The Wedding Present 'Marc Riley Sessions Volume 4' LP
Hatch Records are pleased to announce the release, on 21 February, of the fourth instalment in The Wedding Present’s popular ‘Marc Riley Sessions’ series. The Wedding Present are a band with a history that’s inextricably intertwined with the BBC and, in particular, the late DJ John Peel, an early champion of the band.
An avid Wedding Present fan himself, Riley, with his team of producers, has formed a close bond with David Gedge and the band. He says: “The release of these Wedding Present sessions recorded for our 6 Music programme over the years is something of an honour. In the great tradition of the Peel / Selwood releases on the Strange Fruit label, this record proves that, even without John, the BBC can still be a place where great bands can continue to grow and be creative... amongst friends.”
Having received critical acclaim for releases 1 - 3, Marc Riley Sessions Volume 4 goes on to feature nine songs recorded for the award-winning BBC 6 Music show in 2017 and 2018.
The first four tracks on the album were recorded with a string quartet and trumpeter and include a remarkable re-imagining of ‘Bewitched’, originally from the band’s 1989 album Bizarro. This new version will be available as an ‘instant gratification’ track for any digital orders of the album.
David Gedge says: “For the vast majority of sessions for BBC radio that we’ve committed to tape over the years, The Wedding Present band has consisted of vocals, guitars, bass and drums. It’s that classic Rock ’n’ Roll line-up, I guess. However, when I started recording tracks for Peel in the late 1990s with Cinerama, all manner of extra musicians were added, including pianists, string players, a flautist and a trumpeter. The advantage with this is that, understandably, you end up with a huge sound and the opportunity to experiment with multi-faceted arrangements. The disadvantage? Well, you are only allocated the same amount of time to set up, sound-check and record, so everything has to be done at triple the speed!
“”For The Wedding Present’s ninth Marc Riley session we decided to include a couple of songs from the recently released Going, Going... album. This LP features additional orchestration and so we thought it would be exciting to revisit an augmented, Cinerama-style, set-up in order to play live at the BBC’s historic Maida Vale studios. But one of the songs we recorded on that day predates Going, Going... by nearly three decades. ‘Bewitched’ has always had a symphonic feel to it and we thought it would also benefit from an orchestral lick of paint.
“Ironically, for the other session on this LP, we were stripped down to our most basic again to thunder through punky tunes like ‘Felicity’, ‘Getting Nowhere Fast’ and - the song that announced The Wedding Present to the world - ‘Go Out And Get ’Em, Boy!’ This new version of that song from our debut release is followed here by renditions of songs on our most recent single; such is the time-contracting effect of a Wedding Present Marc Riley session!
“That fact we’ve managed to record these very different kinds of sessions over the years is a testament to the skills of the BBC producers and engineers.”
Formed in 1985, The Wedding Present are one of the UK’s most longstanding and much-loved indie bands and have eighteen UK Top 40 hit singles to their name. Not bad for a band that has, from its inception, stubbornly refused to play the record industry’s game. From debut album George Best, “an unmitigated delight” [NME] - the first full-length release on their own Reception Records - onwards, the band has charted an appealing, if often eccentric, course of its very own. The band released their ninth studio album, Going, Going..., to critical acclaim in 2016.
Alongside The Wedding Present and his ‘other’ band, Cinerama, David runs his own record label, curates his own festival – At The Edge Of The Sea - and publishes a biographical comic book series; Tales From The Wedding Present - essentially his memoirs in graphic novel style.
During 2019, The Wedding Present played Bizarro live in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary. Now that this series of concerts has finished, the group has returned to performing non-album-specific 'normal' sets [except for at At The Edge Of The Sea XII, where they will be playing Take Fountain to celebrate that album’s 15 year anniversary]. David has hinted that 2020 will be a 'quiet year' for the band. This means that there are no plans to tour with quite the frequency that has been seen in the years since the release of Going, Going…
Catalogue number: HAT32LP
Label: Hatch Records