London Highbury Garage

It's hardly surprising that Gedge remains downbeat throughout. Somehow, you suspect that's the way he likes it...

David Gedge has made it his life’s work to tell people how awful it is to be dumped. The fact that 13 years on from The Wedding Present’s debut, ‘George Best’, he’s still ploughing the same slightly despairing furrow is either a towering testament to his persistence, or his lack of ideas.

Still, after all this time, nobody does it better, and the first half of this show is a masterclass in quiet heartbreak. During ‘Heels’, our hero remonstrates movingly with a fickle ex-lover, while on ‘Apres Ski’ he addresses the tricky business of premature ejaculation. By the time he gets to the mighty set-closer ‘Wow’, we find him agonising over an opportunity to cheat on his girlfriend. All of which makes the onstage presence of said girlfriend (Sally Murrell) all the more incongruous.

Despite all this heartbreak, though, Cinerama’s main problem tonight is the preponderance of Wedding Present fans in the audience. They’re such a nostalgic bunch they even prefer songs from Cinerama’s debut album ‘Va Va Voom’ to those from its infinitely superior follow-up ‘Disco Volante’. Thus beautiful recent single ‘Lollobrigida’ receives a tepid response, while Weddoes-by-numbers dirge ‘Maniac’ is greeted like a long-lost brother.

It’s hardly surprising then that Gedge remains downbeat throughout. Somehow, you suspect that’s the way he likes it.

Niall O’Keefe