CINERAMA RELEASE OWN VERSION OF THE WEDDING PRESENT’S VALENTINA
Cinerama, David Gedge's 'other' band, released a new album, Valentina, in May 2015.
In 1997 David Gedge decided to take a break from The Wedding Present. But he didn’t take a break from music. Oh, no. Instead, he elected to take a different path musically and write songs inspired by his love of film scores and classic pop music. Thus, Cinerama was born. Together with his then-girlfriend Sally Murrell and Wedding Present co-writer Simon Cleave he went on to record three amazing Cinerama albums and celebrate them with multiple live tours until The Wedding Present ultimately returned in 2004.
Fast forward to 2012 and The Wedding Present release their eighth studio album Valentina. But the critical acclaim that followed wasn’t quite enough for Mr Gedge. He had long been harbouring a dream. And this was to record one version of an album as The Wedding Present and another [with 're-imagined' songs] as Cinerama. Valentina was chosen for this. The initial plan was release them simultaneously but it was soon to be realised that this was a project that would take years to accomplish. So the releases have been staggered to allow time to complete the complex Cinerama arrangements.
From the first blast of horns to the last twinkle of piano keys, Cinerama’s version of Valentina sparkles. It is a total departure from The Wedding Present version, of course, which is how it was always meant it to be. David recruited Spanish indie legend, Pedro Vigil, to assist with arrangements and add some Las Vegas style swagger.
So yes, David Gedge - the alt-rock guitar-hero - absolutely shines in his alternate guise as a chanteur. His carefully crafted lyrics and perfect vocal melodies find a natural home in this part orchestral, part big band setting, enabling his pure talent to show through, unfettered by the traditional wall of raging Wedding Present guitars.
"The album impresses from the outset. Lead-in track ‘You’re Dead’ and its ‘60s easy listening feel is pop grandeur at its best. Likewise ‘You Jane’ and the up-tempo, soul-soaked pop of ‘Back A Bit... Stop’ establish a flow, hinting at what is an impeccably arranged and conceived soundtrack. Valentina is exceptional in its sweeping pop sensibilities. Interspersed with musical set pieces and vocal nuances fine enough to rival the heights of Bacharach and David composed pop, here is a truly sparkling and uplifting concerto for the modern age. [9/10]" - Tony Beesley [Vive Le Rock Magazine].
You can purchase a copy of Valentina on CD by clicking here.
You can purchase a copy of Valentina on 180 gram vinyl by clicking here.