The Wedding Present's Take Fountain is another chimp album of the year for me, and certainly best "comeback album that is mind numbingly good, as opposed to predictably disappointing" in a long time.
As the lights went down and the spooky atmos track of Interstate 5 drifted over the PA, I thought we were heading straight into a thundering live rendition of my Collateral-esque widescreen track of the year. Instead, that faded away and we just had a thundering run through of classic Wedding Present and Cinerama tracks, with only two off Take Fountain - Always The Quiet One (awesome and fast) and Ringway to Seatac (awesomer and faster).
Suck, Dare, Kennedy, Heather, Corduroy, Apres Ski and a cover of Falling from Twin Peaks stood out - but then I only have six albums and only recognized about half the songs. The most under revised I have felt in a long time.
David Gedge was not quite what I was expecting (it is 15 years later), but was not disappointing. A totally engaging character, he acted and gestured his way through every song, without the pretensions of someone like Jarvis Cocker. "This song's about sex, or maybe love. Don't ask me, I'm just a conduit." Continued requests persisted from the crowd, and were met with the response "In 20 years have you ever known us to do requests?"... until someone shouted "Brassneck" at just the right time on the set list for the very tight band to launch straight into a ferocious version of possibly their most famous tune. The generally well behaved mosh pit (most fans were 30-40 and probably teachers) went crazy.
No Take Me! either, but I got what I was looking for with the speaker facing, top speed, double guitars, extended high note strumming on about half a dozen other tracks. The only thing that could have made this gig any better would have been for it to be a warm up show at the Amersham Arms.