"Talking Flowers" - ReGenesis in conversation at The Wheatsheaf, Stoke On Trent, Saturday January 11, 1997. Interview by Alan Hewitt.
At long last I managed to catch up with the band at Stoke's Wheatsheaf pub prior to their gig, and managed to find out a little bit more about the UK's very own Genesis tribute band...
AH: Why did you decide to start a Genesis tribute band?
RG: Because we're mad! Because there is a market for it. Because I have heard a lot of people say that although Genesis play, they don't play much of their old stuff anymore. And we thought... "We can do that!" (Laughter)
AH: Having decided that there is a market for this kind of act, how did you all get together in the first place?
RG: Because we decided that there was a market for it, we decided that we would like to play it and we thought it would be fun to get together and play it. And as we were playing it, we became aware that there were a lot of tribute bands around and that therefore we might be able to play it at a gig. We thought it would be fun to try and play that stuff and then we thought we could try and get a gig... We thought we would rehearse for a year and then try and get a gig at the end of that year and maybe fill up the back of a pub somewhere.Then Andy (Hyam) came up with a gig after about three months and we had our work cut out to do it! It is quite interesting how I got to join the band as well. They said they had to see ten other people and then on the day I was the only one fool enough turn up! He was the only one who answered the ad actually! (laughter). He was the only one who offered to pay us!
AH: Having decided to do it; who were the original members?
RG: Andy and me (Doug), and we all played in Ivor Biggun's band and we were all at the bar and discussing our rich Genesis heritage and that was how we started. Then Andy met Steve at the guitar shop where he sometimes works and we auditioned Glyn; so it was the three of us who started it. The first thing we tried to play was "Firth Of Fifth"... I knew the keyboard solo from that and also if we could play that then we knew it was a "go" situation, really. However, as the set goes I think the most difficult one that we do is "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight".
| AH: Having decided to become a Genesis covers band,
what motivated you to stick to the Gabriel era?
RG: You had to draw a line somewhere because if you are a Genesis band that does "Supper's Ready" which was always the intention, you had to accept the fact that if you played "Invisible Touch", you would get booed off the stage by a lot of the audience. So, you have to say; "We don't do stuff off 'We Can't Dance', we don't do stuff off 'Invisible Touch'... how far back do we go...?" The logical place was to draw a line when Gabriel left and there is plenty of stuff we like of "A Trick Of The Tail", "Wind & Wuthering" and "Duke"... also from the keyboard point of view; from 1976 Tony Banks had more money and could consequently afford more gear which makes it more difficult to recreate the sounds. You couldn't do things like "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" because you would need drum machines, a sampler etc... a Simmons drum kit and God knows what else!
AH: What was your first gig as ReGenesis?
RG: That was the Crown in Morden, supporting Steam Packet. That was a rushed job, because we had not finished rehearsing and Andy came to the gig and he was blown away. We were very nervous and were in and out of the toilet every five minutes! (Laughter). What is so sad about some of the other bands is that they have six musicians and we do it all as a five piece.
AH: Having got past your first gig, how did you decide upon what material was going to be in the set?
RG: It was fairly obvious really. We would start with "Watcher Of The Skies" and end with "Supper's Ready". We built it; if you are looking for a reference point; around 1973/74 "Selling England By The Pound". I think the idea was what they might have done as a farewell gig.
AH: Now that you are established, where do you see the future direction of your music?
RG: In about twelve months' time we should have a couple more Genesis songs under our belts from the three hours or so we already do and we will probably be doing our own stuff, but not at ReGenesis gigs.