Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 12th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
It wasn't exactly broccoli before desert, but lead singer, guitarist and group mastermind David Gedge knows full well that some songs are sweeter than others.
"You will love them in about three years," Gedge told the audience, defending his long-running British band's latter-day output.
If his recent tunes are anything like the 10 that make up 'Bizarro,' they'll be beloved in three years and deemed classics in 20. While fans cheered for and in some cases sang along with such new songs as 'I Lost the Monkey' and 'Deer Caught in the Headlights,' which Gedge played live for the first time, they mostly saved their enthusiasm for the full-album portion of the show.
Then came 'Brassneck,' the pistol-shot start of the 'Bizarro' sprint. The song is, in many ways, the quintessential Wedding Present number, at least in terms of how the group sounded in its early days, when it caught the ears of college students, influential British DJ John Peel and those recovering Smiths fans ready to let other jangle-pop groups into their hearts. 'Brassneck' begins with 40 seconds of brittle rhythm guitar, done in Gedge's trademark elastic-wrist style, followed by the kind of lovelorn lyrics that define the band's catalog.
"I just decided I don't trust you anymore," Gedge sang, getting plenty of help from the dozen or so pogoing diehards pressed against the stage. By the look of it, these were original Wedding Present fans, folks who blasted 'Bizarro' in their college dorm rooms, and from the back of the packed club, their gray and balding heads seemed to rise and fall like pistons in some ramshackle indie-rock time machine.
"Where am I?" Gedge asked after 'Crushed,' to which someone in the audience responded, "'No,'" the title of the next song. "Yes, that's right," Gedge said. "You'd think I'd know the order, wouldn't you?"
'No' proved less frantic than 'Kennedy,' the ferocious single that further enlivened those 40-somethings revisiting their youths in the pit. Gedge, too, got swept up in the moment, and by the song's end, he'd engaged his Gibson in a violent dance, thrashing as if suffering a prolonged electric shock.
The quartet closed with the 'Bizarro''s final two tracks: 'Take Me!' a nine-minute song that finally saw the demise of Gedge's high-E string, a tenacious piece of metal that held on as long as it could, and 'Be Honest,' the evening's emotional and physical cool down. As a rule, the Wedding Present doesn't do encores, but it ended with a line that made one unnecessary: "If we're going to be honest, we might as well be brief."