‘Watusi’ is an album that has divided fans ever since its release in 1994, with some deeming it (unfairly in my opinion) too lo-fi to be heralded alongside such heavyweights as ‘George Best’, ‘Bizarro’ and ‘Seamonsters’. But, to mark its 21st birthday, the band are playing a short tour.

At each show they have been playing ‘Watusi’ in its entirety, followed by a selection of tracks from their extensive back-catalogue, and tonight is no different. Now whilst I am a fan of the album, I’m not convinced that it works as well as a live offering and even by jumbling up the playing order I am not completely drawn in.

That said, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah’ and ‘Swimming Pool, Movie Star’ are lively affairs, while ‘It’s a Gas’ remains a great track (recorded or otherwise). The slower more reflective songs such as ‘Spangle’ and ‘Gazebo’ are also enjoyable, but there appears to be a lack of momentum or cohesion in general.

Even when the band dig out a handful of oldies at the end (as well as a great new song ‘Bird’s Nest’), the choices are such that the gig never really explodes in the way so many of theirs have previously. ‘Kennedy’ and ‘Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm’ are kept apart by good, but more brooding, numbers such as ‘Interstate 5’, ‘Dalliance’ and ‘Perfect Blue’.

The Wedding Present are a fine band and in frontman David Gedge they have one of the finest songwriters this country has ever produced, but tonight they lack something – maybe I’ve just been royally spoilt in the past!

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