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Live Review: The Wonder Years/Valencia/Such Gold - Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth (19/09/11)

Kicking off a memorable line up with a stellar set is New York’s Such Gold. Unbelievable is probably the best way to describe them; not only are they an amazing band, their energy and sincerity come shining through onstage. For this tour the band were accompanied on guitar by Jon Strader of Massachusetts band, No Trigger. Songs like 'So Close', 'Sycamore' and 'The Greatest Comeback Of All Time,' going down a storm. If you’ve not seen them yet make sure you put it on your to-do list.

Valencia might not be the most ground breaking of bands but they’re fun and enthusiastic - from their stage presence you’d assume they were playing a sold out arena show not a half full Portsmouth venue on a school night. They gave it their all, you’ve gotta hand it to them, and the kids loved them.

Keeping it short and sweet The Wonder Years’ headlining set was little under an hour long. Bursting onto the stage with 'Came Out Swinging'. The set was littered with songs from their newest record 'Suburbia I’ve Give You All And Now I’m Nothing' as well as 'The Upsides' - each song relatable and adored. However, it was the inclusion of 'I Won’t Say The Lord’s Prayer,' that was the undoubted highlight of the evening: powerful, eloquent and heartfelt it epitomized the entire set and the band as a whole.

Although the turn out was unfortunately patchy for tonight’s show, the kids that had bothered to come out were more than happy to be there. There’s cleansing properties to singing your heart out and being joined by 200 others singing “I’m not a self help book, I’m just a fucked up kid” at the top of your lungs. Consider it group therapy.

Chantelle 'Kiki' Goodchild

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