Monday, 4 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 56 Take Fountain by The Wedding Present

56 Take Fountain by the Wedding Present 2005

I was pretty confident that The Wedding Present's debut George Best would be in this chart. It summed up all the C86 music I started to like when I got to Leeds. I saw the band play live a few times (until they started getting a Leeds football fan following and the gigs became a little hairy for a soft college boy) I even had a kick about with David Gedge on Hyde Park once (football that is .. jumpers for goalposts etc).

Taking the spirit of Orange Juice , jangly guitars with the volume and the speed turned up, with titles that Morrissey would have been proud of and the best conversational lyrics going. David Gedge only really has one subject , the break up song with either partner being a bit of a shit. Less lyrics more snatches of overheard private conversations.

However when he returned to the Wedding Present name after the break up of Cinerama both in terms of the band and his relationship with fellow Cinerama founder, he came back with a maturer sound and a break up lp to topple his debut

After a bit of a false opening track , the driving guitars of Interstate 5 create a sense of tension and doom and we know we are back in Gedge's world of sexual and relationship failure

  I should just get out of here and start driving south on Interstate 5
But I need to stay near, in case you suddenly remember that I'm alive

But I have this nagging fear that sex was all you needed
I've tried to persevere; I guess I've not succeeded

And is it sexist to say that I thought just boys were meant to behave in this way?
And though you seemed quite sincere, will you even recognise my face this time next year?

Well I'll remember how your eyes sparkled in the moonlight
You can surely sympathise; I just wanted more than one night

And yes there was one particular glance that made me afraid
That you were just seeing me as a chance of getting laid

There is still a great sense of song titles

This isnt the same Wedding Present as George Best, there is much more light and shade in the backing and a weariness in the vocals as he knows his lyrics mean he is condemned to make the same mistakes again and again

Mars Sparkles Down on Me - The Wedding Present

So yeah I've got my brand new girlfriend,
And she's great in every way
And you've got your new lover there so I guess we're both ok
And I know that we've been through this
And we have to be apart
But the thought of him lying in our bed with you, well it still just breaks my heart
Mars sparkles down on me
He says he wants to meet meoh I'm sure he's genuine

but how can i just shake his hand when it's been, all over your skin?
Mars sparkles down, on me
I should stop calling on a whim, but I wont

I know I really should consider him, but I can't
Mars sparkles down on me

one of my exhibits for David Gedge as one of the Uks most under appreciated lyricists campaign

You can buy Take Fountain here


  1. I don't know this album. More listenable (to my ears) than early WP releases. Mars Sparkles really good. "How can I just shake his hand when it's been, all over your skin?" Whew, what a killer line!!!

    #56 - TODD RUNDGREN - Nearly Human (1989)

    - quintessential musical mad genius here. When I was a kid I loved the sprawling, self-indulgent pop masterpiece "Something/Anything." Of course, the ever ambitious Todd chose to follow it up with a series of eccentric sonic "explorations" that would test the patience of even the most fervent fans... including me.
    But in '89 he decided to go against the grain of previous solo work on which he often played all instruments and sang all lead/backing vocals. With "Nearly Human" Todd's goal was to record an entire LP live in the studio, complete single takes with a room-full of musicians, and no later overdubbing. The results are an energetic, focussed & accessible pop/rock/soul album, void of novelty tunes and his usual egomaniacal tendencies. 'Parallel Lines' my favorite-ever Todd ballad... a despairing, sober break-up reflection...

    Parallel Lines:
    Unloved Children:
    Want Of A Nail:

  2. Hi Tim

    I gave TR a listen when I knew he part produced skylarking but found it all too clever clever. However you've sold me on this one so going to give it a go

  3. I've not heard this album.I don't need any convincing tht Gedge is a great lyricist but I prefer his work with Cinerama, but I have only heard early Wedding Pesent so I'll check out the later stuff as this sounds really good.
    # 56 and an album that needs no introduction in this neck of the woods - Deacon Blue - Raintown. A fantastic debut, that sadly they couldn't live up to in their later releases ( although last years 'The Hipsters' came close)

  4. Hi Phil

    its another "too low" from me Phil!

  5. Ouch! Ditto for me too!

  6. Hey FORW, For reasons I can't explain, I don't own a single album by TWP. The band shows up on many comps I have bought through the years, and I have liked these tracks enough that I think I'm ready to take the plunge. What do you think is the first album I should buy? Is this the one?

  7. Another excellent choice. I do think Gedge's lyrics have improved over the years... they've also become easier to hear!

  8. Brian that is a toughie

    the 3 are like are

    George Best - for shear manic frantic guitar sound
    Watusi - their pop lp
    Take Fountain - for a a proper grown up sound

    Take Fountain is my favourite and don't think you can go much wrong with it

    Hi Rol - I think he has slowed down with age George Best was a bit of a volcano rush of lyrics

  9. I listened to and liked this album but found myself inexorably drawn back to George Best when coming up with my favourite.I'm a creature of habit.

  10. Thanks for the input. I'll keep an eye out for those... for starters.


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