(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Interview: David Gedge of The Wedding Present (Part 2)

By on Tuesday, 6th March 2018 at 1:00 pm

To read the first half of my interview feature with frontman David of The Wedding Present, come through.

The garden-variety band, after they’ve achieved any kind of fame, are very happy to keep on with just their music. But as should already be evident as you’ve been reading this piece, David Gedge and The Wedding Present have never been like any other band. This year, Gedge and co. will be celebrating the 10th year running of At the Edge of the Sea festival, an annual event in August curated by the band. I inquire about its origin. “We were on tour, years ago, having breakfast in a café in Yorkshire, actually, and musing about how you meet so many nice people doing what we do. Like support bands who you see day-in, day-out for a couple of weeks, but then you might never see them again. So At the Edge of the Sea was a way to invite people to Brighton, where the band’s based, so that we get to hang out with them again.”

In describing the festival, like much of this interview with him, what comes across from Gedge is a genuine warmth and excitement, and a desire to contribute to the business in a positive way, his way. So it’s no surprise he’d want to take on the hard work of having their own label, Scorpitones, which has released nearly all of The Wedding Present’s records since 2005. “Having the final say over matters concerning our releases – artistic and commercial decisions, etc. – has always been paramount within The Wedding Present and, when you have your own label, you have total control over absolutely everything. That’s the most rewarding thing. I’m not answerable to anyone.” And ultimately, that’s what all artists wish for, isn’t it?

Next week, Gedge and his band will be appearing at SXSW 2018, an event where they’ve appeared a multitude of times in past years. He revels in participating. “I like the fact that it’s just this ridiculous hotbed of activity. It’s like a crazy beehive. Bands playing in every building, people from all over the world. And Austin’s such a cool place, too.” I venture that he probably gets recognised more often than not. But he’s the kind of cool bloke who takes it all in stride. And he’s not hiding out in a VIP hotel room somewhere. “Being ‘bothered’ is something I’ve never really had a problem with. I think Wedding Present fans are generally very respectful. So yes, I’m always wandering around at SXSW.”

Who’s wowed him in Austin in the past? He even has a recommendation for us this year. “Ringo Deathstarr, who are actually from Austin, are always worth catching. We’re playing with them again this year. And I loved seeing British Sea Power, who, coincidentally, are also from Brighton. That was only a few years ago, but I was a latecomer to their music. There was also a band called Razika from Sweden, I think… [they’re actually from Bergen, Norway – Ed.] and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart were great.”

David Gedge with a comic book circa December 2015
David Gedge enjoying one of the riveting issues of Tales From The Wedding Present
(photo from the band’s Facebook)

I have a final question for Gedge. After having accomplished so much in the over 3 decades, what does he wants to be remembered for? Without hesitation, it’s “My comic book! Tales From The Wedding Present.” It may sound like an unusual response, to not have named an album or a song. But on second thought, it makes total sense. While the songs and albums are Gedge’s bread and butter, putting himself and the band’s life on the road into a serialised comic series and indulging in his personal passion for the art form is David Gedge being David Gedge. And we wouldn’t want him to be anybody else.

Many thanks to David for being such a cool dude and answering so many of my burning questions!

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