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Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 28 / 8 / 2011

Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011


Despite slight sound problems, Dixie Ernill enjoys the Wedding Present's mini festival At the Edge of the Peaks at the Picturedome in Holmfirth which also includes sets from Darren Hayman and Cinerama, frontman David Gedge's other project

For the last few years David Gedge has arranged an annual mini-festival in Brighton headlined by his band the Wedding Present and featuring a hand-picked selection of artists including his mothballed side project Cinerama. This year he decided to put on a Northern version of the event at the Picturedrome in the picturesque Yorkshire town of Holmfirth. As is tradition, Cinerama opened proceedings mid-afternoon to an already two thirds full venue with a brisk set of songs that in truth only really differ from the Wedding Present in the less abrasive use of guitar. David Gedge’s wonderful eye for detail in affairs of the heart is as keenly observed as ever particularly on ace singles 'Dance Girl, Dance'and 'Careless'. The unexpected inclusion of forgotten US only single 'It’s Not Me, It’s You' is a stunning highlight, but such is the strength of Cinerama’s recorded output that the set is pretty faultless. There is a real international flavour to the acts that follow. The Precious Few from Germany, playing their first UK gig, are very listenable, but just lack a couple of killer tracks that would elevate them above a growing pack of female fronted bands paying homage to Nico. Scotland’s Silvermash deliver a solid indie-rock set and gain browny points by opening with a cover of a Wedding Present song, while Dirty Fingernails do an energetic take on Placebo style emo. Folky collective Stars Down To Earth don’t grab me with their first song, so I take time to grab some fresh air. Sadly I also miss the riotous girls form Toyko, Pinky Piglets, who I later learn play a great set of rock 'n' roll. I do, however, catch a stunning acoustic performance by hip duo Summer Camp, which is quite possibly the highpoint of the day. Not content with serving up a superb set of indie-pop ditties, swelled by Elizabeth Sankey’s excellent voice, from a tiny stage, they finish their set by walking into the middle of the audience to play a totally unplugged version of 'Ghost Train'. It’s one of those rare moments in music when the hairs really do stand up on the back of your neck! Darren Hayman, backed by musicians who fittingly wouldn’t look out of place in 'The Last of the Summer Wine' that was filmed in Holmfirth, is well received (particularly by a few Hefner T-shirt wearing fans) as he works through an engaging set of sea shanty/bluegrass tinged songs. Although fatigued, having spent the best part of the last five or six hours listening to bands, I still have enough adrenalin left for the Wedding Present’s headline turn. Despite playing a balanced set, neatly punctuated by David Gedge’s well honed between songs banter, the sound quality (that has been pretty much fine all day) leaves a little to be desired as it becomes very bass heavy. Well oiled classics like 'My Favourite Dress', 'Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?', 'Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm' and 'I’m From Further North than You', however, rise above the murk to keep the devotees happy. It’s the new songs that suffer the most, however, which is a real shame because, as Gedge points out, in a couple of years time after the new album has been released they’ll probably be classics too. The lack of 'Kennedy' or 'Brassneck' in the set is a slight disappointment, but the inclusion of 'It’s A Gas' as the opening track and 'Dalliance' as the last hurrah more than make up for it. A fitting end to an enjoyable day. Same time next year then?

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Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011

Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011

Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011

Wedding Present - Picturehouse, Holmfirth, 29/8/2011

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