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Wedding Present Finds New Way To Work

Of the Oakland Press

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David Gedge may be the Wedding Present's mainstay and frontman, but David Gedge doesn't have to control everything. In fact, he's turned over concert set list duties to bassist Terry de Castro -- gladly.

"It's a thankless task, to be honest," says Gedge, 48, who co-founded the Wedding Present in 1985 in Leeds, England and reactivated it in 2004 after a seven-year break to pursue another band called Cinerama. "We have so many songs now, like about 250, including covers, and you try to condense that into a 90-minute set, which means you've got to leave stuff out. And whatever you do, people always complain, so if someone else wants to take the brunt of that, it's fine with me.

"And also, (de Castro) has only been with me since the Cinerama days, so she's got a bit more objective view on the earlier songs, more like a fan. It's quite helpful to have that kind of detached, outsider perspective, I think."

The Wedding Present's new album, "El Rey," bears the mark of Gedge's move to California before making the album, from lyrical references to song titles such as "Santa Ana Winds" and "Spider-Man on Hollywood." But he did not set out to make his version of a Beach Boys album.

"Musically I think it would sound the same wherever we are," Gedge explains, " 'cause it's the sum of the influences of the people in the group at any one time.

"But the way I write (lyrics) is quite a personal style. And because I've been living in Los Angeles the last year or so, I felt it would be quite interesting to make some references to that. It's nice to absorb the influences around you -- especially in Los Angeles, which is a bit of a weird city and gives you a lot to write about."

The Wedding Present and Dirty on Purpose perform Thursday (Oct. 2) at the Pike Room in the Crofoot complex, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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