Written by: Alex Green
The Wedding Present will be back in a big way this Fall.
The legendary Leeds band’s last effort was Valentina (2012) and on it singer David Gedge was in fine form. The Poet Laureate of the Lovelorn’s trademark growl was as wistful and wise as ever.
Set to release their ninth album in September on Scopitones, The Wedding Present’s new effort is not only one of the most anticipated records of the year, it’s also one of the most innovative.
Titled Going, Going, the album (which can be pre-ordered through PledgeMusic here:), according to the band’s official site, is, “a collection of twenty ‘linked’ tracks, each with a beautiful accompanying film.”
The idea to release a record in this fashion was something that had been marinating with Gedge for some time. Of the genesis of the project, he tells Stereo Embers, “It’s been germinating for quite a few years, now. Valentina was released in March 2012 and then we spent pretty much the rest of that year and the early part 2013 touring all over the world. So I’d probably say that this project was officially born in Spring 2013, when the next batch of new songs started coming together. I’d already decided by then that I didn’t want to make just ‘another album’ and so I came up with the idea of twenty ‘linked’ pieces of music. Then, in the summer of 2014 I travelled across the USA with photographer Jessica McMillan and we made some atmospheric short films to accompany the tracks. I took some time off the project to finish Cinerama’s re-imagining of Valentina and so we didn’t actually start recording the music for Going, Going… until October 2014. Since then it’s been a case of progressing through the twenty tracks, trying all sorts of ideas, seeing how they work set against the visuals…
An expanded multi-media format is a great way to add texture to the way an album is perceived and Gedge found the process to be a rewarding artistic experience.
“Yeah, definitely,” he says. “In The Wedding Present we’ve had a history of unusual projects… the Ukrainian recordings, The Hit Parade… even Cinerama was kind of a leap into the unknown… and this is another one of those kinds of experiments.
One might assume that twenty linked tracks would indicate the album has a main thematic narrative and Gedge confirms this is the case.
“They do,” he says. “It’s a story… but I’ll leave the lyrics to tell that particular tale!”
The Wedding Present’s site enumerates the various audio-visual formats Going, Going…will be released under:
1 : ‘Standard’ CD + DVD
2 : ‘Standard’ Double LP + DVD
3 : ‘Deluxe’ CD + DVD [The deluxe CD will contain four extra acoustic tracks and come in a hard bound ‘book pack’ (resembling the recently released Edsel Records ‘Expanded Editions’) along with the DVD and a booklet containing lyrics and more]
4 : ‘Deluxe’ Double LP + DVD [The deluxe double LP will come in heavyweight vinyl and include download codes. Also contained in this version will be a 7” single with the four extra acoustic tracks, the DVD and the booklet containing lyrics and more]
The DVDs will be region-free and compatible with PAL and NTSC players.
Going, Going…comes out September 2 and a week later, The Wedding Present will be performing five intimate shows in Great Britain where they will play the entire album. (You can order tickets here.) Not only that, but there will be a screen at all of these shows that will be projecting the films from the record. Fittingly enough, the last of these shows will take place at the Stowmarket John Peel Centre, a venue named after the legendary DJ, who was also a massive fan of the band.
Going, Going… special tour dates are as follows:
7th : Cardiff TramShed
9th : Gateshead Sage
10th : Glasgow School Of Art
11th : Salford Lowry
12th : Stowmarket John Peel Centre