“Always the same, always different” runs John Peel’s famous quote about The Fall, but he could equally have been speaking about those other favourites of his, The Wedding Present.  Over a period of more than 20 years, numerous changes of line-up and even a change of name (although ostensibly separate bands, the lines between Cinerama and the Wedding Present are extremely blurred), singer/songwriter David Gedge has remained a reassuringly ever-present fulcrum. From the evidence of tonight’s turn-out, the initial upsurge in interest that accompanied the change of name back from Cinerama to The Wedding Present has dissipated somewhat.  The upper level of The Forum is closed and while the downstairs area is far from empty, it is sparse enough to make it possible to casually wander within a few feet of the stage minutes before the show starts.  Perhaps this is in part due to the so-so nature of latest album El Rey which, although recorded once again with Steve Albini, fails to recapture the magic of previous collaborations (the masterpiece, Seamonsters, in particular). But this matters little when they open with guaranteed crowd-pleaser ‘Kennedy’ prompting a middle-aged and good-natured mosh to erupt which proceeds to last the duration of the gig.  The remainder of the set consists of a well-judged mix of the ‘hits’ (‘My Favourite Dress’, ‘Dalliance’), several of the better tracks from the new album (‘Palisades’, ‘Boo Boo’) and numerous old fan-favourites. The sound is far too quiet, but is compensated by Gedge’s energetic and engaging performance - breaking several guitar strings through his trademark frantic strumming and partaking in dry banter with the audience between songs.  The highlight comes mid-set with the triple whammy of ‘Crawl’, ‘Come Play With Me’ and ‘Nowhere Fast’.  As always they refuse to play encores, but in closing with new Christmas single ‘Holly Jolly Hollywood’ they guarantee that no-one leaves disappointed. - DJM