The Wedding Present
“‘Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk’—That’s not a request, that’s a song title.” Well, OK. David Gedge, on the second night of the Wedding Present’s two-night stand in New York, has gone slapstick: one-liners, funny faces, and an extended introduction from a character named Frank Sidebottom, who’s all paper-mache head and who asks, without preamble, “Are you having a fantastic night of show business?”
By all accounts, the setlist was more or less the same as the one the band broke out at the Bowery Ballroom one day prior, but the atmosphere was more savage in Brooklyn. “Any questions?” asked Gedge, clearly bemused by the anarchic goings-on at Southpaw: between-song howling, lots of air guitar, shouted tributes to the band’s foxy bass player, and an unseasonably warm temperature, both inside the club and out. The requests skew almost entirely to 1991’s proto-emo/plaintive-mating-call Seamonsters, the recording that will probably end up on this band’s tombstone, and they obliged: “Lovenest,” “Dalliance,” and “Dare.” Desperation makes a difference, and when the band eventually takes on El Rey‘s most genteel gem, “The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend,” the contrast—between Gedge then, and Gedge now—is evident.
The charm, however, remains. “Let’s Make Plans,” screamed an eager lady. “Was that a request or an invitation?” Gedge shot back, before being drowned out by more requests that his band, according to a longtime policy, were sure not to take. “No need to shout, Brooklyn” he said, laughing, already halfway out the door. “As you know, we don’t do encores.”