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Rachel Spivey – Wedding (Present) Photographer

December 17, 2010

Contrary to public perception it’s not all show tunes and rockabilly at Rouge Towers and when I heard that my indiepop heroes – The Wedding Present – would be passing through Leamington I stuck my (brass)neck out and asked if I could photograph them.

They said yes.

So on Wednesday night I made the short trip over to The Assembly to take advantage of their fantastic backstage area, and in particular the super kitsch pink and chrome caravan that once belonged to Tammy Wynette.

The Wedding Present photographed by Rachel Spivey

The Wedding Present – Leamington Spa 15th December 2010

I’ve done a fair few high stakes, big pressure jobs but shooting someone I have such admiration and affection for got me a bit giddy. (Not that you could tell from my cool and professional exterior.) The band were all charming and accommodating – I guess being photographed is just another day at the office for them, but it was a genuine thrill to fleetingly connect with frontman David Gedge through the camera lens.

David Gedge from The Wedding Present

Mr David Lewis Gedge

The Wedding Present provided the soundtrack to my youthful angst and their marriage of furious guitars with David’s incisive, lovelorn lyrics has remained a constant in my life ever since I first saw them at the Redcar Bowl in 1988. Some years later when my boyfriend showed me footage of his college band’s version of My Favourite Dress I knew he was worth holding on to. I married him and he still occasionally sits in the kitchen strumming and singing his small repertoire of Weddoes songs.

I have seen the band live on a number of occasions, as both The Wedding Present and their sometime alter ego Cinerama, and once spent a gig in Leicester lounging at the back while being very pregnant with the twins. I never once thought I’d be hanging out with them in the campest caravan known to man.

Indie heroes The Wedding Present
Rachel Spivey backstage at The Leamington Assembly

If Tammy's van is a-rocking, don't come a-knocking

After I’d got the lights set up backstage, myself and the aforementioned bag-carrying husband were invited into the soundcheck where I took a few cheeky candid snaps of the band running through a couple of numbers. I was that little indie chick again and this was like our own private gig. I’m surprised the shots are actually in focus.

The Wedding Present soundchecking on stage

The band check sound in their civvies

Members of The Wedding Present soundcheck

Graeme, Charlie, and Pepe fiddle with levels and stuff

David Gedge soundchecks at a gig in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

David does the ones and twos, while Jessica tunes up

This tour will take them all over the world performing their classic Bizarro album, with Leamington being their last gig in the UK, so once the shoot was done and dusted I dropped all the kit back at the studio so I could relax and just enjoy the gig.

Wedding Present – Access All Areas

I was quite taken with support band The Jet Age, which I think was largely due to how friendly they’d been backstage, but The Wedding Present were just ace onstage.




Now I know my blog readers are a cool and cultured bunch, but for the uninitiated I have done you a little Spotify playlist over here to introduce you to a handful of their songs and I’ll also sign off with this little clip.

Couldn’t agree with the sentiment more.

Merry Christmas people.

I hope you all get the kind of presents you like under your tree.

RS x

(PS. Follow David Gedge on Twitter @weddingpresent – he’ll thank you for it.)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 3:51 pm

    Excellent! Meeting musical heroes can be a dodgy affair at best, so it’s good they were as cool as you thought they would be.

  2. December 17, 2010 3:57 pm

    I felt like a Mum getting info on her child’s win for an Oscar or something. Honestly my lovely – I’m so proud. This is what life’s about. The fact you’ve been a fan forever and the fact that Mr Gedge is clearly a down to earth guy adds to the fabulous-ness of it all.
    2010 ends on a high for Team Spivey/Rouge – 2011 is clearly going to rock even harder. Why? Because I said so, boo!
    Huge hugs

    • December 17, 2010 5:44 pm

      Hey V! Thanks for being so lovely and supportive. Go Team Rouge! Lots of love R x

  3. John permalink
    December 17, 2010 5:08 pm

    Ask the boy Gedge said: shame their last UK gig of the tour had to be in such a dive.

    Lovely photos, to remind me of it.

  4. December 17, 2010 7:40 pm

    Hey, maybe you were taken with us ’cause we’re good! 🙂 Either way, it was nice meeting you. -E

    • December 17, 2010 7:47 pm

      Sorry it didn’t come across how I meant – thought you were brill! In fact, I’ve just downloaded In “Love” on iTunes! Was lovely to meet you too x

      • January 8, 2011 5:44 am

        Rachel, I was totally kidding but greatly appreciate the kind words and your hard-earned cash! Happy New Year! 🙂 -E

  5. Elusivd permalink
    December 18, 2010 2:59 pm

    Nice piece and great pics. Saw TWP at Cambridge earlier in month and they blew me away. They certainly have the ability to take me to a place I’d like to stay!

  6. December 21, 2010 10:16 pm

    How exciting! The pics look ace too x

  7. Static1812 permalink
    December 28, 2010 9:20 pm

    Smashing blog entry and really cool pictures, love the one in the carevan in particular. Wish I’d been at the gig.

  8. mattibe permalink
    March 8, 2012 11:03 am

    Old post, but BBC 6 music just played Kennedy and I got nostalgic.

    I was at Redcar bowl in 88. I must have been (counts fingers) 15/16. First ‘propper’ gig. My ears rang for a week.

    Great band.

    • March 8, 2012 11:14 am

      Ha! Brilliant, you can’t beat a bit of nostalgia. I was 16/17, remember it being really humid and sweaty at that gig. You still in North East?

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