“The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong!”The Wedding Present are a British indie rock group based in Leeds, England, formed in 1985 from the ashes of the Lost Pandas. The band's music has evolved from fast-paced indie rock in the vein of their most obvious influences The Fall, Buzzcocks and Gang of Four to more varied forms. Throughout their career, they have been led by vocalist and guitarist David Gedge, the band's only constant member ... (read more at Wikipedia)
(John Peel: 02 September 1999)
Links To Peel
David Gedge recalled an early meeting with Peel when the DJ was the subject of This Is Your Life (broadcast Jan. 1996):
"One of the first times I actually pressed one of my grubby tapes into your palm was when you did a disco in Ilkley. I traveled up from Leeds to come and see you and eventually plucked up the courage. And you were actually I think more interested in how I was going to get home, because I think the trains had all finished or the buses, and you said, “How are you getting back?” I said, “I don’t know, I never thought about that actually.” You said, “I’ll give you a lift.” I said, “You can’t give me a lift, you’re going completely the wrong way.” And in the end, you actually got me in your car, you sent me all the way home, dropped me off at my door … I’ll never forget it, because I think obviously (inaudible), you’re very important in British culture and pop music and stuff, but to me, ultimately you’re a great bloke. And that’s more important than anything else.”
In 1993, when interviewing Peel for Chain Reaction, Gedge remembered taking a Lost Pandas demo down to London to hand to Peel in person:
- DG: I saw you enter the building and I thought, “That’s him, that’s him.” And we were just too scared so we legged it around the corner. A couple of hours later we sort of regained our composure and said, “Excuse me, Mr Peel, would you like to listen to our demo tape.”
- JP: That’s right. Because I always felt very bad. I’ve still got those demo tapes, incidentally.
- DG: I know! As you always remind me every time I meet you!
- JP: Don’t know if there’s any bootleggers out there who would be interested in coming to some sort of arrangement.
In fact, it was Andy Kershaw who eventually gave the Wedding Present their first Radio One session, in November 1985, three months ahead of Peel. The band, however, would come to be closely identified with JP and his show, recording 12 sessions and second only to the Fall in terms of Festive Fifty success.
Peel's support for Gedge continued when the musician moved on to form Cinerama in the late 1990s. By 2004, however, Gedge had reverted to the Wedding Present name, recording a final Peel session that was broadcast in the final full month of Peel's shows and returning to the Festive Fifty at the end of that year.
Festive Fifty Entries
Main article: Wedding Present: Festive Fifty Entries
A keen student of the Festive Fifty, Gedge was the originator of the "Gedge points" system for the annual Peel show chart - one point for a 50th placing and 50 points for a chart-topper - to give overall rankings for artists.
Using a variation of Gedge's forumula, additionally weighted to discount the effect of multiple entries of the same song in all-time lists, author Mark Whitby calculates the Wedding Present were second only to the Fall in terms of Festive Fifty success in the years to 2004 (The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing, pg 153).
Such was Gedge's association with the Festive Fifty that it seemed only natural for 'Judge Gedge' to set the questions on the special quiz programme to mark the chart's 25 anniversary, on 19 December 2000.
Although the Wedding Present failed to reach the #1 spot in the chart, during Peel's time, collecting successive #2 placings in 1988 and 1989, Gedge would finally hit the jackpot with Cinerama in the 2003 Festive Fifty, the final one presented by Peel. At the end of the track, the DJ commented:
"Well, I know one little lad who's going to go to bed very happy tonight."
- Peelenium 1985: 'Go Out And Get 'Em Boy! (7")' (Reception)
- Peelenium 1992: 'Silver Shorts (7")' (RCA)
Main article: Wedding Present: Sessions
Other Shows Played
Main article: Wedding Present: Show Appearances (Excluding Sessions)
- 19 December 2000: Festive Fifty 25th anniversary quiz, 'Judge Gedge' sets the questions
- Chain Reaction: David Gedge Interviews John Peel (Transcript)