"Another night on the carpet" - The Carpet Crawlers at The Moses Gate, Bolton on Thursday 25th August 2005. Review by Alan Hewitt.
What a treat it is these days to regularly have the option of seeing two different bands performing sets from opposite ends of the Genesis spectrum and all within a reasonable distance of home, too!
Tonight was the Carpet Crawlers' third gig and anticipation was high. The Moses Gate is a regular haunt for fellow tribute band; Face Value, and the crowd are both enthusiastic and knowledgeable when it comes to the music of Genesis. I did wonder however, how this band were going to fit their stage show into the "Gate" which isn't the largest of venues and so when I finally arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had indeed managed to get all the on stage kit into a surprisingly small area although they had left a proportion of their light show behind. No matter, it’s the music that matters after all!
Sound check came and went and despite some on stage technical gremlins which were eventually resolved; the band pronounced themselves ready and the punters were soon admitted. I was quite surprised to see that the make -up of this crowd was considerably different to the usual faces that come to see Face Value but then again, it is a different slice of Genesis that was being played tonight. Nonetheless, there were a few familiar "face-lifts" to be seen - someone even asked ME for MY autograph!
Once again, the band opened with Watcher… which got everything off to a great start and was well delivered. Swiftly followed by I Know What I Like and a "new " song; Dancing With The Moonlit Knight which was brilliantly delivered. A hefty slice of Lamb… followed with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway coupled with the finale from Musical Box and Back In NYC and Hairless Heart which gave a good demonstration of how much hard work these guys have put in to their performances; there were some glitches throughout but nothing to really be upsetting and Hairless Heart in particular was glorious!
Following this with a marvellous rendition of Eleventh Earl Of Mar and Trick Of The Tail really got the proceedings going and elicited howls of delight from the audience. Firth Of Fifth has improved enormously although there is still room for improvement but Squonk was perfect and Follow You Follow Me got everyone singing along in fine style.
The previously jinxed In The Cage medley passed off without incident and was without doubt, the highlight of the show. The entire band threw themselves into this one, and it was obvious that they were enjoying playing it as much as the crowd were enjoying hearing it! Visually and musically it took the breath away leaving everyone howling for more. Once again, the band turned it on again before leaving the stage with their signature tune: Carpet Crawlers 99 which I must admit is beginning to really grow on me!
The band can take great comfort from the knowledge that despite the onstage monitor problems which apparently continued throughout the gig, none of that was noticeable to this observer and the band gave no indication of it either- professionalism at work! With over 70 people in such a small room, a great turn out for the band's inaugural gig at this venue and one which I am sure has secured them a return visit later in the year - a qualified success and another really enjoyable night all round!