"No chair or backing singers required" - Visible Touch at Komedia Brighton, Thursday 7th April 2022. Review by Kenny Brown.

A couple of weekends ago Genesis ended their touring career in London with 3 shows at the O2. Fast forward to a windy Thursday evening in Brighton and a show at Komedia by tribute band "Visible Touch". The streets around the venue were empty, was I at the right place?. A warm welcome by the door staff allayed some fears that it might be a quiet evening or poorly attended. The venue, which I was visiting for the first time offers cabaret style seating and I was ushered to a table near the front to join some other guests. It didn't look that busy but as we approached the start time the seats filled up until the band hit the stage to what appeared to be a full house.

Starting the first set with Dodo/Lurker is a bold move but as soon as singer Chris O'Connell starts singing you realise it's going to be a good night. There's no straining to reach the high notes here as he effortlessly delivers in true Collins style. No chair or backing singers required. In a blink of an eye the band launch into Abacab which is being celebrated on this tour as the album of the same name marks its 40th(???) anniversary. Young (stand-in) guitarist Ross McTeague is working the bass pedals and as the set progresses guitar and bass duties are shared between him and Stuart Norman depending on which song is being played. Drummer Russell Wilson is keeping everything together at the back and is joined on the second kit by Chris for the instrumental end section. Meanwhile to the right Tony Turrell weaves his note perfect keyboard magic. Continuing with the Abacab theme it's No reply at all before Firth of fifth. Stuart's guitar solo is the closest I've seen to Steve Hackett's of all the guitarists who have attempted this song. Man on the corner is followed by Me and Sarah Jane. It's good to hear these songs played live again as Genesis stopped playing them a long time ago.

By now I've realised that the band are very tight, having managed a band in the past I know how much practice goes on behind the scenes to get this right. The guitar playing from Ross is flawless and belies his age. Chris fills the spaces between songs with his humour and rehearsed "Phil chat" explaining the "Aliens" background to Keep it dark before ending the first set with a stunning version of Mama.
I have a quick chat with guitarist Stuart at the merchandise stand which is doing good business during the break.
The Duke suite kicks off the second set before the highlight of the night (for me) Duchess. You wait 42 years to hear this song live again and then hear it twice in three weeks! I take a moment to close my eyes and I'm back at the Glasgow Apollo on the Duke tour in 1980.
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Guide vocal is followed by Misunderstanding before Land of confusion with audience participation. We are invited to Turn it on again including drum duet before crowd favourite Follow you, follow me. Band introductions next including the story of a six hour journey getting to Brighton. We're on the home straight as the strains of Dance on a volcano fill the air. The main drum duet finishes the set and the band leave the stage to sounds of cheering and howls of "more"!. After a short time the band return, Chris is wearing a cloth cap and asks: "What time is it?" Of course everyone knows that "it's one o'clock..." Everyone sings I know what I like as Chris does the tambourine dance in front of the stage before high-fiving those at the front. The band finish with a flourish and Chris reminds us "It's your show!" before promising to return to Brighton next year.
Visible Touch allow us to celebrate the Genesis music that we all love from the Phil Collins era. There are many that imitate but not everyone can pull it off the way they do.

Set list:
No reply at all
Firth of fifth
Man on the corner
Me and Sarah Jane
Keep it dark

Duke suite
Guide vocal
Land of Confusion
Turn it on again
Drum duet
Follow you Follow me
(Band introductions)
Dance on a volcano inc. drum duet
Encore: I know what I like

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