"Carpet Crawling At The Cavern" - The Carpet Crawlers at The Cavern Club Liverpool Thursday 15th June 2006. Review by Alan Hewitt.
Thank goodness for an escape from the bloody World Cup! Yes, the Carpet Crawlers were back in town for a gig at the prestigious Cavern Club here in my home town. Having had my "fix" of Genesis at the recent Convention, I was nonetheless ready for a top-up which the band gladly provided. The tribute band scene has seen some departures and arrivals lately with the departure of Andy Hyam from ReGenesis and the arrival of Wrexham Thompson in Face Value and tonight was to be the last gig by The Carpet Crawlers' bassist; Peter Brew and it was also front man Brian Cummings' birthday so an evening of mixed emotions was on the cards.
The gig did not totally escape the curse of the World Cup however, and set up and soundcheck were both delayed because the owner of the club wanted to screen the England match in the concert room - strange choice with over TEN other TVs scattered around the rest of the club, but there you go. Anyway, England won - eventually, and then the real business of the evening could get under way.
The band have obviously worked hard and this showed from the very beginning with a vastly improved rendition of Watcher Of The Skies followed by equally impressive performances of I Know What I Like and Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, each of which have definitely improved since last time I saw the band.
Moving on to the mid period of the band's story the show really took off with truly awesome versions of Eleventh Earl Of Mar, Firth Of Fifth and Squonk, with the latter two tracks really showcasing the combined talents of guitarist Chris O'Connell, Peter on bass and Andy Keegan on keyboards and this trio set these tracks on fire.
In the Cage, complete with medley simply took the breath away and then the opening paradiddles of what has come to be known as the "five minutes of thunder" gave Brian and drummer Neil Carter a chance to raise the roof as they led us into a brilliant performance of Los Endos which closed the show proper. No one had any doubts that the band would return for a well deserved encore and in the end they gave us two; their "theme tune": Carpet Crawlers 99 and a rousing version of Turn It On Again which left everyone drained and satisfied.
The "Crawlers" have come a long way since their first gig and they have improved exponentially every time I have had the pleasure of seeing them. Despite the pre- show problems and delays which would have tried the patience of a saint; the band came through with consummate professionalism and gave 110% to the appreciative audience. A thoroughly enjoyable performance and one which augurs very well for the future - well played, lads!
The Set List: Watcher Of The Skies/I Know What I Like/Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/Musical Box (Closing Section)/Broadway Melody Of 74 - Fly On A Windshield/ Eleventh Earl Of Mar/Firth Of Fifth/Squonk/In The Cage-Medley-Afterglow/Drum Duet/Los Endos/Carpet Crawlers 99/Turn It On Again.