Nostalgia and The Wedding Present

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Cinerama and The Wedding Present at Picturedrome, Holmfirth

Holmfirth's Picturedrome - a fine venue let it be said - seems to fit The Wedding Present as much as any venue can. Like singer David Gedge the location is stuck between Yorkshire and Lancashire and while it has ideas of modernity with Tapas and a refined bar it is still the place of Sid's Cafe and the last of The Last of the Summer Wine.

If not a man out of time Gedge is something of a throwback to an age of guitar music before the genre enjoyed popularity. He is acerbic - rather than miserable - but make no mistake that the band described by Steve Lamacq as sounding "like a Maths teacher moaning about his girlfriend leaving" would not be headlining the opening Leeds Festival were they twenty years younger. Music - even this music - has changed.

Not that Gedge and his entourage have not changed too most notably in the transformation into opening act Cinerama who were basically The Wedding Present in the late 1990s. Gedge fronts both bands and the revival of the more sweeping, less jangly band first on the bill tonight presents a curious dissection of the main bands work. Starry Eyed is lashed through and seems to provide a pivot point to the 2005 reformed Present and the bedsit janglers who came before and dominate proceedings on this evening.

For tonight - and as preparation to a larger tour in the Autumn - the entirety of the 1990 album Bizzaro is played in order. Brassneck, Kennedy, Take Me and all.

It is too much for some. The crowd - of which I am happy to affiliate myself - are showing age and a mosh pit of balding heads is kind to no one. They bounce and jump in a way that belays their and my advancing years and as Gedge rips through a guitar string or two there is an air of unmistakable release. It did used to be like this - before mortgages and children - and it was as raucously enjoyable as anything post-punk pre-Brit Pop ever got.

The sight of the Weddeos Widows - women dragged by other halves and abandoned at the sides while Sir goes to join the throng at the front could be saddening but there is an easy joy about proceedings. It is reminisce.

Reminisce which is not to be mistake for nostalgia. The Greek word nostalgia literally refers to the pain from an old wound and as Gedge - who starts off with Corduroy and goes into Dare - starts to play three of five new tracks which will be a part of next year's next album the pain is illustrated vividly.

You're Dead is as much about infidelity as anything from any Wedding Present album of the last twenty five years but it talks about iPhones and the relationship rent asunder are more serious, more sombre, more important things.

Enjoy this trip back to your youth - it seems to say - because the pains of then are still the trails of life now. Nothing thing changes but the bodies get older and the aches more heavy.

The pains form old wounds still hurt.

Written By Michael Wood Thursday, August 26th, 2010

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