THE WEDDING PRESENT RELEASE TWELVE SINGLES DURING 2022
The Wedding Present are releasing a new 7” single every month throughout 2022.
This fascinating project – which goes under the name of 24 Songs – comes thirty years after the band’s similar Hit Parade series of 7”s in 1992.
Each of the records comes in a beautifully designed sleeve featuring brutalist photography by Jessica McMillan and there’s also a hand-numbered collector’s box to put them all in. Each single will be limited to just 2,400 copies.
You can buy the singles one at a time or subscribe for the whole series by clicking here.
They are, of course, also available from all good record shops.
Single 6 : ‘Once Bitten’ c/w ‘Kerplunk!’ – released 17 June
David Gedge says: “One of the tasks encountered, when you put together a series of 7” singles, is that you need to decide which song goes on which side of the record. Seemingly, The Wedding Present are notoriously bad at doing this having, apparently, consigned some ‘classic-in-the-eyes-of-fans’ recordings to be being B-sides of singles, rather than putting them on albums. [‘Crawl’, anybody?] However, I would argue that the reason for this is that we, kind of, ‘don’t do B-sides’. If a track has reached the level of quality where we’ve decided that it’s good enough to release, we’re happy for it go on any side of a single or anywhere on an album. It’s just a matter of placement. For the ‘24 Songs’ 7”s, we’ve purposely tried not to denote which song is the A-side and which isn’t… but, obviously, one track unfortunately has to have a ‘B’ inscribed in the run-out groove by the pressing plant. Our June single is a case in point. I’d be happy with either ‘Once Bitten’ with its darker feel and monstrous drums and guitar riffs or ‘Kerplunk!’ with its George Bestlike jangle and John Barry style final chord taking the honour. Did we make the right choice, this time, I wonder?!”
Previously, on 24 Songs...
David Gedge says: “One problem you encounter when you have a platinum-album-selling guitarist in your ensemble is that they occasionally need to go and play with their platinum-album-selling band. Fortunately, when Sleeper required that Jon Stewart temporarily return, recently, Sam Beer-Pearce [guitarist on our ‘Going, Going…’ LP] was happy to be re-enlisted and, during rehearsals, we wrote ‘X Marks The Spot’ with him. The verse has an odd chant-like structure which features, once again, evocative singing from Melanie Howard. Jon didn’t write the other side, either – the punky ‘Strike!’ was originally recorded by a previous incarnation of The Wedding Present on a BBC 6 Music session for Shaun Keaveny in August, 2019. In the ‘Before Times’, it was called ‘Don’t Ask Me’, though!”
Single 4 : ‘Monochrome [7” Version]’ c/w ‘You’re Just A Habit That I’m Trying To Break’ – released 15 April
David Gedge says: “‘Monochrome’ features something of a change in pace and mood compared to other tracks in the series. It started life as a beautiful little melody written by our bassist, Melanie Howard, and it inspired me to write a lyric about realising, a little too late, how important communication is. That theme is kind of continued on ‘You’re Just A Habit That I’m Trying To Break’ which was one of the first songs written after Jon Stewart joined The Wedding Present. We already released a recording of that song on our Locked Down And Stripped Back album last year and although this new ‘full band’ version retains the acoustic guitar, it adds loud guitars, piano and a wah-wah pedal!”
Listen to ‘Monochrome [7" Version]’ here.
David Gedge says: “Following in the slipstream of ‘We Should Be Together’, ‘Go Go Go’ is the second duet of the series. This one features our very own Melanie Howard. The lyric was inspired by ‘Wacky Races’. It’s a high-octane track and so writing about racing cars seemed to fit! I even tried, unsuccessfully, to shoehorn in references to Peter Perfect and Penelope Pitstop. I used to love that programme; as a kid I would make a note of the results every week and create a league table. ‘La La La’ was the first song that I co-wrote with Jon Stewart but it’s Melanie’s huge bass part that drives the song. It wouldn’t be out of place on a track by the mighty Fall, and it inspired me to go a bit Mark E Smith myself at the beginning of the final verse.”
Listen to ‘Go Go Go’ here.
Single 2 : ‘I Am Not Going To Fall In Love With You [7” Version]’ c/w ‘A Song From Under The Floorboards’ – released 18 February
David Gedge says: “As a song writer, you usually tend to want to forge ahead and continually try new ideas… but I’m under no illusions, here! ‘I Am Not Going To Fall In Love With You’ has ‘classic’ Wedding Present running through its veins. It’s co-written by Jon Stewart who was a huge Wedding Present fan when he was at university [and we were at RCA Records] and it’s as if he was drinking from a bottle of distilled essence of Bizarro and the Hit Parade when he came up with this one! Meanwhile, when I was at university, I was an admirer of Magazine and so, when our old drummer Charlie Layton suggested ‘A Song From Under The Floorboards’ for our live set, he didn’t get any argument from me. Carrying the pop baton from one era to the next, I suppose...”
Listen to ‘I Am Not Going To Fall In Love With You [7” Version]’ here.
24 Songs sees the first fruits of David Gedge’s song-writing partnership with Sleeper guitarist [and now also Wedding Present guitarist] Jon Stewart and, fittingly, the first release includes a cover of the beautiful Sleeper song ‘We Should Be Together’. The Wedding Present version comes in the form of a gorgeous duet featuring David and Louise Wener. It’s coupled with ‘Don’t Give Up Without A Fight’, which combines classic Wedding Present feistiness with a Krautrock finale.
David Gedge adds: “Jon played me a demo of ‘We Should Be Together’ and told me that it was an unused Sleeper song from years ago. I absolutely loved it and immediately told him that The Wedding Present should cover it. The icing on the cake came when Louise kindly agreed to appear on the recording and we made it a duet. We did a stripped-back version for our ‘Lockdown’ LP last year but this is a new full-band recording. We first recorded ‘Don’t Give Up Without A Fight’ for a Marc Riley session for BBC 6 Music because the arrangement kind of reminded me of The Wedding Present’s cover of ‘Jumper Clown’ by Marc Riley And The Creepers.”
Listen to ‘We Should Be Together [Locked Down And Stripped Back Version]’ here.