Cult band frontman loves his life in Sussex

HE MAY come from Leeds but for David Gedge of cult band The Wedding Present, Sussex is starting to feel like home.

With the release of El Rey on Monday, Gedge and the rest of the band are getting ready for an album launch at Brighton's Corn Exchange on today (Friday, May 30).

Originally the launch was set to be just one night of celebration of the new album in Brighton but due to popular demand the band have added dates in Blackpool, Norwich and Swindon, all, said David, places they wouldn't normally get to play.

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Formed in 1985, the band have had various line-up changes over the years and started this album with all new faces, except Gedge himself.

Now based in Hove and LA, David has spent time in various parts of Sussex.

'It is starting to feel like home to be honest,' he said.

'It is a really nice place to live, really nice atmosphere, nice weather.

'It is close to the fans and to London, it is a good place.'

Having achieved global success does not seem to have hampered Gedge's calm nature and commitment to his fans.

When living in Alfriston the owner of The Smugglers pub asked him for a Christmas favour.

'They have this Christmas thing there every year, a jazz band play.

'I was just talking to the owner and he said they're all in their 70s they have a little rest in between and would I like to come up and do something.

'He was a nice bloke.

'It was very strange night, a few fans came down for it, so it was half them and half these people having Christmas dinner.

'It was quite funny. We released a DVD of our Shepherds Bush Empire concert recently; one of the extras is me playing there.'

On asking him if the usually genteel diners of Alfriston enjoyed their surprise treat he said: 'Surprise is right but treat? I wouldn't go as far as that!'

El Rey is already receiving positive reviews from critics across the world and Friday's show in Brighton is planned as much as a celebration of that as as an ordinary gig.

'I am really looking forward to Brighton because that was the original launch.

'I am quite pleased with the album so I did not want to detract from that.

'There are loads of ideas flying around about what to do on Friday.

'We have Everett True doing a bit of MC-ing, we are trying to make it as much of a party as possible.'

For tickets visit http://www.brightondome.org/

The album is out now.