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'George Best 30'   

-  Label: 'Happy Happy Birthday To Me'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '22th September 207'-  Catalogue No: 'HHBTM190'

Our Rating:
This is the 30th Anniversary re-recording of The Wedding Present's classic debut album George Best. It was actually recorded after the end of their tour to celebrate the album's 20th Birthday. The recording took place in January 2008 after they finished recording El Ray at Steve Albini's studio's in Chicago, they persuaded him to let them record the album live in the studio. As it was already tour-tightened, it was swift as is the playing on the album.

Having not really heard the record since it as first released, I come at the new version with pretty fresh ears so to speak. It opens with the urgent jangle pop of Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft, which in places sounds like they still want to be as good at The Soup Dragons were on Hang Ten.

What Did Your Last Servant Di?e of is an adrenal rush of the sort of jangle pop that used to be referred to as anorak music. Don't Be So Hard has a great revolving motif that will get deep into your head ad very quickly, but at the pace they are playing, it will exit just as rapidly after 2 minutes 25.

The love story that unfolds in A Million Miles flashes by like the briefest of encounters in the dark in a club as the guitars jangle and sound great as they should being played in a great sounding room as David Gedge can't even remember the colour of her eyes.

All Of This And More flies out of the speakers and into the heart of jangly indie insistence as Gedge's deadpan vocals seem to be rushing to keep up with the pace. It's as if they are playing the song with the belief they if can't play it all in less than two and a bit minutes then they won't do it justice. This is super speedy.

My Favourite Dress of course sounds like the sort of Evening Session Peel show classic it originally was as the fight over a potential partner and her perfect dress unfolds over the jangly guitars as side one of the album rushes towards its conclusion.

Side 2 opens with the new version of the classic Shatner as they use good ole Captain Kirk to try to win an argument over the super urgent guitars and almost understated drumming. This new version sounds really cool.

Something And Nothing sounds so familiar and obviously less polished than what I remember of the original but it keeps up the breakneck pace and just cool sense of the band letting rip in the studio for the hell of it without really knowing if they'd ever bother to put this re-record out.

It's What You Want That Matters has the jangly intro that I used to hear in a couple of my regular haunts back in the day. A Club Silver classic for sure and still jangling for all it's worth with Dave's vocals a nice gentle presence as the guitars go for the jugular.

Give My Love To Kevin is still a wonderfully wry look at how you treat the other guy your girlfriend is going out with. Yes, send him your love even if you don't want to share her with him or all the other possibilities. This is about right up until they let the sound expire at the end.

Anyone Can Make A Mistake reminds me of listening to Peel and driving through the night. It has that late night 80 mph on a motorway feel to it that needs to be heard real loud and super jangly while you try not to make a mistake.

It ends with You Can't Moan, Can You? which Is another anorak jangle pop classic to close the album as it always has. This is certainly an album that will please the band's long term fan base and if you love the original album this is a nice addition to your record collection.

By waiting another 10 years to release this from its recording date it's obvious the band didn't consider it as a cash-in exercise but did it because they wanted to capture how it sounded at the end of a good tour, simply for themselves. Now we all get to share in the experience.

Find out more at Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records online

The Wedding Present online
  author: simonovitch

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