Review Revue: The Wedding Present – Ukrainian John Peel Sessions

The Wedding Present is one of those bands whose catalog I always found daunting when I browsed the record store bins. So many albums, and singles, and EPs, and Peel sessionses! I ended up just buying Seamonsters and sticking with it, but I knew they had much more to offer. And that was before I heard of this project – properly titled Українські Виступи в Івана Піла – a collection of Ukrainian folk songs interpreted by the band and recorded for posterity by the legendary John Peel. This 10″ appears to the first installment of what ended up being a series of recordings inspired by guitarist Peter Solowka, who ended up starting his own Ukrainian band – The Ukrainians – in 1990. If you always thought the Wedding Present were a little bit too much of a downer, one listen to this record will certainly change your perspective.

“A very successful melding of contemporary musicians and traditional Ukrainian folk songs. All done by the Wedding Present. It’s rollicking moody, intriguing, dynamic and damn fun.”

“You want Ukrainian music – play Ukrainian music – there’s plenty of it available! Yaaawnnn.”

“Wonderful!”

“Brilliant choice by Wedding Present, brilliantly executed. A wonderful album!”

“Not all of these are actually ‘party’ songs, but I can sure picture happy stein swingin’ on some tracks! For the real ideas behind this project, track down & read the accompanying book-lette.”

“[I think there’s a missing label here, as this comment seems to start mid-stream] /bass/drums/backup) ‘because of who we are.’ In other words, they decided to play these for fun rather than force themselves to sound ‘authentic.’No dry history lesson here. Augmented by 2 guiest musicians, they still sound like the Wedding present! But an ethnic Wedding Present. This is a terrific release.”

“All RIGHT. OHMYGAWD, Ukrainian Muziko! OK, Beeg Amerikan Radio Channel, KCMU!!”

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