makes it sound so effortless. The lead jangle bit is one of my all-time faves. “You’ve changed your number, and my phonebook’s such a mess.”

  4. One Day All This Will Be Yours  (Kennedy 12” Single)As far as I can remember, there’s nothing like this in the entire catalog. It opens with a drumroll that sounds like it’s gonna be an intro, but ends up driving almost the entire song. The moment when it clears out for a brief “normal” bit pays off beautifully.

  5. Sports Car  (Mini) After so many songs about being burnt, this totally unapologetic take from the other guy stuck out to me. I also just love the way the song is structured in 3 scenes; sneaking around to screw it let’s go to what seems like a very nice drive in the countryside :).

Side B

  1. Suck (Seamonsters)Seamonsters is an aptly named monster of an album, but of all the songs this one sticks with me the most. I think it all comes down to that transition from verse to chorus. So much fun to sing along with in the car (sorrynotsorry, people staring at me at the stoplight).

  2. Montreal (Montreal 7” single)At the time I had no idea the wonders in store, but listening back now it seems obvious that it’s a proto-Cinerama track. It was nice to see David trying something new and nailing it. All that said, it’s the complexity of the underlying narrative that keeps me coming back. Our little Gedgie feels so grown up here.

  3. Bewitched  (Bizzaro)Bizzaro is my favorite WP album, due to some really big indulgent swings that pay off beautifully. Who among us hasn’t punched the air 4 beats early to this one.

  4. Shatner (George Best)That opening guitar! Maybe the most perfect distillation of the Solowka era. Also the contrast of the joyous music and dark narrative: “Look there’s a bruise I didn’t see.”

  5. Spangle (Watusi)Gedge’s bread and butter theme, delivered in the most heartbreaking fashion possible. I often wonder if the full band version was intended to be on Watusi, with this little experiment as a b-side somewhere.

I did it! I kept it to 10! Here’s a mix. Even with Bewitched in there it still comes in at a svelte 35min.

Wedding Present ICA

As I mentioned before this mix spring pretty much fully formed from my head in less than an hour. Here’s a list of honorable mentions. Every time I would try to fit one of these in the list I just could bring myself to dump anything.

  • Unfaithful (John Peel Sessions 1987-1990)

  • Fleshworld (Lovenest 12″ single)

  • Happy Birthday (John Peel Sessions 1987-1990)

  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (Come Play With Me 7″ single)

  • Loveslave (Loveslave 7″ single)

  • Nothing Comes Easy (Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm 12″ single)

  • Gone (Brassneck 12″ single)

  • It’s Not Unusual (Kennedy 12″ single)

  • No Christmas (No Christmas 7″ single)

P.S. I wanna give a special shout out to No Christmas. I was not too excited upon its release but it has grown to be a favorite over the years. Listening back now it sure does feel like early postrock. I had to look it up, but it appears to have been released a full 5 years before Mogwai blew everyone away with Like Herod. Maybe if it had been 10+ minutes it would be remembered differently? One things for sure, it’s a song I can’t play with anyone else in the car. Some things never change 😀.



  1. Brilliant selections, and well done on completing a
    challenging task. Decided, after several years of
    ruminating, that for me Crawl is the best TWP song,
    so was thrilled to find it here (and to see Gone almost
    making it too).

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