I don’t really like posting up links to songs that are relatively new – and by that I tend to think of as having been released in the previous 12 months – but for this occasional and temporary series, I’m going to make exceptions on the grounds that the mp3s will be low-res and if anyone giving them a listen happens to like then, then there’s every possibility that they will go out of their way to make a purchase.

If, like me, you’re already beginning to think of some items to put on a list for Santa to leave in your stocking on the morning of 25 December, then I’ll be offering up a few suggestions for your consideration, consisting of albums that have been released during 2021.  Oh, and it’s a series that I really want to open to guest contributors who themselves might have some brilliant ideas.

You really shouldn’t be all that surprised to find that The Wedding Present are first up.

It was back in February that Locked Down And Stripped Back was made available.

It’s an album recorded during lock-down in the summer of 2020, with each band member playing, and indeed, filming their parts at home under the restrictions in place at the time.  David Gedge has said that the recording process was far from easy, but ultimately proved to be rewarding.

The album consists of 12 tracks, of which ten are re-recordings of classic Wedding Present tracks of old, along with two completely new songs.  The project began with long time band member Terry De Castro heavily involved, sending her guitar contributions over from her Los Angeles home, before everyone reluctantly accepted how particularly difficult it was to co-ordinate and arrange.  David Gedge then asked an old friend, Jon Stewart, formerly of Sleeper, to come on board.   The finished album has four songs on which Terry plays and eight which feature Jon.

More than that, however, is that Jon Stewart has got involved in the songwriting process, with one of the new songs, You’re Just A Habit That I’m Trying To Break, being credited to Gedge/Stewart/Howard/Hardwick, with Melanie Howard being the bassist/keyboardist/vocalist throughout the project, and Chris Hardwick being the drummer.

The other new song is credited to Wener/MacLure/Stewart.  In other words, it’s a song written by Sleeper, one which was fairly new, being included on This Time Tomorrow, an album released in December 2020.

mp3: The Wedding Present – We Should Be Together

And yup, Louise Wener has come on board for a guest co-vocal, and in doing so, helped to create one of my favourite musical moments of recent years.  This is pop, and perfect pop at that.

As if having the opportunity to hear some wonderful new versions of songs such as A Million Miles, California, Blonde, Crawl, You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends and My Favourite Dress wasn’t a good enough reason to want to pick up a copy of Locked Down And Stripped Back, then surely having the ability to put the needle into the groove of We Should Be Together should be the clincher.

Interestingly, The Wedding Present are not, currently, offering the album via their own website, and instead are encouraging would-be purchasers to do so from a local record shop.

You know the script……………………….



It was back on 22 December 2020 that Middle-Aged Man, in offering up praise for JTFL‘s ICA of opening tracks by Elvis Costello, thought out loud and suggested he was struggling to think of any artists/bands that have released over 10 albums where the first tracks are worthy of inclusion in an ICA.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I offer up the thought that David Gedge, through The Wedding Present and Cinerama, has done so.  And this is without including compilation albums…..


1) Dalliance (Seamonsters, 1991)
2) Maniac (Va Va Voom, 1998)
3) Brassneck (Bizarro, 1989)
4) You’re Dead (Valentina, 2012)
5) 146 Degrees (Disco Valente, 2000)


1) On Ramp/Interstate 5 (Take Fountain, 2005)
2) And When She Was Bad (Torino, 2002)
3) Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (George Best, 1987)
4) Venus (Saturnalia, 1996)
5) Santa Ana Winds (El Rey, 2008)


David Gedge’s ICA from Opening Tracks: Side A (22:45)
David Gedge’s ICA from Opening Tracks: Side B (22:46)


Play loud and blow away those Monday morning cobwebs.

mp3: The Wedding Present – Kennedy

It entered the Top 40 at #34 on 7 October 1989.   One week later it had rocketed up to #33. It was the first time The Wedding Present cracked the higher(ish) end of the charts as the previous two singles, Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm and Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? had stalled in the 40s.

It was their first single on a major label and it probably did more than anything else up to this point in time to being the band to the attention of a wider audience.  It was certainly the first record of theirs that I ever bought.

In 2015, David Gedge, having been told by an on-line interviewer that Kennedy had been one of the defining songs of the decade, was asked if was dearth/death of the American Dream? Here’s his full answer:-

I’m not really one for explaining my lyrics. That’s usually because they’re so obvious but ‘Kennedy’ is different from my usual style. It’s a lot more vague, for one thing. I wrote it after reading about the Kennedy assassination and the theories about mafia and CIA involvement… so draw your own conclusions!

Three tracks on the b-side of the 12″ – these have also been ripped at 320kpbs.  The middle of them is particularly good, while the last of them is a cover, one of a substantial number that Gedge has recorded over the years, either with TWP or under the banner of Cinerama.

mp3: The Wedding Present – One Day This Will All Be Yours
mp3: The Wedding Present – Unfaithful
mp3: The Wedding Present – It’s Not Unusual

And remember, I’m more than happy to take requests and/or guest postings for this series.



This posting has been in the pipeline for a while and I ended up pushing it back a couple of weeks as it makes for a neat postscript to Steve’s guest post on The Graveyard Shift.

I think it is fair to say that Marc Riley‘s departure from The Fall, and his subsequent success as a performer and broadcaster, got under the skin of Mark E Smith.

These are the words of Riley, in an interview given to an on-line publication back in 2013:-

And I think part and parcel of it is that if anyone left The Fall he wanted them to sink without trace, as if to say, ‘Without me they’re nothing.’ His contempt for musicians is well known….

So what rankled Mark more and more was that I just wouldn’t go away, even to the extent that one day he was driving to the train station and there was a massive billboard with Mark Radcliffe and I on it… it probably made him want to drive his car straight into the canal, because there’s this bloke from his past who just won’t go away. But I’m not a thorn in his side, he’s got a lot going on in his life, and he’s a very clever bloke, but he does say things for effect. But me and him had ding dongs in the press, and it was just so childish it was untrue, and we wrote songs about each other. I wrote ‘Jumper Clown’ and he wrote ‘Hey Marc Riley’ and ‘C.R.E.E.P.’, and so on. It was daft, really.

Jumper Clown was the second 45 to be released by Marc Riley after he left The Fall. It came out in 1983 and the tune, or a version of it, had originally been part of the setlists of live gigs by his old band in 1979. It was an untitled instrumental and the band never got round to recording a studio version. His version was recorded with a group of mates who would later become known as The Creepers, with the title very much aimed at Smith’s consistently disheveled appearance (this was all prior to Brix appearing on the scene and smartening him up)

mp3: Marc Riley – Jumper Clown

Hey! Marc Riley was another song that The Fall would incorporate into their live sets in 1984/85 but again, it wouldn’t be one that would ever seemingly have been recorded in the studio. It would take until 2007 before anything other than bootleg copies were available, thanks to a live version, recorded at Oskars’ Cornhusker, Azusa, California on 23 May 1985, was included in a Box Set.

Four years later, an omnibus edition of This Nation’s Saving Grace which also included rough mixes, outtakes and other newly discovered recordings from the era, offered up two versions of a song whose title had been shortened

mp3: The Fall – Ma Riley (rough mix)
mp3: The Fall – Ma Riley

It has since been revealed that the studio version, which was produced by John Leckie, had been considered as a possible b-side to Cruiser’s Creek.

The Wedding Present offered up a kind of surf/TWP hybrid of The Creepers song as a b-side to It’s A Gas, released in 1994

mp3: The Wedding Present – Jumper Clown



It was turning into a dull and routine Friday at work in mid-November, counting down the hours till the freedom of the weekend arrived, when this text from Aldo flashed up on the phone:-

“You going to the Weddoes tonight? Only just noticed they were playing.”

I too, hadn’t picked up they were in town, despite the fact it had been included within a couple of previous e-mails sent out to everybody of the TWP/Cinerama mailing lists. Luckily, there were a small number of tickets still available and six hours later, along with Mrs Villain, the three of us made our way inside The Classic Grand, a former porn cinema long ago converted into a music venue.

The band were on tour for the 30th anniversary of Bizarro and the promise was that the songs from that album would be aired alongside some other old favourities and a few new songs. The venue was mobbed….Aldo at the age of 39 was within the 3% minority of those aged under 45. I caught up with a few old friends who I had an inkling would be there, including Robert and Carlo from the Simply Thrilled Team, and Drew from Across the Kitchen Table fame, who was there with his other half, L.

You only need to take a glance at the set-list to see the sort of night we were treated to:-

Don’t Give Up Without a Fight
Click Click
Don’t Touch That Dial
Deer Caught in the Headlights
A Song From Under the Floorboards
What Have I Said Now?
Be Honest
Take Me!

California was a lovely way to open the night, but the place truly erupted with the opening notes of the song which opens Bizarro:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Brassneck

It is still hard to believe that the band weren’t entirely happy with the way the song had turned out after their initial stint in the studio, but then again, as I’ve only recently discovered from reading published and on-line material, the band were, certainly in the early days, just about consistently critical of the recorded versions of their songs, taking the view that they lacked a certain energy or excitement in comparison to how they were played live.

Kennedy had been the only single lifted from the album and while it had taken the band into the Top 40, its peak of #33 had been a bit disappointing to RCA, the major label to which the band had recently signed. There was always a wish to have a second single but the band persuaded all concerned that everyone’s interests would be better served if they could go back into the studio and have another go at Brassneck, this time with the irrepressible Steve Albini in the producer’s chair (albeit his preference is to be referred to as the audio engineer).

He trimmed down the track by about thirty seconds while beefing up, (to put it mildly), the arrangement with a few of his specialities including what many have referred to as the sound of a distressed beached whale during an instrumental break (something he would make huge use of later on when he worked with the band on Seamonsters (1991).

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Brassneck (single version)

This one went Top 30… improvement on last time out but still a bit too low for the liking of the bosses. The continued failure of the band to really make a dent in the charts led to the situation in 1992 when the band released a single on the first Monday of each month, only to have it deleted within a matter of days, meaning there would be enough sales to propel the 45 into the charts for one week only – it was something of a mixed success but it did lead to Come Play With Me giving them their one and only Top 10 success in May 1992.

The relative success of Brassneck did, however, provide the band their first ever appearance on Top of The Pops. It wasn’t the most memorable of performances, explained in later years by David Gedge:-

“I wasn’t pissed off and 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. 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…”

The re-recorded single was released on 7”, 12”, cassette and CD, with another three tracks on offer, all recorded with Albini on engineering duties:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Don’t Talk Just Kiss
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Gone
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Box Elder

The first two are Gedge originals, while the last of them is a cover of an early Pavement song, with all of them featuring heavily over the years in any lists of favourite songs drawn up by TWP fans.

Brassneck itself is one of the best and most enduring numbers the band ever recorded, as epitomised by its reception that evening in Glasgow  – only the cheers after Kennedy and Take Me! were louder, and the latter was mostly to do with it signifying the end of the show as TWP, for those who don’t know, never do encores…..

It’s a song that shouldn’t really be mucked about with, but fair play to Mr Gedge in that he selected it as one that should be given the this treatment for a one-off live set he performed in 2009 with the BBC Big Band. Click here if you dare…..



The Wedding Present released 29 singles and 3 EPs between 1985 and 1997. Today looks back at where it all started and my words below rely very heavily on an interview given by David Gedge to the folk involved with this wonderful piece of the internet

It was 1985 and The Wedding Present were in a position to release a debut single. The choice came down to either Go Out and Get ‘Em Boy or Will You Up There. No worries if you don’t recognise the latter, it never got an official release!

The debut single turned out to be quite unlike almost all that would follow. One of the surprising things is that it was a deliberate effort by David Gedge to compose a political song, in this instance as his response to the Falklands conflict of the early 80s which had already inspired Elvis Costello to compose Shipbuilding. I genuinely had no idea about the intention behind the lyric, even though I had seen the words on paper before, assuming that it was another of the tangled lovelorn songs at which he frontman would become famed for over the ensuing decades. David Gedge does admit that the message is a little unfocussed and it’s an approach to song writing that he soon moved away from.

You were a survivor after all; you never even called!
I didn’t expect you to
Now, oh, there’s such a lot you’ve done and you’re only twenty-one
Yes, you’re only twenty-one

Oh, oh, there’s just something, something I noticed
That there’s a whole world out there but it’s shrinking fast
You want to take it all and make it last forever
Or maybe just a lifetime

Now, oh, you’ve gone to fly the flag from some pinprick on the map
Oh, won’t you ever bring it back?
Tonight, when you hold her in your arms and you prove that you’re a man
Oh, well, I hope she understands

Oh, oh, there’s just something, something I noticed
That there’s a whole world out there but it’s shrinking fast
You want to take it all and make it last forever
Or maybe just a lifetime, maybe just a lifetime

Oh, some things just don’t ever go away
Some things, you know, are just here to stay
And in a golden field there is a little girl left with a union jack
And there’s a price to pay, no matter what you say
There is no going back today

And if we’re worlds apart, then I’ve still got a heart
Can you imagine that?
“Another wasted day”, yes, I can hear you say
But I’m afraid it means much more to me than that

There’s also an admission that the music, with an unusual structure and multiple parts, was a tad on the ambitious side, but the defence being that nobody was sure if the first single would prove to be the last, so everyone involved wanted to pack it full of hooks while having a frantic pace that grabbed the listeners attention.

The single came out on Reception Records on 24 May 1985 (slap bang in the middle of my final exams at university, so I can be excused for not paying attention!). The label had been set-up by the band, solely with the intention of getting the single out there and into the shops. Just 500 copies were pressed, but such was the demand that they soon agreed a deal with City Slang, a new label that had been established by NME writer, Neil Taylor who was an early champion of The Weddoes. The second pressing of the single came with different artwork, the results of which had the band recoiling in horror, and determined not to cede control over such things ever again.

The second pressing also sold out quickly and by now the band were getting aired increasingly by John Peel. Rather than have fans shell out huge sums on the second-hand market or more likely relying on copies recorded to a hissy cassette tape, it was decided that all of the songs that comprised the first two singles should be put on a new EP, via Reception Records, which is why most folk (including myself) who have vinyl cuts of the song have achieved it through the Don’t Try and Stop Me, Mother EP.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Go Out and Get ‘Em Boy!
mp3 : The Wedding Present – (The Moment Before) Everything’s Spoiled Again

I think it’s fair to say that The Weddoes would go on to make better and more polished singles, but as an opener, particularly as it was wholly self-financed, recorded and released, is worthy of being described as cracking.



…..not than any was really needed.

The Wedding Present had signed to RCA in 1989, a move that led to some fans from the earliest days accuse them of selling out and leaving behind their indie roots. The first album for the new label was Bizarro and the first single lifted from it was Kennedy, the track that I have long admitted was the one that introduced me to the band thanks to it being heard in an Edinburgh record shop.

In February 1990, a full four months after Kennedy had dropped out of the charts after a three-week stay, a second single was taken from the parent album. Only it wasn’t……

The new single, Brassneck, was the opening track on Bizarro, but the version which came out as a single was quite different. David Gedge, in an on-line interview with a fan, has explained the rationale:-

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.

The other noticeable thing is a change in the lyric right at the end of the song. It’s only one word, but it is significant in terms of the sentiment of the song. The chorus throughout the album version has ‘I just decided I don’t trust you anymore’ and this is sung four times. On the single, it is only sung three times with the final time now being ‘I just decided I don’t love you anymore.’ David Gedge believed that the alteration added poignancy, and who are we to argue?

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Brassneck (single version)

The 12″ came with three new tracks, two of which were original compositions while the other was a cover of a little-known American band called Pavement. But then again, you already knew that if you read yesterday’s posting:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Box Elder
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Don’t Talk, Just Kiss
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Gone

All four songs remain firm favourites with fans more than quarter-of-a-century on.

Brassneck reached #24 in the singles chart and, outside of the run of singles released in a limited edition each month throughout 1992, remains the highest chart position of any 45 by the band.



I’ve said before that I didn’t really latch on properly to The Wedding Present until I heard Kennedy being played ay high volume in a record shop. But after that, it was enjoyable going back and listening to the earlier material.

I really liked the song Getting Nowhere Fast, one of their previous b-sides on a 12″ single and included on the CD of George Best, and was intrigued when I spotted, from the fact that it wasn’t a David Gedge composition, that it was a cover version. But the names ‘Alan, Evans, Swift, Oldroyd’ meant nothing to me and in the pre-internet days couldn’t readily be looked up.

It was to be some time before I learned that the original had been by a Leeds band called Girls At Our Best, released in 1980. Even when furnished with that information, I was still none the wiser. Eventually I got to hear the original, via someone putting it on a cassette for me, and fell for its charms. By this time however, it was impossible to track down a copy and it would take until the digital age before I got a decent version without any lo-fi hissing.

Girls At Our Best were Judy Evans (vocals), Jez Alan (guitar), Terry Swift (bass) and Chris Oldroyd (drums) and who formed in 1979 out of two other Leeds bands, S.O.S and The Butterflies.

Getting Nowhere Fast was their debut effort, self-financed and released in April 1980 on their own label Record Records following which Rough Trade put out a second single entitled Politics in November 1980. The drummer then left the band just as they signed to Happy Birthday Records for whom there were two singles and an album, Pleasure, in 1981. The band had enough of a following for the album to reach #60 in the charts but I just can’t recall it or them at all.

According to my big book of indie songs, there was a further single in May 1982 entitled Heaven and released on God Records but there’s no listing on Discogs which means it must be very rare indeed. The band split not long after but with interest in them again on the back of the TWP cover, Strange Fruit in May 1987 would release a Peel Sessions EP that had been broadcast in February 1981.

Here’s the two sides of the debut single:-

mp3 : Girls At Our Best – Getting Nowhere Fast
mp3 : Girls At Our Best – Warm Girls

And here’s the cover, originally on the b-side of the 12″ of Anyone Can Make A Mistake:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Getting Nowhere Fast




JC writes….

On the day that so many people will meet up for the first ever time it does somehow seem appropriate to feature a guest contribution from one of the number.

Strangeways, like so many of the blogging fraternity, is someone who prefers to hide his light under a bushel. It takes all sorts of arm-twisting and gentle persuasion to get some words and thoughts out of him and I’m really pleased he has given me something so unusual and perhaps provocative just in time for this special and historic day; a post and concept that might well be worth talking about over the weekend….I think just about everyone coming along is a TWP/Gedge fanatic.

Strangways muses…..

Going, Going... is The Wedding Present‘s new – well, latest (Sep 2016) – LP. And weighing in at twenty tracks, it’s a monster.

For Weddoes nuts, the record delivers some absolutely scorching songs. To these ears, phantoms from both the Seamonsters and Saturnalia albums inhabit a fair chunk of the album and there are some massive, thrilling barrages of ‘go fuck yourself’ guitar throughout.

On that musical side, for the most part, it’s hard to imagine a bigger, noisier landscape than when the ‘loud’ component of the trusted ‘quiet/loud/quiet’ blueprint kicks in (check out Wales, with its remote, staccato first half and, in a happy case of influences returning home, its epic, emotional, sock-knocking British Sea Power-ish second). But that the entire thing opens with four curveballs – a quartet of instrumentals/spoken word tracks (special mention to the elegant and otherworldly Marblehead) – indicates that for at least a time we’re in entirely new territory.

I know of some Weddoes sympathisers – think by-election-only Green Party voters – who have been a bit scared off by the number of tracks and, perhaps, also by rumours of those left-turns that open the record. So if you’ve not heard the LP, here are four tracks to give you a taste.


Elevated by some really terrific female vocals – a welcome thread running through Going, Going… – Bells is a standout. Creeping guitar makes way for one of David Gedge‘s cruellest choruses – and am I finally losing it or is there something of The Cure‘s Lovesong going on in the music?


In another world – perhaps even in the recent past on this planet – Rachel, with its classic, killer chorus, would be the Weddoes’ Losing My Religion or Smells Like Teen Spirit. You know the song, the kind of track that makes it, somehow, beyond the borders of the bedroom and the indie disco. The one that mugs you when you’re buying corn flakes. The one that you fell, hopelessly, in love with.

But that was two months and 15,000 involuntary listens ago.

And now you can’t stand it. Anonymously, you send it foul messages in the post. And it’s compelled you to set up a hate group.

Well, with the demise of the single as ‘an actual thing’, at least that won’t happen this time.


It took a while for Emporia to grab me. But when it did, it didn’t let go. Don’t let the really lovely, David Lynchy opening fool you. This is a song of two halves in the tradition of say Bewitched or Perfect Blue (and like Perfect Blue, I wish the generously long tail-end was even longer).

Santa Monica

The perfect closer. A lengthy fade-in recalls Seamonsters’ Blonde, whilst, underlining the sense of something ending, a pensive fade-out is reminiscent of Mystery Date from predecessor LP Valentina and also 50s, the track that slowly, reluctantly snuffed out the 2006 Saturnalia album.

Santa Monica is tinted, also, by shades of Cinerama‘s Don’t Touch That Dial and the Weddoes’ Octopussy (a fellow LP-swansong). It matches the scale of Dalliance, whilst the trickling, bending guitar work reminds me of one of the band’s most charismatic numbers: Catwoman. Listen out, also, for a line-check from A Million Miles. It’s a poignant thirty-year echo connecting this latest album with the (touring-this-year) debut, George Best.

Going, Going’s… ominous title coupled with its last line may suggest that the game is up. On this evidence, that would be a shame. It’s one thing for a band that’s all out of ideas to call it quits. Quite another when it fires out an LP that can stand alongside the best of a formidable back catalogue.

Imagining Emporia…

Just to overdo things further, I thought it’d be interesting to grab half of the LP tracks and attempt to staple together a traditional ten-track album.

This is kind of an obnoxious thing to do – especially if you’re aware of the idea at the heart of Going Going… – that each track is linked, and that together, they contribute to a bigger story. It’s a bit like chopping up celluloid and gluing the strips into an under-the-counter Viewer’s Cut. Replacing the lovely sleeve (a shot from the thoughtful series of short films the band commissioned)? More blasphemy. And renaming it? Well, that’s just asking for trouble. Therefore, for those piqued enough to muck around with their LP or Spotify, here it is: Emporia – an imaginary version of a real album.


Two Bridges
Little Silver
Broken Bow


Santa Monica

Bonus track: Marblehead because the third season of Twin Peaks is approaching, and this sounds like it could be on the soundtrack.




In 1992, The Wedding Present had set a then record for the number of chart appearances in a calendar year by releasing a new single on the first Monday of each month. As soon as December 1992 was out of the way the band announced that they were parting ways with RCA Records and taking much of 1993 off.

In early 1994 it was revealed that the new label would be Island Records but that original bass player Keith Gregory had left the line-up meaning that David Gedge was now the sole member left from the original line-up. They decamped to the USA to record the new material for the new label with the first release being this 4-track single in September 1994:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Le Bikini
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Flame On
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Him Or Me (What’s It Gonna Be)?

I think it was a major disappointment that the single stalled at #51; indeed the follow-up It’s A Gas fared even worse while the parent album Watusi barely broke the Top 50. These turned out to be the only recordings for Island Records who dropped the band in early 1995.

Looking back, the world wasn’t quite prepared for the sounds made on Watusi. As wiki reports, the songs ranged from warm lo-fi pop (“Gazebo”, “Big Rat”) to semi-psychedelic, Velvets-like workouts (“Click Click”, “Catwoman”). There were also the two fantastic pop singles released as 45s which really deserved better.

Worth mentioning that while the TWP song Flame On is different from that of Captain America featured here three days ago, Him Or Me (What’s It Going To Be)? is a cover of a 1966 hit single (#5 on the US Billboard chart) by Paul Revere & The Raiders.

Have a listen to the original and compare.  TWP make their version so different it sounds like one of their own.

mp3 : Paul Revere & The Raiders – Him or Me (What’s It Gonna Be)?





(and again on 30 October 2013)


I came late to The Wedding Present.

I didn’t listen to their early stuff simply because everyone in the press was touting them as the natural successors to the recently disbanded The Smiths, and I just didn’t want to know. I was able to do so, simply because the band got next to no radio play other than late at night, and this was a period of great change in my life when I was never listening to the likes of John Peel.

So, for the best part of four years, my knowledge of the band was restricted to what I read and not what I heard. I do remember being amused that a band from Leeds would release an LP named after the greatest footballer ever to wear the shirt of Manchester United, given the animosity between their fans and those of Leeds United. Still didn’t make me buy it though..

Sometime in 1989, on one Sunday evening, the radio was on as the latest singles chart was being rundown. That was when I first heard a song by The Wedding Present. It was called Kennedy, and it was (as I’ve since discovered from research) a new entry at #33. It was loud, it was frantic, it was joyous and it was something that I immediately fell in love with.

And with that, I became a convert to the church of David Gedge, and I’ve been a faithful member ever since. I’m a regular attendee at the places of worship (ie gigs), and I’ll also contribute as and when required to the coffers (ie records, t-shirts, videos, CDs, etc).

There can’t be all that many indie-bands still going strong 20+ years after their initial formation. OK, so I know that TWP took a short break and turned into Cinerama, and also that for a substantial part of their career they were on major labels such as RCA and Island Records. But you can’t really categorise them as anything other than indie…

There have been 37 singles and 9 original LPs, as well as 15 compilation/live LPs over the years. That must be something in the region of 300 songs – and very few of these, even the most obscure of b-sides, have ever been total duffers.(that was the figure back in 2008….there’s been much to admire over the past 8 years since and the ststement is still valid)

They’re also a band with a love for cover versions, with around 50 or so being widely available now thanks to the relatively recent release of all the Peel Sessions in a boxset. And every one of those covers, whether it’s a pop, soul, blues, rock, country or disco classic sounds instinctively like a Wedding Present original.

But I still don’t think they’ve ever bettered the song that first made my ears prick up and listen. Even now, almost 20 years on it remains a live favourite, although David now always follows it up with a slow-tempo number so that the old folk jumping around down the front get their breath back and avoid the risk of a permanent injury. None of us are as young or fit as we once were, and pogo-ing up and down is, at best, achievable for a maximum of 5 minutes at one stretch.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Kennedy
mp3 : The Wedding Present – One Day All This Will All Be Yours
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Unfaithful
mp3 : The Wedding Present – It’s Not Unusual *

* Yes, the Tom Jones song…..

All taken from the original 12” release, but also available on the remixed and remastered edition of the 1989 LP Bizzaro.

Incidentally, if this series didn’t have the restriction of one song by one act, there would have been at least another 4 TWP singles right in there…



…..than David Gedge when it comes to penning stuff about relationships.

Whether its been with The Wedding Present or Cinerama or The Wedding Present once again, David has written and recorded umpteen (that’s a word I like to use when I don’t know the precise number) songs of quality and distinction about meeting someone, falling for someone, being with someone, wanting someone who is unattainable, and most of all… you feel about someone after the love has gone.

He’s written songs from all sorts of perspectives – as someone who is angry, hurt, sad, bemused and even relieved that a relationship has run its course.

But mostly its songs by someone with a broken heart.

Now I daren’t think that all of the songs are autobiographical – if they are, his heart must be in billions of pieces by now. The most amazing thing is that the accompanying tunes never fall into the category of maudlin or dirge-like.

I’ve a mate who once said, “You know, The Wedding Present have only one tune…..but it’s a fucking cracking one at that”

My mate of course had her tongue firmly in her cheek, for there is no argument that David Gedge has proven himself as one of the UK’s best ever word AND tunesmiths.

Here’s one of my favourite examples:-

I heard another voice this morning on the ‘phone
But just the other day I thought you said you slept alone

And yes I knew that laughter, okay, now I see
You wouldn’t even know him if it hadn’t been for me

Sometimes in the fading light
I can’t help thinking back to, well, the way we were

Then I start feeling guilty lying next to her
I know, and it can’t be right

Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away
Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away

If you write again perhaps you shouldn’t send it here
It’s just that I don’t really want your letters to appear

Oh no, I just think she might
Forget I ever said that I’m just being scared

I told her all about you and I don’t think she even cared
I know but it’s not alright

Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away
Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away

And does the thought of leaving him brings you to tears?
I bet you never felt the same about me all those years

Well you know, just what it’s like

Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away
Pretending that it’s you.
You still won’t go away

And then there’s the unnerving and unsettling music that never quite finds a steady rhythm or beat thanks to its constant change in volume and tempo.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Lovenest

And while I’m here, I may as well let you have a listen to the other three songs which are on the 12” version of this single:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Mothers
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dan Dare
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Fleshworld

As with just about every single the band released around that period in time, there was an unusual choice of song for a cover version. In this case it was Mothers which was originally by Jean Paul Sartre Experience, a rather obscure (to most folk) new wave band from New Zealand.



Today sees the second and final part of the look back at A Different Kind of Tension, the 10-track compilation released in 1986. Here’s the b-side of the album:-

1. The Beloved – A Hundred Words
2. Vee VV – The Romance Is Over
3. Stump – Kitchen Table
4. The Wedding Present – Once More
5. The Shamen – Happy Days

The Beloved, in their dance guise, were featured a couple of months back. It’s hard to believe that it is the same band who would go onto enjoy such massive success with the club crowds in the early 90s. But before they were embraced by the dance brigade, The Beloved were just another indie-pop guitar band. This is actually their debut single from April 1986 on Flim Flam Records which made #15 in the UK Indie Chart (which I’m guessing amounted to about 5,000 sales).

mp3 : The Beloved – A Hundred Words

The next lot needed a bit of detective work on the t’internet. They emerged from the ashes of a band called Tunnelvision who released one single, entitled Watching The Hydroplanes, on Factory Records in 1981. And no, I can’t say I’ve ever heard it. They seem to have been an act signed on a whim by Tony Wilson after they appeared on the bill at the first ever New Order gig in Blackpool. Anyway, it seems they were a band that were continually slated by the music press and continually compared to Joy Division.

Members of Tunnelvision would, in due course, form Vee VV. The band recorded a flexi single for a music magazine before releasing a double-side 7″ single on Cathexis Records  and the track featured today was part of that artefact. A second 12″ single soon followed and Vee VV gained some exposure through support slots for My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses and the afore-mentioned New Order. But before long they had broken up unwilling to embrace Madchester.

mp3 : Vee VV – The Romance Is Over

Stump were an Anglo-Irish band that featured former members of Microdisney.

This is the only track of the ten on the compilation that hadn’t been released at the time, although it would eventually appear on the Quirk Out mini-LP that came out in late 1986 on Stuff Records. The band would gain enough fame to be featured on the covers of both the NME and Melody Maker, and there was enough of a buzz about them that they eventually inked a deal with Ensign Records who released the LP A Fierce Pancake in 1988, from which the single Charlton Heston reached #72 in the UK singles charts. But the album did not bring the crossover success the label had hoped for and, after recording a few b-sides and some demos, they split before 1989 was over.

mp3 : Stump – Kitchen Table

Ah….the wonderful Weddoes. This was a very early single from 1986. ‘Nuff said.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Once More

The final track on the compilation is technically, the first ever single by The Shamen, released on One Big Guitar in 1985. The band had changed their name from Alone Again Or and moved to a different record label after just two singles. Frontman Colin Angus was one of the first to realise that indie-pop didn’t guarantee fame and fortune, and by mid-1988 the band was down to a two-piece who were more focused on dance. Four years later they were among the biggest acts in the UK with a string of chart hits including the unforgettable (not necessarily in a positive way!!) Ebeneezer Goode which was #1 for a number of weeks in August 1992.

By the mid-late 90s, the band had turned their backs on commercial soundimg dance music and frustrating the life out of their record label bosses at One Little Indian. The Shamen called it a day in 1999, but will be remembered fondly by a great many clubbers of a certain generation. However, they would be hard pushed to recognise this as one of their songs:-

mp3 : The Shamen – Happy Days

And that concludes the look back at the songs of 1986 for this series at least. Tune in next week for something going back even further in time….



A guest contribution from xxxjim


Hey JC

This is a change from an imaginary compilation, but I’m pretty sure I could do one for almost every singer/band mentioned – now there’s a challenge!

Anyway, a comment made a while ago got me thinking. It was on a Wedding Present / Cinerama related posting and it was along the lines of David Gedge being someone that the commenter, paulb3015 would most like as a friend.

I know it’s never a good idea to meet your heroes but I still think it would be great to spend an evening in the company of these musicians. I guess they all seem quite approachable to me and the sort of people that have a lot of stories and would be fun to be around.

So I give you the eight musicians I’d love to spend an evening with, be it for a beer or two or a meal all round a table, shooting the breeze. Eight seems about the right number – enough that you’d get to talk to everyone but not too many that no one can hear what anyone else is saying. And it would have to be the right mix of musicians – not too many egos.

They are not necessarily my all time favourite musicians or my favourite bands – in some cases they are – I just think they are all interesting people. One thing a lot of them have in common is that they like to tell a story when you see them live – I know that it can be the same story every night but as long as it seems like it’s off the cuff, I’m happy with that.

I haven’t worked out a seating plan but obviously there’s be two seats reserved for Mr and Mrs Vinyl Villain.

Kristin Hersh

Her music has been a constant in my life since I was about 18 – I’ve kind of grown up with her. I’m not an obsessive fan but I do try and see her whenever she performs. One of only two famous people to reply to me on Twitter (not that I use it very often), which makes her an all round nice person. (The other one was David Gedge)

mp3: Kristin Hersh – Sundrops (from ‘Hips and Makers’ LP)

Colin Meloy

Because he seems like a good bloke – a lot of The Decemberists’ songs are stories and he spins a good yarn on stage so I’m sure there would be plenty to talk about.

mp3 : The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song (from ‘The Hazards of Love’ LP)

David Gedge

I don’t need to explain this one – I’m pretty sure that every reader of TVV would want to have a beer with David Gedge.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Give My Love To Kevin (acoustic) (from ‘George Best (plus)’ LP)

Leonard Cohen

I thought maybe Prince would be entertaining but I imagine everyone would just sit there dumbstruck thinking ‘Bloody hell – it’s Prince’ and no-one saying a word. Either that or he’d play ping pong with everyone and thrash them. But I thought it would be good to have an absolute megastar at the table, and someone much older – and someone who has been a hero of mine since my art student days. He’d bring a touch of wisdom to proceedings and his fantastic gravelly voice. And you never know he might feed us tea and oranges that come all the way from China.

mp3 : Leonard Cohen – Slow (from ‘Popular Problems’ LP)

Viv Albertine

A year ago she wouldn’t have been a dinner guest but her memoir ‘Clothes, Music, Boys’ is great – the best music book I’ve read this year – better than Kim Gordon and better than Eddie Argos (seriously). And she seems like a nice person – and normal. And because I love this song which is one of my favourite songs of the year (even though it came out a while ago, it’s new to me).

mp3 : Viv Albertine – Confessions of a MILF  (from ‘The Vermillion Borders’ LP)

Gruff Rhys

Because he took a puppet around America to try and find a Welsh-speaking tribe of native Americans. And he made a powerpoint presentation about it. And an album. And he weaves it all into a great story. And obviously because he is a Super Furry Animal.

mp3 : Gruff Rhys – Iolo (from ‘American Interior’ LP)

Holly Johnson

The first pop star that I really idolized – about 10 years ago I saw him in a shop and I was too star struck to go and say hello. His memoir is also worth a read.

mp3 : Frankie Goes to Hollywod – Relax (7” single)

Nicky Wire

The second Welshman – he’d make sure that it wasn’t all back slappery and coziness. Plus, if all else fails we can talk about sport – and he can give my daughter tips on applying eyeliner.

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Europa Geht Durch Mich (from ‘Futurology’ LP)

Anyway, I hope you like it – and it’s the sort of thing that fits in well on TVV.





I’m a huge fan of Take Fountain which was the 2005 ‘comeback’ album by The Wedding Present in the sense that it was the first music released under that moniker in nine years. But during that hiatus, David Gedge had been very busy writing and recording music as part of Cinerama, a band which released three albums and twelve singles of incredibly and consistently high quality. There were also, you’ll not be surprised to know, a whole bundle of Peel Sessions and as was always the case with David Gedge, the opportunity was usually taken to air what were the unreleased tracks as well as having a stab at an unusual unexpected cover.

I’ll actually look at some covers in tomorrow’s posting but for today I’m focusing on some Peel session songs by Cinerama that wouldn’t see light of day until TWP laid them down for Take Fountain.

There’s two sessions involved – the first was recorded on 8 May 2003 and broadcast on 4 June 2003 and included these two tracks:-

mp3 : Cinerama – Edinburgh
mp3 : Cinerama – Larry’s

The former would be renamed as I’m From Further North Than You but in a tribute to its original title the promo video for its release as a single was shot entirely on location in Scotland’s capital.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – I’m From Further North Than You
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Larry’s

The other cuts are from the band’s sixth and final Peel Session, recorded on 27 November 2003 but not broadcast until 6 January 2004:-

mp3 : Cinerama – Always The Quiet One
mp3 : Cinerama – Mars Sparkles Down On Me
mp3 : Cinerama – Why Are Nickels Bigger Than Dimes?

Both sessions are unlike all the previous Cinerama material as they are arranged, more or less, for a more basic lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and drums rather than the more complex style involving strings, brass and woodwind. So it made perfect sense just to take the songs and record them under the TWP moniker. Incidentally the last of the tracks on this second session was also given a different title and while it didn’t make the cut for Take Fountain it did appear as a b-side:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Always The Quiet One
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Mars Sparkles Down On Me
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Nickels and Dimes




leeds754The story is thus.

Back in 2003, Cinerama released a single called Don’t Touch That Dial. Like all other releases by the band, it didn’t sell in any great numbers.

A few months later David Gedge, decided it was time to put Cinerama on hold and resuscitate The Wedding Present.

Fast forward to 2005 and the release of the TWP comeback album, Take Fountain, and track 7 turns out to be a song called Don’t Touch That Dial.

Both versions are rather splendid in their own right.  One sounds like Cinerama (with keyboards to the fore)and the other sounds like The Wedding Present (with backing vocals and much more guitar). They simply have a lead singer (and songwriter) in common.

mp3 : Cinerama – Don’t Touch That Dial
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Don’t Touch That Dial (Pacific Northwest Version)





I’ve tried my best to provide loads of info and background to the bands who have thus far featured in this series.  But there’s really little point in doing so today as you’ll all know so much about them.

This is track 8 on disc two of CD86:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – This Boy Can Wait

It was one side of a fantastic 7″ single, released on Reception Records in July 1986. This was the other track:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

I’m so happy that they are still going strong today, albeit the band personnel has changed so many times over the years.  David Gedge is, without question,  a national treasure.





The discography of The Wedding Present consists of 34 singles, 2 extended plays, 8 studio albums, 5 live albums and 13 compilation albums many of which have songs otherwise unavailable or have different arrangements or alternative versions from the original recording. Trying to narrow all that down to an imaginary 33 and 1/3 LP, five tracks on either side, with the perfect running order, was a total nightmare. But here’s my stab:-

Side A

1. Dalliance (1991 single and track from the LP Seamonsters)

This song featured on the blog just over six weeks ago. A stunning and unexpected wall of sound that took the band to a whole new level in terms of fanbase and out of the realms of mere indie-pop. David Gedge doesn’t write 3 minute pop or rock songs; instead we often get mini soap-operas set to magical tunes. This is a real tear-jerker. Listen to it drunk and think about someone who once broke your heart. I dare you not to think of them and then say you weren’t fighting back the tears, whether of anger or sadness.

2. Brassneck (single version, 1990)

The production of Steve Albini on Seamonsters really helped the band break out of the indie-shell and a hint of what he would do can be found on the remix of the opening track from the Bizarro LP. Thirty seconds are trimmed from the original while the arrangement is tightened and beefed up. I love how the electric guitar gives way to the acoustic strumming about two-thirds of the way through before the ‘beached whale wailing’ beckons David back to microphone.

3. My Favourite Dress (live) (recorded at Sound City Leeds in 1996)

First recorded back in 1987, this evergreen single is probably the band’s most played live song. It never fails to get a huge roar when the opening notes are struck and it takes all the males in the audience back to a time when they were slimmer, fitter, healthier and had much more hair on the top of their heads and none up their noses or in their ears. At which point we all kid on we are 30 years younger than we really are and four minutes later collapse in a heap wondering why we can’t dance as energetically as we once did.

“A stranger’s hand on my favorite dress” – one of thousands of killer lines  he’s written over the decades.

4. Always The Quiet One (from the 2005 LP Take Fountain)

Between 1998 and 2004, all of the material written and recorded by David Gedge came out under the moniker of Cinerama – and extremely high quality songs they were too. The first time anyone ever heard this track was as part of the last ever Cinerama Peel Session. Within a year, the Weddoes were back with their first LP in nine years with this being one of many highlights.  A lighter, poppier side to the band with a tale that is Morrissey/Smiths-esque in genre and quality.

5. Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm (1988 single)

There’s some wording on the back of the sleeve of this single.

‘Additional vocals by Amelia’

This little touch gave the band a different dynamic as they brought in the indie goddess who was Amelia Fletcher from Tallulah Gosh to add backing vocals to some new songs after the release of the debut LP. It was a short-lived partnership of no more than a few months and it didn’t make it beyond minor contributions to the sophomore classic that was Bizarro. But it planted a seed for male/female vocals that came to the fore in the Cinerama era and thereafter in the 21st Century Weddoes. This is a cracking 45 which took the band into the Top 50 of the singles chart for the first time

Side B

1. Kennedy (1989 single and track on the LP Bizzaro)

This is an immense piece of music that still sounds incredibly fresh more than a quarter of a century on. There is nothing more that needs to be said.

2. Perfect Blue (from the 2005 LP Take Fountain)

Ever since the band reformed, just about every time they perform Kennedy in a live setting it is followed up with one of the slower songs from the repertoire to enable the audience to recapture its collective breath after the bouncing around. And so with this imaginary LP.

A song of two halfs. The first two and three-quarter minutes is a straight-forward but beautiful love song with a dreamy backing vocal from Terry de Castro that is a throwback to the Amelia Fletcher material. The final two and a bit minutes is pure Cinerama…..strings, horns and guitars collide magnificently in a coda that Tindersticks would have been proud of. A hidden gem of a track.

3. Lovenest (1991 single)

A shortened version of another of the outstanding songs on Seamonsters. This aural assault on the ears ends in a blast of controlled feedback for about 40 seconds… it always sounds magnificent.

4. Flying Saucer (Peel Session)

An often overlooked classic from the singles period. Cracking tune and for once it’s not a mini soap opera – instead it celebrates the joy of falling head over heels. The tune, with its extended guitar riff to the end of the song, in many ways is reminiscent of Kennedy which is no bad thing in my book.

Some thought it a folly for the band to put out a limited edition vinyl 45 once a month throughout 1992 with the single being officially deleted the day after its release. The plan however, worked a treat with every one of them going into the charts for one week only with the highest placed being #10 and the lowest #26 – the singles actually sold in the exact same quantities, the placing they got depended on how the sales of other singles that particular week had gone.

The singles and the cover versions that made up the b-sides were later compiled onto two separate CD albums entitled Hit Parade 1 and Hit Parade 2. The initial copies of the second of these came with a bonus disc containing exclusive BBC Radio versions of the twelve singles – some had gone out on BBC Radio Leeds, some on the Mark Goodier Show on Radio 1, some on the World Service (I’m not kidding!!!) and some made up one of the many sessions the band recorded for the John Peel show.

5. It’s What You Want That Matters (from the 1987 LP George Best)

A song that had first been aired two years previously on the Peel show when it was known as What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?

I’ve admitted before that I was late to The Wedding Present. I hadn’t given them much attention in the early days simply as the music papers were saying this was the band to fill the Smith-sized void in your life and I just didn’t think at the time that anyone could do such a thing. George Best had been out for the best part of three years when I first got a hold of a copy. This was the initial stand out track for me. And I still love it all this time later.


So there you have my take on ten tracks for a compilation LP. It’s taken me nearly four weeks to deliberate over and determine. I’m sure some of you will take me to task…..and quite rightly!!!!

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dalliance
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Brassneck (single version)
mp3 : The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress (live)
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Always The Quiet One
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Kennedy
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Perfect Blue
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Lovenest (edit)
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Flying Saucer (Peel Session)
mp3 : The Wedding Present – It’s What You Want That Matters


The Wedding Present are famous for putting out cover versions as b-sides or for recording them during radio sessions. Here’s a bonus disc to go with the imaginary album

Side A

1. The Wedding Present – Happy Birthday
2. The Wedding Present – Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
3. The Wedding Present – Back For Good
4. The Wedding Present – Let’s Make Some Plans
5. The Wedding Present – Pleasant Valley Sunday

Side B

1. The Wedding Present – Theme from Shaft
2. The Wedding Present – Our Lips Are Sealed
3. The Wedding Present – Cattle and Cane
4. The Wedding Present – Felicity
5. The Wedding Present – Box Elder

The originals came from Altered Images, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Take That, The Close Lobsters, The Monkees, Isaac Hayes, The Go-Gos, The Go-Betweens, Orange Juice and Pavement.

Oh and the comment about Felicity being a William Shatner number is not a reference to a track on George Best……it’s a play on words as the song, despite originally being an Edwyn Collins vocal, was in fact composed by James Kirk……….

Click on the song title above for the mp3s




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.



(Two posts from same day – 12 June 2007 – over on the old blog)

I’m sure I’m not the first blogger of my age to mention how lucky today’s kids are in terms of what they can watch on TV.

In my day, it was three terrestrial channels – BBC1, BBC2 and Scottish Television – and quite frankly, most of the shows aimed at those aged under 12 were crap. Except for Tom & Jerry.

Nowadays, with all sorts of specialised channels on satellite TV, there is a wider choice, and while much of it is probably just as crap, at least they can watch something different all the time.

I just remember every single school holiday being marked on BBC1 with a re-run of two black-and-white TV series. One was called Belle & Sebastian. The other was The White Horses. The former had a really creepy theme tune that was sung in a foreign language, the latter had a theme tune that was ace.

Here’s an abridged extract from wikipedia:-

The White Horses is a 1965 television series co-produced by RTS of Yugoslavia and BR-TV of Germany. It follows the adventures of a teenage girl (played by Helga Anders) who visits a farm, run by her Uncle Dimitri (played by Helmuth Schneider), where white Lipizzaner horses are raised. It is called Počitnice v Lipici in Slovenian and Ferien in Lipizza in German. The series was a cult hit with children and comprised 13 episodes, filmed in black and white.

A dubbed version was broadcast in the United Kingdom in 1968 and repeated for many years afterwards (the dubbed soundtrack has since been lost). The theme tune, credited to “Jacky”, was sung by Jackie Lee. It became a top 10 hit in the UK charts in April 1968. Jackie Lee also had a hit with the theme tune to Rupert (The Bear) in 1970/71.

And guess what:-

mp3 : Jackie Lee – White Horses

And how about a couple of my favourite bands doing cover versions:-

mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – White Horses
mp3 : The Wedding Present – White Horses

The former is on the b-side of the 12″ single Circling The Circumference, while the latter can now be found on the recently released Peel Sessions boxset.


After the horses earlier in the day, Mrs Villain insisted that I put up her favourite song about animals:-

mp3 : Primus – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver

Oh and no apologies to any passing perverts who chanced by thinking it was something completely different.