Wedding Present accepts ‘Bizarro’ challenge 

For your average rock band, it’s an easy late-career move — dusting off a vintage long-playing classic and performing it in its entirety on a specially-billed retro tour. But for recently reunited Leeds outfit The Wedding Present, recreating its 1989 benchmark “Bizarro” has been extremely difficult. “Particularly for our drummer, since we’re doing extended versions — just rehearsing alone is hard, hard work,” says bandleader David Gedge, since pummellers like “Brassneck” and “Kennedy” make for sweat-drenched workouts themselves. The man will unearth his past for San Francisco on Saturday.

So on Friday you turn 50 — what are your birthday plans? Oh, no! You’ve actually reminded me of something I wanted to forget! I’m going to hide away, I think. But I’m actually quite pleased with the way it’s landed. I think we play somewhere like Portland the day before my birthday and then San Francisco the day after. So basically it’s my day off, a travel day. So I’m not even going to celebrate it. There’s something about turning 50 that kind of scares me.
But it’s a good time to look back on the great body of work you’ve created, right? When I started The Wedding Present back in ’85, I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing it 25 years later. So you’re right — this is probably the point to take stock and see what you’ve done, and then ask yourself if you’re going to carry on doing it. But we celebrated our 20th anniversary a few years ago, and I was like “Blimey! Two decades?! Where did the time go?”
How have you retained that “Bizarro”-intense enthusiasm over the years?
People always say, “Oh, you must love your job!” But it’s just that this is what I do now. And there’s something that just compels me to do it. And somehow, there’s still an excitement that spurs me on to the next album.

Now you live in L.A. How do you like it? I’ve always been interested in Los Angeles, but I love it and hate it at the same time. But I’ve always loved film, TV, comics and pop music. And this is where it’s all made, by and large.
Do you think that maybe the old MTV VJ Kennedy will come see you on tour, just to hear “Kennedy”? Kennedy was famous for being a big fan. She helped us start to happen in America. I didn’t even know this until after the fact, but we got played on MTV because of our song’s connection with her name, really.

The Wedding Present

The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., San Francisco
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $15
Contact: (415) 771-1421;

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
Pin It

Speaking of...

More by Staff Report

Latest in Other Arts

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation