Sultan of Sorrow 

The Marital Misery of the Wedding Present

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Twenty years is a long time to be sad, angry, and confused, yet David Gedge—the frontman for seminal UK indie group the Wedding Present—has built an illustrious and successful career out of being just that. While he may be second only to Morrissey in deserving a "Pope of Mope" nickname, Gedge nonetheless seems like a pleasant fellow, a guy you could throw a few pints back with and talk about how well his favorite soccer (er, football) team is doing. That may not seem all that remarkable, but we're talking about the man who recently—at nearly 50 years of age—wrote a bittersweet little number called "Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk."

The Wedding Present started in the mid-'80s and filled in the post-Smiths gap quite nicely. Gedge's frantic, jangly guitars matched perfectly to his somewhat conversational vocal style, one that had him musing on girls, drinking, and—oh yeah—more girls. The band—backed by the full support of super-fan John Peel—quickly, and somewhat bizarrely, crossed over into the mainstream. Their first record, George Best, became a crowd favorite, even sneaking its way onto the UK charts. A few years later the band decided to forgo releasing a proper record and instead issued a monthly single that tied an Elvis Presley record for most Top 30 singles in one year with a total of 12. Elvis had "Love Me Tender," while Gedge had the caustic "Loveslave." Makes perfect sense, right?

Their latest album, the Los Angeles-focused El Rey, released earlier this year, marks what now has been a pair of decades, and Gedge has yet to falter, either with the Wedding Present or his lighter side project, Cinerama—even though, to be honest, he's been basically writing the same song over and over again. Twenty years of jealousy, heartache, and bitterness, and the material still manages to stay fresh and relevant. Robert Smith: Put down the eyeliner and take note.

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