It's not often that the support band are as keenly awaited as the main act, but when both bands have indie legend David Gedge at the helm it's easy to see why the venue is heaving well in advance of Cinerama's allotted stage time.

Most musicians' side projects are at best hit and miss and at worst over indulgent crap, yet Cinerama are very much the exception to the rule and over the course of three albums they have managed to go toe to toe with their more illustrious cousin the Wedding Present in terms of quality songwriting, albeit in a more subdued way. Indeed tonight is a testament to the depth of Cinerama's back catalogue as the aforementioned Gedge and his cohorts belt through a seven song set that comes across like a greatest hits package, without containing any of their thirteen singles.

Opener '146 Degrees', a bruising 'Starry Eyed' and final number, a stunning version of 'Honey Rider' just about take the honours as highlights while, due to the infrequent live action for Cinerama since the second coming of the Wedding Present, it is easy to forgive the band the odd bum note, missed lyric or loose ending.

And so to the main event, the Wedding Present celebrating the 21st anniversary of the release of their classic second LP, 'Bizarro', by playing it in its entirety from start to finish. But before the tell tale opening bars of 'Brassneck', the audience are treated to a few gems from arguably one of the most impressive canon of indie songs around as the band begin with the twin delight of 'Corduroy' and 'Dare' from later LP, 'Seamonsters'.

A trio of great new tracks are interspersed with 'Go Man Go' and 'It's For You' before the throng of mainly forty something men keen to recapture their youth go absolutely mental as 'Brassneck' finally begins the 'Bizarro' adventure. I too am taken back to student-disco days in Newcastle in '89 when both 'Brassneck' and 'Kennedy'(track five on 'Bizarro'!) regularly brought near riots to the dancefloor and even led to yours truly being wrongly ejected from a club by some over zealous bouncers for alleged aggressive dancing. Tonight the lack of alcohol and youth mean I refrain from entering the middle-aged melee down the front.

I also remember an older student, Nick Kemp, who lived in the flat next door in Newcastle being a Wedding Present disciple and on hearing that I'd split with my girlfriend back home promptly presented me with copies of their two albums to date, 'George Best' and 'Bizarro' - as they would provide me with the lyrical ammo to pen her a letter that would win back her heart if I wanted to! Hearing the songs again now and, particularly the live delivery of them, certainly backs up Nick's belief that David Gedge writes songs about relationships better than any other.

Practically every song is greeted like three bells on a fruit machine making this nostalgia trip a thrilling experience and as the ferocious ten minute guitar assualt of penultimate track 'Take Me!' draws to a close, I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing yhe Wedding Present would alter their long held stance of not playing encores. Sadly they haven't and it is left to the light throw-away pop of 'Be Honest' to close proceedings. It's not a bad song, just not really a set closer. It is, however, the one minor criticism on a truly memorable night. John Peel was certainly right in his assessment of David Gedge's talents.

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Commenting On: Picture Dome, Holmfirth, 26/8/2010 - Wedding Present/Cinerema

ie London, England

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