100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #45 The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress

Released: 1987

For the suits the idea that any of the motley bunch contributing to the NME’s C86 compilation might get a major label deal was so far fetched at the time it was laughable. The industry which had spent the decade after punk hermetically sealing itself from the chance of any more ugly future surprises instead regarded that branch of music as a howling cousin twice removed.

The Wedding Present’s This Boy Can Wait featured on C86, but otherwise for the quartet times were less than easy; supposedly living on toast for 18 months whilst doing it the hard way, they van-slogged it around the Polytechnic circuit waiting for something to happen. In the process though they gained a small but loyal support – and eventually their anthracite post hardcore garnered the adoration of legendary tastemaker John Peel.

Their debut album George Best drew on singer David Gedge’s experiences whilst living in Leeds, stories of broken trusts, sideways glances and hearts left out to dry on corduroy sleeves. At the top of this pile of emotional wreckage was My Favourite Dress. A song flush with bittersweet remorse, on it Gedge deadpanned the lyrics in his crushed northern drawl, guitar riffs were gut punches, bass notes a guilty knock on the door and a rasping finish threatened to collapse in on itself. Amongst the cobbled streets and back to backs there was no kind of loving, just regret.

You can read about George Best turning 30 here.

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