CD + DVD Set in Hard Bound Book Sleeve. All tracks remastered. New artwork & 16-page booklet.
Includes all 3 John Peel sessions re-mastered for the first time along with 16-page booklet and new sleeve artwork designed by original artist Jonathan Hitchen. Both formats come with a DVD that includes a new 50 min interview with David Gedge, Peter Solowka and Len Liggins and rare BBC 2 TV performance and 2 live recordings from 1989 Leeds Polytechnic and The Ukrainians performing Davni Chasy at the 'At The Edge Of The Sea' festival in 2010. Who would have thought the Ukrainian songs The Wedding Present initially played as a bit of fun would turn into a proper band with numerous albums, BBC sessions for the legendary John Peel Show and live shows to their credit?
Already forging a reputation as purveyors of the finest British indie rock of a generation, Leeds-based band The Wedding Present first played the traditional Ukrainian song ‘Hopak’ at rehearsals in 1987, suggested by second guitarist Pete Solowka, whose father had emigrated from Ukraine. Proving a hit with the band, they soon decided to add to the song and it wasn’t long before the band’s next John Peel session for his popular BBC radio show had a distinct Ukrainian feel to it! Drafting in singer/violinist Len Liggins, a friend of Solowka’s and a student of Slavonic languages, the session was a surprising hit, and Peel would go on to air the session several times over. In fact, that first session is still being played today, most recently by Gideon Coe on BBC Radio 6 Music.
Due to the overwhelming success of that first session, two further BBC sessions were recorded at Peel’s request. With another Ukrainian, Roman Remeynes drafted in, the band eventually released the album ‘Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela’ (1989), which went on to sell 70,000 copies on its release and was supported by an 8-date UK tour. The record is famous as being the only Ukrainian language record to feature in the UK album charts (no.22)! With regular singer David Gedge relegated to guitar and backing vocals, Liggins takes centre-stage on vocal duties. His sonorous Ukrainian vocals on ‘Cherez Richku, Cherez Hai’ combined with Solowka’s edgy guitar make for an exciting mix of Ukrainian and western musical styles, and is something of a reference point for a genre of music which now exists in Ukrainian communities around the world.
1. Davni Chasy (2nd Session Recorded 15.03.88)
2. Cherez Richku, Cherez Hai (3rd Session Recorded 02.05.89)
3. Svitit Misyats (1st Session Recorded 06.10.87)
4. Tiutiunnyk (1st Session Recorded 06.10.87)
5. Zadumav Didochok (2nd Session Recorded 15.03.88)
6. Yikhav Kozak Za Dunai (1st Session Recorded 06.10.87)
7. Hude Dnipro Hude (1st Session Recorded 06.10.87)
8. Katrusya (1st Session Recorded 06.10.87)
9. Vasya Vasyliok (2nd Session Recorded 15.03.88)
10. Sertsem I Dusheyu (3rd Session Recorded 15.03.89)
11. Zavtra (3rd Session Recorded 15.03.89)
12. Verkhovyno (2nd Session Recorded 15.03.88)
DVD: Interview with David Gedge, Peter Solowka and Len Liggins by Ken Garner (author of the definitive BBC John Peel sessions book 'In Session Tonight') at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 10.11.2018 The Wedding Present performing 'Vasya Vasilyok' and 'Hude Dnipro Hude' at Leeds Polytechnic 28.04.1989 The Wedding Present performing 'Verkhovyno' on BBC 2's 'On A Personal Note' 23.09.1988 The Ukrainians performing 'Davni Chasy' at the 'At The Edge Of The Sea' festival, Brighton 28.08.2010.