David Gedge may have lacked the looks, charisma and downright strangeness of Morrissey but, for a time, his band The Wedding Present were The Smiths only serious rivals for the title of 'Kings of Bedsit Land.' Identifiably Northern, in the same way as Morrissey and Co, Gedge's flat singing and the hundred-mile-an-hour guitars mitigated against a broader appeal. That said, this album remains a classic of its kind, its kind being frantic, jangly, mid-80s indie pop.
Gedge could also turn a witty phrase or two. How about "At home she tells him little lies/Like onions always make her cry" or my favourite "You're not like anyone I've ever met....well, at least not yet." Twelve words that chart the trajectory of a love affair from initial starry-eyed romance to inevitable disappointment. "Ooh, he sounds like a right bastard!" said my then-girlfriend, with rather too much relish in her voice.
'Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft' will have you whistling its infectious tune a few bars in, 'A Million Miles' recalls the teenage excitement of meeting a new love at a party, and the sickening sadness of "Slowly your beauty is eaten away/By the scent of someone else, in the blankets where we lay" is the stand-out line from 'My Favourite Dress.'
On a more personal note, I also love it because someone with my name gets to play the cad in 'Give My Love To Kevin!'