Cinerama, Spirit, Dublin, 8th September 2002
You can be forgiven for not having a clue who David Gedge is, despite the god-like references that are routinely bestowed upon him. He hasn't appeared on Top of the Pops with dancing girls, isn't to be seen frowning from the cover of Q Magazine and doesn't even do that many interviews. And yet the front man of indie pop group Cinerama, and formerly, The Wedding Present, receives rapturous applause from the crowd in Spirit on Sunday night. The modestly sized venue is far from jammers, but the enthusiastic reception given by balding thirty-something fans and trendy young couples makes up for the absence of more heaving bodies.
Neither Cinerama nor The Wedding Present have had any major hits in Ireland. Their stuff gets the occasional play on Phantom, but their music is largely unknown here. A pity, because Gedge's keen ear for melody and catchy lyrics is not unlike that of Jarvis Cocker or Julian Cope. Indeed, he sounds quite like Mr Cope with his quirky observations and deep, but pleasing, voice. However, while the former Teardrop Explodes frontman pushed the boundaries of weirdness by crawling all over the floor at his recent Vicar Street gig, the strangest thing David Gedge did tonight was sniff his arm pit and comment on his own BO.
While Cinerama, which also consists of backing singer Sally Murrell, Simon Cleave on guitar, Terry De Castro on bass and drummer Kari Paavola, make sweet music, the catchy 'Wow' or 'Your Charms', for example, they fail to be fully engaging. Gedge is a likeable presence on stage, joking with the crowd and taking the piss out of a loud man at the front, but, as a first time listener, you don't really get a sense of his manifesto.
The long-time fans are savouring every moment, welcoming the old Wedding Present songs in favour of newer (and better) Cinerama stuff. Indeed, they neglect to play their recent and very pretty single, 'Lollobrigida', which unites all the best things about this band in a perfect three minutes. There are moments here where the casual listener feels a little uninspired and, well… a little bored.
Still, their collective heart is in the right place and one day, they might make a song that blows everyone's minds (after all, how long did it take Pulp?).