#43: 1987, The Wedding Present, My Favourite Dress

by George_East on December 28, 2010

Last night I was at a 40th birthday party for someone who I don’t really know that well. Over dinner the subject moved on as it inevitably does to music. The older brother of the birthday boy was holding forth on how crap music was when he was at university in the late 1980s before the Stone Roses emerged.

I agreed that music was pretty rubbish then but said there was some good stuff around like The Wedding Present . He said ‘weren’t they shite?’.  The answer to this question is no, no and thrice no. The Wedding Present, particularly George Best vintage Wedding Present were a great band.  I was in the 6th form at school when their first singles and that fabulous debut album with its iconic cover was released.

To me they were like an everyman version of The Smiths. Whereas Morrissey’s lyrics about love, sex and more particularly rejection spoke to me, I could never hope to articulate my feelings as poetically as he did. David Gedge on the other hand wrote in a language which not only captured those same teen feelings but did it with words and phrases that I used. He could be just as funny or poignant as Morrissey: ‘I can’t still be drunk at 5, oh I guess I surely can‘.

And Grapper’s guitar had none of the beauty or technique that Johnny Marr had. It was direct, simple and brilliant – a guitar style that any bunch of teens forming a band could aspire to pull off.

This song was the first song of The Wedding Present’s that I remember really loving when it came out as a single prior to the release of George Best. It is an achingly sad song of rejection and jealously. You can feel David Gedge’s pain when he sees his ex with another bloke’s arm around her with, the agonised and plaintive cry of ‘but that was my favourite dress’, as she adds insult to injury.

So no birthday bloke’s brother, you are very wrong. The Wedding Present were great and this song is them at their best.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ray_North December 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

All is well with the world – I wake up to the news that England have retained the Ashes and see that one of the greatest songs ever written has appeared on this blogsite, and to boost, my old mate George East has almost certainly been abusing random strangers about their lack of taste in music – all is well with the world.
I love this song – that guitar intro, before the bass and drums kick in and those wonderful lyrics, was there ever a more intense song, sung with such genuine emotion – I listen to this and fear that if David Gedge hadn’t been able to write such wonderful songs, then he would probably have been the subject of an injunction preventing him from going within 100 yards of his favourite dress.

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