This year is the 10th anniversary of the At The Edge Of The Sea (ATEOTS) festival and this is my fourth time covering it for Brightonsfinest. When I first discovered the festival five years ago I did not know much about The Wedding Present, except that their fans are the sort of people who would see The Wedding Present headline their own festival every year. It’s a very clever festival really. Firstly, the title is perfect as it’s hosted at the Concorde 2 venue, right at the edge of the sea. Also, a few of the bands have joked it should be At The Gedge Of The Sea, as the festival is put together by David Gedge, the frontman for The Wedding Present.
In 1987, Leeds band The Wedding Present, riding high on the buzz generated by a number of self-released singles and the support from the likes of Radio One DJ's John Peel and Andy Kershaw, released their debut album, George Best, also on their own label, Reception. It featured a now iconic image of that equally iconic footballer of the same name on the cover, and became a minor commercial success, scraping the top 50, and cementing the band's reputation as one of the best around, one who was spearheading the so-called 'indie' scene that had slowly grown out of post-punk, and which had been encapsulated by the legendary C86 cassette that the NME gave away with their weekly print edition. Dubbed 'the most indie thing to have ever existed', most of the bands on it subsequently faded away into semi-obscurity. Bands such as Might Mighty, The Bodines, Bogshed, and Close Lobsters. However, along with Primal Scream, The Wedding Present have, with the odd blip or two, stayed the course. In 2018 they are as highly revered as ever: they’re still releasing records, curate their own annual festival, At the Edge of the Sea, now in its 10th year, and even have a new film documenting their early years, Something Left Behind, to celebrate.