DAVID Gedge should be enjoying the easy life as one of the elder statesmen of the alternative music scene.

Instead he’s as busy as he’s ever been, organising festivals, touring the world and the UK, creating new Wedding Present album Valentina, producing a book on the making of the album, inspiring a comic book series...and he still finds time to photograph European toilet signs for his Twitter feed.

“Ha” laughs Gedge, the singer-songwriter and only constant member of the band. “The toilet signs on the continent seem to be a bit more elaborate. I started doing it and now people have started requesting it. I’ve got to be a bit careful – people might get the wrong idea if they see you hanging around toilets with a camera.”

The man described by John Peel as having “written some of the best love songs of the Rock ’n’ Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong” is speaking from his hotel room in Bordeaux, on the European leg of the tour which arrives at Leamington Spa’s Assembly on Tuesday.

And it’s no ordinary tour. The highlight is the chance to hear 1991’s Seamonsters in its entirety, plus tracks from eighth studio album Valentina and other old favourites. So why delve into his past?

“In 2007 we were approached by our record company to tour for the 20th anniversary of (debut album) George Best,” he says. “It’s not an original idea and I wasn’t really that keen. As a musician you’re always looking forward. But I spoke to a few people and they said ‘that’s a brilliant idea, we’d love to see that’.

“To my surprise I enjoyed it too. I came to the conclusion that the past was as important as the present.”

When the 20th anniversary of second album Bizarro approached, they did the same. But it is the chance to hear Seamonsters – a brooding, intense masterpiece – that has got fans buzzing in anticipation. Does Gedge think, as many do, that it is the best thing they have ever done?

“It’s impossible for me to judge.” he admits. “It’s like trying to choose your favourite children. I find it hard to compare.”

So what was it like, rehearsing the album again?

“It’s kind of like looking at an entry in your old diary,” he says. “For me it was nostalgic.

“For the rest of the band it was more a case of them learning to play the songs. But the band now is better than the band then. We play it better now. It’s more in keeping with the album.

“And Seamonsters works better played this way than the other albums. It was more of an entity because of the flow of it.”

I was lucky enough to catch the Wedding Present’s show in Birmingham in 1991, as part of the original Seamonsters tour, when they played the whole album, in order, from start to finish. I assumed that was the same at every gig on that tour – but Gedge corrects me.

“No, we decided to do it on the night. That was the first time we did it,” he says.

And were the other three current members – Patrick Alexander, Charles Layton and Pepe Le Moko – fans of the album at the time?

“I haven’t asked them, to be honest,” he confesses. “They are from quite a rockier background. We’ve moved from being a pop-punk to being a rock-punk band. Valentina’s a bit like that.

“I’ve always said the Wedding Present is whoever’s in the band at the same time. It all merges together,” he explains. “I’m the main songwriter but I’m always careful to make sure everyone is heard – it’s in my own interest.”

Also out now is a book – Valentina: The Story of a Wedding Present Album.

“Someone approached us and asked if we would be interested. I'm always interested in new projects, like my festival (At the Edge of the Sea in Brighton, now in its fourth year) and the comic book.”

The comic book, Tales From the Wedding Present, came out of the unfulfilled efforts of former band member Terry de Castro to write the story of Gedge’s life.

So, fans can't say they don’t get enough interaction with the band – and that‘s before you factor in Gedge’s prolific Tweeting.

“I love it,” he says. “It’s like sending a text to all your friends.”

The Wedding Present play the Assembly, Leamington Spa, on Tuesday. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £14.