TrackAlbum / Single
Kerry Kerry Va Va Voom
Ears Va Va Voom
Manhattan Scopitones TONE CD 001
LollobrigidaDisco Volante
Your CharmsDisco Volante
WowDisco Volante
Yesterday Once More Scopitones TONE CD 007
Don't Touch That DialScopitones TONE CD 016

Cinerama photo 1
David Gedge and Sally Murrell
Cinerama press photo: Eva Vermandel



Cinerama playlist


Contributor: Lakshmi Hutchinson

It’s fair to say that I’ve listened to the songs of David Gedge more than the works of any other musical artist. As there’s already an excellent Wedding Present Toppermost, I thought it would be fun to highlight Cinerama, Gedge’s other musical project. Together, I’ve seen both bands well into the double digits (in 5 different cities no less). So when I say I love his work, I’m not kidding!

In 1998, Gedge took a break from the Wedding Present to focus on his new project, Cinerama. For those who only know the Weddoes, Cinerama – especially their earliest releases – are quite a departure from those early growling vocals and bristling guitars. With smart outfits, orchestration, and more ‘adult’ lyrics, Cinerama fit in aesthetically with the 90s bachelor pad resurgence, but they had a sound that was steeped in film scores, surf guitar, and baroque pop. Gedge and then girlfriend Sally Murrell (backing vocals/keyboards) were the core of the band in the beginning, and they collaborated with a host of guest musicians for recording and tours.

Their debut album, Va Va Voom, undoubtedly put off some diehard Wedding Present fans at first listen. I like it – you just have to accept that Cinerama is a different band with its own qualities. We’re treated to a softer side of David Gedge and a greater emphasis on vocals. One of the best tracks on the album is Kerry Kerry, a bouncy pop song with lots of strings and the lovelorn lyrics you’d expect from Gedge.

Another standout is Ears, a bitter but gorgeous duet with none other than Emma Pollock of the Delgados. When they toured this album, it was really fascinating seeing who came out to the shows. In NYC at least, the audience was noticeably different from a usual Wedding Present gig (meaning, much more gender balanced). The band was definitely getting college radio airplay and attracting some new fans.


Gedge eventually started his own record label, Scoptiones, and Cinerama’s Manhattan single was the label’s first release in 2000. Manhattan is the sweet story of an English guy in New York nearly cheating on his girlfriend back home, but not going through with it. I remember reading a fanzine review of the Wedding Present in the 90s which described Gedge as a brilliant though “insanely specialized” lyricist. In Cinerama, he takes that even further, as many of the songs have to do with betrayal and adultery.

The band’s second album, Disco Volante, came out later that same year. I think it’s Cinerama at their best, and I’ve converted many people to fans via this record. By this time, Cinerama had a full lineup, having added Terry de Castro (bass), Simon Cleave (guitar), and Simon Pearson (drums). The album has a much richer and layered sound, thanks in part to production help from Steve Albini. Lollobrigida is a sexy song with hushed vocals, xylophones, and horns that sounds like it could be in a French film soundtrack. Your Charms is the perfect pop song, and as an added bonus we get to hear Gedge rhyming ‘better’ with ‘etc.’ as only he can do:

You always seem to laugh
For every photograph
If I didn’t know you better
I’d say you were flirting with the males
Because, oh, it never fails
To make them stare, etc.


Everything comes together on Wow, which adds the best elements of the Wedding Present to the Cinerama sound. A repeated flute melody is paired with distorted guitars, leading to a slowly building, extended outro that was great to see performed live.

The Wedding Present have recorded many brilliant covers over the years, from the Monkees to Elton John. What I like about them is they’re never just rehashes of the originals; each cover is well thought out and offers a fresh take on the song. Cinerama’s cover of the Carpenters’ Yesterday Once More is up there with the best of them. It was a B-Side to 2001’s Superman single, and it’s a beautiful interpretation of the original.

Cinerama’s third album, Torino, was released in 2002. It was produced by Albini from start to finish and featured new drummer Kari Paavola. Airborne, a song about watching the person who left you fly away, features Gedge’s vocals accompanied only by violin, viola, and cello. Like many of the tracks on this album, Careless is much more of an indie rock number, and it’s pretty clear that this could easily have been a Wedding Present song. Gedge himself realized that the sound had come full circle, and he would soon return to releasing albums as the Wedding Present with the final Cinerama lineup. There were still a couple more Cinerama singles to come before that, however, including my last selection, Don’t Touch That Dial from 2003. Gedge is great at these slow-burn epic songs that go from quiet to loud, dating back to the Wedding Present cover of Falling (the theme from Twin Peaks). This one doesn’t disappoint.


There’s technically one more album in Cinerama’s discography that I didn’t include in this Toppermost. In 2015 (three Wedding Present albums later), Gedge re-recorded the Wedding Present album Valentina as Cinerama. It has a distinctly lounge music/easy listening sound, and while it has its fans, for me it doesn’t compare to the earlier Cinerama recordings.

I’ll be honest – I always have top ten lists of Wedding Present and Cinerama songs floating around in my head, so I felt exceptionally well-prepared and excited to share my favorites in this Toppermost. If you like what you heard, there’s a lot more Cinerama out there. In addition to the studio albums and singles I referenced here, there are a few Cinerama compilations that pull together the EPs and singles, a box set of Peel Sessions, as well as some live albums. And should you want even more David Gedge in your life, I highly recommend checking out the Wedding Present album 24 Songs that compiles the 7″ singles they released each month in 2022.





Scopitones – Official Home of The Wedding Present and Cinerama

Songography for The Wedding Present and Cinerama

Toppermost #620: The Wedding Present

Cinerama biography (AllMusic)

Lakshmi Hutchinson is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Many years ago she was a college radio DJ, and she once worked at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus. She loves going to gigs, making playlists, buying too many books, and hanging with her family and tuxedo cat. Follow Lakshmi on Bluesky and Instagram.

She has also written about Donovan, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and The Radio Dept. on this site.

TopperPost #1,118


  1. John Hartley
    Jun 7, 2024

    Really enjoyed that, Lakshmi. I couldn’t quite get my head round the new Gedge sound at the time, though loved Kerry Kerry. Maybe it’s time for me to explore once more…

    • Lakshmi Hutchinson
      Jun 7, 2024

      Thanks, John! Yeah, for me it was hard to get used to the strings at first, but once I did I loved Cinerama! The second album is definitely the one I return to most often.

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