"Out of the fire and into…. The Limelight" The Carpet Crawlers at The Limelight Club Crewe Thursday 19th January 2006. Review by Alan Hewitt.

It only seems like yesterday that I first heard about The Carpet Crawlers and attended their first gig at the Mersey Clipper back in September 2005. In terms of development however, that was a lifetime ago.

Tonight's gig was at one of the most popular venues on the tribute band scene and has played host to all of the UK's Genesis tribute bands and here we were about to see the debut of another one at the venue. I have been lucky enough to attend most of the gigs so far by The Carpet Crawlers and have already said how impressed I have been by the manner in which they tackle the band's repertoire.

The Limelight was by far the largest venue the band have played so far and I was delighted to see so many people surge through the doors when they were opened to allow the public access to the music room. Thursday nights can be difficult; the last working day before the weekend starts and all that but that didn't seem to have deterred the 150 or so people who turned up to see the band this time.

Set wise, the show was not radically different to the previous ones which have been reviewed here but in terms of performance this was exponentially an enormously improved show from its predecessors. There were a couple of surprises not least the band's decision to use the drum duet prelude to Los Endos to the same effect for Turn it On Again instead and an unexpected bonus encore of Back In NYC sent everyone away happy if the comments that I heard both during and after the gig were anything to go by.

Personally, the highlights of the show centred around the performance of several of my own favourite Genesis tracks. Eleventh Earl Of Mar was simply amazing; the hairs really DID stand up on the back of my neck during this one. Similar kudos to the band for the performance of Firth Of Fifth and the wonderful (and gremlin free, at last!) In The Cage medley climaxing with the magnificent Afterglow - Genesis tribute band gigs don't get any better than this!

The individual players have improved their performances and special kudos to both Chris O'Connell on guitar and Andy Keegan on keyboards who nailed their performances to perfection to my ears. The rhythm section of Neil Carter on drums and Peter Brew on bass made it all look so easy and Pete's bass pedals sent a vibration through the floor which served as a great foot massage!

Band front man; Brian Cummings had the audience in the palm of his hand and was grinning from ear to ear like the proverbial Cheshire cat for much of the evening; a fact that was to elicit the only negative criticism from one fan who maintained that the band were not taking the music seriously enough - bollocks! I have seen these guys in rehearsal and believe me; they work HARD to put the shows on and the very fact that they were enjoying themselves made the evening even more enjoyable for me - and what's wrong with musicians enjoying their work anyway for goodness' sake?!

Anyway, that quibble aside; the evening was another qualified success for the guys and with several more gigs in the pipeline if they continue to improve at the same rate each time; then Genesis fans will be enjoying The Carpet Crawlers for along time to come - well done, guys!