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My travel tips: The Wedding Present
Singer David Gedge eats his way around the world - taking in pizza cruises, buck rarebit and "naan breads like duvets"

What's your favourite city in the world?
"Seattle. I'm fond of American culture but Seattle feels sort of more European than other cities in the USA. And it's actually quite left wing, as far as America goes. There's something 'more' to it. There's a lot of youth culture going on... you know, rock venues, comic book shops, record stores, trendy places to eat... and it's a very arty place, with tons of music obviously. But at the same time it offers quite a high standard of living as well... in an extremely beautiful part of the world. It's surrounded by water and mountain ranges... the Olympics and the Cascades."
Favourite venue?
"I always enjoy playing at the Leadmill in Sheffield... it's on the smaller band circuit in a way, but the production values are of a much higher quality than you'd usually find on those kinds of tours. The
people who run it are lovely... and they seem to have a desire to put on new and interesting music, especially local stuff. Then, after you've played, the place turns into a giant dance club! My most memorable concert there was when we did the BBC's 'Sound City' thing in the late 80s for John Peel's show. I think we were supported by Pulp, actually."
What's been the best gig you've seen? Where was it and what made it so amazing?
" I guess it was My Bloody Valentine at Bradford University when they were at their noisiest. But they had such a fantastic sound and such great songs. It was obviously quite extreme... there were people leaving
the auditorium clutching their stomachs and stuff... but I enjoyed every minute of it!"
Favourite music festival?
"There's only one answer to this as every band will tell you! Benicàssim, in Spain. If you listed all the countries of the world in order of appropriateness for rock festivals, Britain would come last and Spain would come top... by virtue of climate alone. I don't know if it's my imagination, but Benicàssim always gives the impression of being less business oriented... bands seem to pop up at any point in the bill and everyone always seems to have a good time. There's even a swimming pool backstage... which you don't actually need because you're only a stone's throw from the beach."
Favourite bar/pub in the world?
"There isn't one... I don't like pubs. But my favourite tea room is The Mock Turtle in Brighton. Lovely Buck Rarebit!"
Favourite record shop?
" Most of my collection was purchased at Jumbo Records in Leeds... but I also like Sonic Boom Records in Seattle. Both those places know what I want to buy before I do. And the staff are really knowledgeable. For the older, weirder, stuff... I'd say Borderline, in Brighton."
Favourite club night?
"How Does It Feel To Be Loved? in London - because I go there with a box of my favourite records and play them to my friends. And they actually pay me for this! Eventually."
Favourite art gallery/museum?
"The National Film Museum in Bradford. I've always been more interested in movies and photography than paintings and sculptures, so this place was perfect for me when I lived in Leeds. It also houses the only cinema in Britain where you can watch Cinerama films in their original three projector format."
Favourite restaurant?
Nazam's... an Indian restaurant in Woodhouse, Leeds. They know me very well there! The food's great, the people are down to earth, the naan breads are like duvets and a big meal for five costs about £26! I would recommend the chicken and spinach massalla. And take your own drinks."
Favourite place to go shopping?
"Brighton's North Laine area seems to satisfy most of my pop culture cravings. That's where Borderline Records is, too. It's a bit hippyish but there are no chains... just groovy little shops like David's Comics and cafes like The Wai Kika Moo Kau."
Favourite place to get away from it all?
"Reading a comic on a deserted Mediterranean beach followed by a Greek salad and glass of red wine in a romantic little restaurant would work!"
Worst overseas hangover of the last five years - where were you and what caused it?
"It was in Cologne last November. I was over there to do some promotional stuff but made the mistake of going out the night before with members of a German pop group called Klee, with whom we're good friends. The thing is, people don't start going out there until after 11pm, by which time us English people have already had quite a few drinks. It was one of those occasions where you'd be saying: 'No thanks, I'm OK...' and they'd still come back with another glass for you. On the way home I ended up pouncing on my girlfriend from behind parked cars and dropping my video camera from a height of about twenty feet. Like a true professional, however, I pulled myself together for the following day full of interviews..."
Recommend one great thing about your hometown.
"Indian food!
Anywhere else in the world we should visit?
" Amsterdam. Canals, pancakes, beautiful towering old buildings, stylish new ones, loads of things to do, including naughty stuff for those inclined. You can go on a 'pizza cruise'... a guided tour round the canals while you're chewing on one of Domino's finest and guzzling free drinks. Strange people, the Dutch, though..."

For more info on The Wedding Present, go to www.scopitones.co.uk


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