Ray Wilson In concert at the Kulturwerkstatt in Melle-Buer 25th February 2005. Reviewed by Stefan Hummel.
The venue is the strangest I have ever seen; located in an old half-timbered house with all kinds of woodwork inside; a strange and yet interesting place. The show is sold out as indeed are most of the shows on this tour and that's the problem tonight there isn't even room for the band to approach the stage and the band have to force their way through the crowd even more difficult for Steve Wilson who is on crutches with a broken foot! Ray even asks the crowd not to smoke to spare his voice - that might give you an idea of how small the venue is and there are over 250 people there!
The audience is the usual mix of people; mostly middle-aged but there are a few younger people there as well which gives the impression that people are still discovering Ray's music these days. And the music is really brilliant this evening; base don a very well-balanced sound and not too loud with the emphasis on Ray's voice; it is a real treat to listen to the set. Ray's voice is in good form and he even hits the high notes perfectly which is has been a problem from time to time when he has strained his voice especially on a long tour. Even Steve's voice is clear tonight and in perfect harmony. With the addition of Irvine's keyboards it is a musical perfect fit really a night to remember.
Nonetheless, the atmosphere from the audience is very restrained; they are not freaking out... polite applause. You can sense it in Ray's reactions; he's a bit taciturn tonight no between-songs stories and the jokes are very weak.
The set is a lot different to the one in Hannover last week (see Stefan's previous review) a welcome change and a balanced mix of all the parts of Ray's career. Only the Genesis songs seem to be the same more or less at every show - probably there are the usual fans who wait for these songs and there are certain Genesis songs that suit Ray's voice really well.
After the show, Ray as always takes time to talk with people and sign posters and CDs that are being sold at the gigs by Ray's charming wife; Tyla. Ray's patience with his fans is really incredible.