Week in Pop: Anita Lofton Project, Looming, Sarah P., The Wedding Present

Sjimon Gompers

The Bay Area's time-defying institution The Anita Lofton project; press photo courtesy of the artist.

The Wedding Present

The iconic David Gedge of The Wedding Present; press photo courtesy of the artist.

The following group leads little to no introduction to those well versed in the DIY vanguards of the modern era. The Wedding Present returns to their early Cinerama-era roots with a redux live version of 1987’s iconic debut George Best recorded with Steve Albini. Available through the independent purveyors of underground pop Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, oka HHBTM, it is an absolute honor & privilege to present the peppy, succinct & sweet Steve Albini version of “My Favourite Dress” that even gives David Lewis Gedge’s original rendering a run for the proverbial money.

The story we have been told began somewhere around early 2008, when David & The Wedding Present were working on the making of their album El Rey with Albini. Having just played the George Best a bunch of times over & over for the commemorative twentieth anniversary tour for said album, David convinced Steve to record a live version of the album that would be quick & easy but above all—live. From here the independent pop classic George Best underwent a re-jetting fashioned with a more visceral velocity of rhythm guitars, sharper pronounced baselines, a heightened level of immediacy with David’s delivery retaining an even greater romantic sense of absolute resolve (with an ever cavalier feeling of revery that is felt throughout). As has been reported, everything here is heard on an even more massive level, compliments of it being created under the smart auspices of Albini along with percussionist Graeme Ramsay & mixer/producer Andrew Scheps (who previously mixed The Wedding Presents’ album Valentina).

The updated version of The Wedding Present’s “My Favourite Dress” is executed in a brighter & higher definition where every rhythmic instrumental element is accentuated through Steve Albini’s own pragmatic & swift style. The alliterative reiterations of there’s always something left behind take on a new meaning where David Gedge can be heard jumping back 30 years & resurrecting a cherished album cycle of songs to be rewired & repackaged for a new audience & a whole new generation—who undoubtedly will have little to no knowledge of who the former decadent celebrity footballer George Best was who played for Gedge’s hometown football club Manchester United as well as Northern Ireland. The new debut of “My Favourite Dress” turns up the volume from the original, where every involved item is heard with a more distinct resolution of clarity as those vintage fashionable textiles of sound are sorted out as a brand new kit. The Wedding Present’s music that makes up the moments of our memories, scoring the scenes from our lives & still continuing to inspire new armies of C86-era indebted believers is here given a posh new revision.

The wonderful world of The Wedding Present; press photo courtesy of the group.

Elaborating upon the original, The Wedding Present’s “My Favourite Dress” is one of the definitive & quintessential anthems of the 80s underground era to now. Revered in die hard circles from the UK/EU to the US—David Gedge has helped spearhead a movement beyond the C86 trappings and into a phenomenon that would encourage thousands upon thousands of inspired artists to pick up a guitar & pen songs straight from the heart. Anchoring an economic minimalist structure with roots from the previous punk movement of the mid to late 70s, Gedge championed that angular guitar form that took the Television Personalities template and rode it outward toward new horizons. Relive The Wedding Present’s original version of “My Favourite Dress” with a viewing of the following promotional video that was too cool to have ever been aired originally back in 1987:

Getting in line & out of line with our heroes The Wedding Present; press photo courtesy of the artists.

Also enjoy the following live performance of “My Favourite Dress” (complete with Spanish subtitles!) that illustrates the aesthetic that David Gedge would later hone in on with the almighty Steve Albini as demonstrated brilliantly in the previously heard re-recording:

The Steve Albini remake of The Wedding Present’s George Best is available via Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.

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