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speakerpic flag England - Full Moon 136 - 10/26/07

Speakers' corner
The second George Best

Following up our retroscope series of last year - here's Speakers' corner! Luna Kafé's focused eye on great events, fantastic happenings, absolute milestones, or other curious incidents from the history of rock. This moonth we take a look 20 years back in time: a years past NME's C86 and the month when The Wedding Present put out their stunning debut album..

coverpic The Wedding Present
George Best
Reception Records

A band from Leeds hailing former Manchester United profile George Best? Well, Best was indeed a pop icon in the 60s, and a living legend leading quite a rock'n'roll life all his career and afterwards. And he was Northern Irish, a Belfast boy. A tough lad. A perfect title and cover star for a band wanting to get started for real. The Leeds quartet formed in 1985. They had put out some singles on their own Reception label, gotten John Peel's attention. singles, and was ready for a full album proper.

David Gedge (vocals, guitar), Peter Solowka (guitar), Keith Gregory (bass guitar) and Shaun Charman (drums) made The Wedding Present (TWP) at the time George Best was released. The record poured out new, landmark indie rock of the time, with Gedge's trademark dry and nasal vocals, and with Solowka's wall-to-wall jingly-jangly fast-pace guitars. The 12 tracks [original vinyl album set-up, that is] made you almost hold your breathe all the way through the album. Despite the very "cardboard" sound of the production it's still a pleasure to listen to it. It's not a secret that I've been a huge fan over the years (guess I've got a TWP collection counting some 60 records), and still are. The come-back album a couple of years back was also a fine moment.

The opening "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft" is a good start, and just about bull's eye of Gedge's lyrics: Love, heartbreak, anger, mourning, and some sweet revenge. In fact most songs circle the 'boy-meets-girl-meets-another-boy dumps boy-one' theme. And working just fine. The guitar riffs are in-between massive in their thin-wristed way. Solowka's wrist is extremely impressing, when he sort of hits the strings 10 times a second. At least. Check out "All This And More". "A Million Miles" is excellent, and so is "Shatner". "My Favourite Dress" is one of the core tracks, along with "Give My Love To Kevin" and "Anyone Can Make A Mistake", which is my fave song on this album. Gedge and co didn't make many mistakes recording George Best.

George Best died almost 2 years ago. George Best still is very much alive.

Copyright © 2007 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Wedding Present articles/reviews: Evening Sessions 1986-1994, George Best Plus, Going, Going..., Interstate 5, Live 1987, Take Fountain, The Hit Parade singles, Valentina.

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