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REVIEW: Indie legends The Wedding Present reconstruct the past at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen

Indie legends The Wedding Present live in concert at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.
Indie legends The Wedding Present live in concert at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.

Indie legends The Wedding Present rolled back the years by revisiting influential 1991 album Seamonsters at The Lemon Tree.

Led by singer, songwriter David Gedge, the four-piece celebrated the band’s third album at a packed The Lemon Tree.

Produced by Shellac front-man and legendary producer Steve Albini, Seamonsters was an audaci0us leap of faith at the time.

Albini was renowned for his brutal reshaping of band’s sounds.

To have Albini oversee an entire album was a bold move and stand against commercialism.

The Granite City show, the first on the band’s UK tour, underlined Seamonsters is a timeless album.

More than 30 years after its release Gedge and a fresh line-up revisited  Seamonsters,

Respect to the many people who turned out on a Thursday evening to watch this gig.

The Wedding Present recreate Seamonsters at The Lemon Tred.

Aberdeen music fans out in force

The Aberdeen music scene will only survive, and then thrive, by music fans showing face at gigs.

Strength in numbers.

The crowd’s faith was rewarded with a set that not only rolled back the years – but looked to the future.

Legendary songs mutated and crowd favourites developed during a 90 minute set.

There is no treading water for The Wedding Present.

The first portion of the concert was devoted to Seamonsters with the quiet then climactic noise of Courdroy surely an early blueprint for Slint, Mogwai and Mono post-rock.

After the resurrection of Seamonsters the band relived chart hits and fans’ favourites from an extensive back catalogue.

The Wedding Present Dave Gedge performs at The Lemon Tree.

Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft

Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft from debut album George Best was a highlight.

It has lost none of the kinetic drive and urgency from the release in October 1987.

Another memorable song was a high tempo rendition of Kennedy.

It seems a lifetime since I saw The Wedding Present at Aberdeen’s The Venue in November 1998.

Supported by The Inspiral Carpets, with Oasis’ Noel Gallagher as roadie, there was a lyrical honesty and musical vibrancy to the band 34 years ago.

That remains.

Hearing some of those song from the 1987 debut, more than three decades on is strange.

Like a time machine. There are wrinkles, there are grey hairs in many of the fans.

Somehow though, the new line-up brings a freshness to well worn songs.

Imminent single X Marks the Spot

As well as the past there is also the future.

Imminent single X Marks the Spot, released next on May 22, was superb and a taste of what’s to come from a band still looking forward.

The Wedding Present singer Dave Gedge performs at the Lemon Tree.

After unveiling the new single Gedge laughed ‘meanwhile, back in 1992’ before returning to the past with another old song.

Another highlight was a driving rendition of chart hit Kennedy – a song that had the crowd animated and singing in unison.

Ultimately there is a profound paradox in a band reliving a three-decade old album whilst prolifically releasing a seven inch single every month.

The Wedding Present are four releases into the ’24 Songs’ project – an audacious plan to unleash a seven inch single, and B side, every month throughout 2022.

Refreshingly The Wedding Present are not resting on their laurels, nor are they content on purely reliving the past.

Seamonsters 30 years on -The Lemon Tree at Aberdeen Lemon Tree.

A band looking towards the future

The band are more expansive and ambitious now than in their eighties and nineties pomp.

Which is why it was frustrating there was limited showing of their impressive new material.

This may have been a night primarily celebrating the past – but The Wedding Present represent so much more than that.

It is testament to The Wedding Present that despite a nine album career the band are not treading water.

The 2016 double concept album Going, Going is a superb leap of faith that paid off.

Ongoing project 24 songs is intriguing.

Bring on tour of new material

My only gripe is that there were not more material from Going, Going and 24 Songs played at The Lemon Tree.

I’m happy to hear The Wedding Present of yesterday and today.. but I want to hear more of tomorrow.

I look forward to the what I hope will be a ’24 Songs’ tour next year when the ambitious project has been complete.

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