Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Genius Of… David Gedge #1

There is a handful of artists I hold in particularly high esteem, something you may have noticed if you’ve followed this blog for a little while. I’m going to feature a few of them in more detail. For the foreseeable future, Saturday is Genius Day, where I feature a track by one of those artists I deem to be at least semi-worthy of the tag.

I’m going to alternate between three acts. So next week will see Tim Smith of Cardiacs as my subject, the following week will be Jack White. Then the cycle will start again with the second posting of today’s chosen one. And who might that be? Well duh! Look at the title of the post!

#1: 2, 3, Go
I’ve made little secret of my fondness for the music of David Lewis Gedge. He’s featured a few times on these pages (in particular here and here). I put it to you that he is one of the great, underrated songwriters of the modern age. I shall bolster my argument by posting a track of my choosing and writing a few words about it.

To begin, I plumped for 2, 3, Go from Saturnalia. It was the penultimate single the Wedding Present released before Gedge dissolved them to form Cinerama. It’s an unusually optimistic song by his standards. The lyrics are essentially saying ‘to hell with the consequences, let’s do lots of cool stuff just because we can!’

  “Make a movie today
  Buy a red Chevrolet
  Let’s go swim the Zambezi
  Let’s do it just ‘cause it’s easy.”

There’s a sense of impulsive behaviour that crops up in a number of Gedge’s songs. Here he’s being much more overt:

  “Sometimes if we just wait
  For the right moment
  It comes far too late.”

2, 3, Go adopts the quietLOUDquiet dynamic pioneered by Pixies, but still remains unmistakably a Gedge work. OK, so his voice pretty much gives it away, but I also like the contribution of bass player Jayne Lockey here as well, giving the song a similar feel to the later Cinerama stuff.

In spite of its release (in a slightly edited form) as a single, it did very little commercially which may have helped influence Gedge’s decision to put the Wedding Present brand into hibernation shortly thereafter. The likeness to latter day Cinerama also maybe hints at why Gedge took the decision to adopt the Wedding Present name again for the ‘Take Fountain’ album some nine years later. Pure speculation of course, but 2, 3, Go wouldn’t have sounded out of place nestled next to Don’t Touch That Dial, itself a Cinerama song that ended up on the Wedding Present’s ‘comeback’ album.

For me, 2, 3, Go is one of the great forgotten tracks in the Weddoes canon. 


Soundtrack:

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