"Barflies, Carpet Crawlers and other tales of insect life" - The Carpet Crawlers live at The Barfly Liverpool Thursday 7th September 2006. Review by Alan Hewitt.
So here I am once more… Sorry, wrong band! Well… in some respects maybe the mistake was understandable because tonight's performance by The Carpet Crawlers was a frighteningly accurate re-creation of Genesis - even down to the technical problems!
This band have only been on the scene for just over TWELVE months but already they have re-written the rule book. Received "wisdom" according to some almost members of the tribute scene, has it that a band cannot become this good without years of practice hidden away in some garret whilst starving for one's art! What a load of bollocks! If you are any good as a musician, you should be able and more importantly WILLING to ply your craft in front of an audience and be judged (and paid) accordingly.
The Carpet Crawlers have done exactly that. Since their first gig they have continued to raise their game at every level. From the understandably shaky start of that gig they have plugged away to become the fantastic tribute to Genesis that I saw here in Liverpool last night. A good crowd turned out to the Barfly which was another new venue for me although a regular haunt of many top name bands visiting the city. I am not surprised by this and I was quite impressed by the venue itself.
I had not seen the band since their gig at Bilston which, as my previous review stated, was an excellent show. I had no doubts that tonight would be equally enjoyable and I was to be proven right. Fundamentally, the show was the same as before but it might as well have been an entirely different one because performance wise this was an entirely new gig. A band that has been going for such a short length of time has no right to be this good - a fact that was reinforced in conversations I had with several members of the audience who expressed similar surprise when I told them how long the band had been together.
It is difficult to single out any one performance from this show for special praise because once again, the entire show was crammed full of highlights. I have even got used to lead singer Brian Cummings' be-wigged attempts at Mr Gabriel's finest vocal pyrotechnics. If Genesis themselves ever did decide to reunite (let's not start THAT rumour mill again here, though) they would not do too badly if they selected the same set as The Carpet Crawlers rampaged through here.
From early classics such as Watcher of The Skies and Dancing With The Moonlit Knight to latter day ones such as Eleventh Earl Of Mar and Turn It On Again, the band put in excellent performances at every turn. Visually too, they were a feast for the eyes with a light show which did more than ample credit to the music without overpowering it and credit to Graham, Carl and Alex on the sound and lights who worked like Trojans all night too. Each member of the band had their chance to shine either singly or in collaboration with one or more of their bandmates. The truly glorious rendering of Entangled featured the combined talents of Brian along with Chris O'Connell and Peter Brew on guitar and bass and backing harmonies which beggared belief! Los Endos was given the Neil Carter treatment as he and Brian blitzed their way through this aural assault on the ears.
Andy Keegan really got to grips with the set and his performance on Eleventh Earl Of Mar and Firth Of Fifth where he was ably accompanied by Chris was impeccable. The highlight of the show once again was the rendering of the In The Cage medley which is where the curse of The Carpet Crawlers struck once again and it was very much a case of "Afterglow Interruptus" as the venue's power supply failed to cope with the energy being generated by the band on stage. Nothing daunted, after someone took their favourite hammer to the fusebox; the band performed Afterglow again - I wasn't complaining after all it IS still my favourite Genesis track, and they gained well deserved applause for their determination.
No show by the band is complete without their signature tune; Carpet Crawlers 99 and every time I hear it, I like the track more and more. As usual, the evening was rounded off by a rousing performance of the evergreen Turn It On Again which gave everyone a chance to ladder their tights together and send everyone home happy.
It really has been a pleasure to watch this band develop into another excellent tribute to the finest bunch of musicians this country has ever produced and their enthusiasm for the music is infectious - great stuff all round!