Sunday, February 25, 2007

UK Early-80s Indie Pop - part 10

Last in the series. An exploration of the weird indie phenomenon known as 'the classic fourth single'. Enjoy!

The Wedding Present

David Gedge's raucous chiming jangling guitar monsters born in 1984 and still going. Feted by John Peel, they produced the classic album George Best on the independent Reception records, who also compiled their classic early singles on the album Tommy and released a 10inch Wedding Present LP of songs in Ukrainian. It was good. They were perhaps equally famous for getting their major label RCA for the whole of 1993 to allow them to release a single a month in limited editions of 10,000 each (later compiled on the Hit Parade albums). Since then, they have been on various labels, and their most recent album, Ringway to Seatac, was released in 2005.

'You should always keep in touch with your friends' is their fourth
single, dating from 1986.

The Woodentops

Signed to Rough Trade in 1985, and releasing the fantastic album Giant the following year, the Woodentops were an exciting singles and live band but for some reason were never quite massive. Rolo McGinty was their songwriter and singer and all round bandleader, but not sure what happened to him after the band appeared to have disolved by the 1990s, having moved away from traditional guitar-based music towards dance (although their singles were always highly danceable).

'It will come' was their fourth single and can be found on the classic Giant.


WeddoesFan said...

Sorry to contradict you, but as an original Wedding Present fan who bought all their stuff as it came out, "...Friends" was not the Wedding Present's fourth single, it was the B-side of their third single, "This Boy Can Wait". Their fourth single was "My Favourite Dress".

Jon said...

Well, you are of course right - although if you count the original City Slang release of Go Out And Get 'Em Boy (re-issued as their second single on Reception) then it was their fourth.

Shows the fourth single theorem to be hocum, doesn't it?!!

JC said...

I don't care if you sometimnes get the facts mixed-up....i do it all the time!!!

These indie-postings have been pretty sensational.

Do you think in 20 years the anthem/shouty-shouty/singalong-a-catch chorus bands that dominate 'indie' nowadays will be fondly remembered?? I think not....

Will said...

Whoa, you guys are *not* messing around vis a vis the Wedding Present.

I wonder why the Wedding Present isn't mentioned in discussions about the "roots of emo." You always hear about Rites of Spring and Fugazi, the Cure and the Smiths, but never Gedge & Co. I mean, that's all for the best anyway, since "emo" is dumb, but so far as raw angst goes, I can't think of too many better wellsprings...

Jon said...

jc - so right!

and Will. Who are rites of spring? The Weddoes were in a class of their own! (It was probably detention class, but they were there and standing proud!)

willenvelope said...

Rites of Spring were an early 80s Washington, DC band around the same time as Minor Threat. Around '85 their leader, Guy Piccioto, formed Fugazi with Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye. They have a song called "Theme," maybe from '82 or so, with the prototypical emo chorus "If I started crying/Then would you start trying?"

I think the Weddoes were tougher. Gedge isn't a vegetarian, is he?

Jon said...

He very well might be. He has that veggie edge to his guitar playing that I think is a bit of a giveaway!