The Wedding Present - Ukranian John Peel Sessions (RCA, 1989)
The Wedding Present
Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela (Ukranian John Peel Sessions)
10'' RCA PL 74104 (UK, 1989)
CD Fresh Ear Records FRESH CD 100 (UK, 2000)
01. Davni Chasy
02. Cherez Richku Cherez Hai
03. Svitit Misyats
05. Zadumav Didochok
06. Yikhav Kozak Za Dunai
07. Hude Dnipro Hude
09. Vasya Vasyliok
10. Sertsem I Dusheyu
Note : 12: John Peel Session.
Recorded at BBC Maida Vale, Studio 3 on 26-Oct-86 and first broadcast on 25-Nov-86
3, 4, 6, 7, 8: Ukrainian Session #1.
Recorded at BBC Maida Vale, Studio 4 on 6-Oct-87 and first broadcast on 14-Oct-87.
1, 5, 9, 13: Ukrainian Session #2.
Recorded at BBC Maida Vale, Studio 4 on 15-Mar-88 and first broadcast on 5-Apr-88.
2, 10, 11: Ukrainian Session #3.
Recorded at Wessex Studios, London on 2-May-89 and first broadcast on 15-May-89.
Between 1986 and 1989, the Wedding Present (labelled incorrectly by the British press as heir apparent to the Smiths) periodically went into the BBC studio of John Peel and recorded traditional Ukrainian folk songs. Eventually, three members of the Wedding Present would branch off to form the Ukrainians and record some inspired covers of songs by the Smiths. This CD is a collection of the Peel sessions, so the music is credited to the Wedding Present and, indeed, Wedding Present frontman David Gedge has a large role, playing guitar and providing background vocals. But these songs aren't really features for guitars and traditional instruments. Instead, mandolins, bayans, bubons, skripkas, and other exotic instruments dominate the mix. The music, comprised of traditional Ukrainian folk tunes, works best as a fun diversion. The general tone is festive and celebratory; the songs would not seem out of place at a wedding or some other party where funky dancing is the rule of the day. "Vasya Vasyliok" is the nearest relation to a rock song on the album. It wouldn't seem out of place on a Wedding Present release, if the vocals were in English. Fans of the Wedding Present shouldn't feel that their collections are incomplete without this particular Peel Sessions release. At the same time, the musicianship on display is quite impressive. If the Smiths covers were included, this would be a bit more irresistible. Now, it's best left for hipster parties. (All Music Guide)
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