"One more night with Face Value" - Face Value in concert at the Oxford Arms, Maybank, Saturday 27th August 2005. Review by Alan Hewitt.
A Saturday night out with Face Value is becoming a habit - and a highly enjoyable one at that! This was a very special occasion though; the band were celebrating their THREE HUNDREDTH gig! Quite an achievement by anyone's standards!
The Oxford Arms is a regular haunt for the band and they always get a good reception and tonight was no exception. Surprisingly enough for a bank holiday weekend, there was soon a queue formed up outside as the band were putting the finishing touches to sound and lighting checks before allowing the punters to take up their preferred positions. It was obvious that tonight was going to be a VERY well attended gig and by showtime almost 200 people had packed the room out so I was glad that I had my position by the lighting desk sorted out and ensconced with a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen I was ready for an entertaining night.
Once again, the band selected a wonderful mix of material from the latter era of Genesis and a healthy selection of Phil's solo material too, giving the audience exactly what they wanted and also occasionally indulging themselves too. Sound and vision were superb as usual, the band have honed their performance to a high art and it is very difficult to select highlights from a set which was packed full of them! For me though, there are always certain performances that produce a frisson of excitement and In The Air Tonight, Mama and Follow You Follow Me all did exactly that. The audience were enjoying themselves every bit as much as I was, and participation was already under way before John exhorted everyone to join in during Land Of Confusion.
It is to their credit that the band have continued to develop their craft and
improve on their performances, not standing still. There were noticeable differences
in delivery between this gig and previous ones where the band were trying out
different thins to get closer to the sound created on stage by Phil and Genesis.
Marvellous performances by Will Smith on guitar - the solo during In The Air
Tonight for example, is simply awesome, and Tony Cole's consummate command of
the keyboards throughout augmented by the vocal delivery by John Wilkinson made
this another triumphant night out for the band, and it is easy to see why this
band are in such demand - great music; faultless musicianship and great stage
craft ensured that they got a rapturous and well deserved reception from the
audience and I am sure there are many more gigs left in store for this excellent
band - happy 300th!