"In the Chidd" - Genesis In The Cage live at the Chiddingfold Rock Club 2nd December 2006. Review by Anthony Hobkinson.

Although I have been a Genesis fan since 1975, I only started seeing Genesis tribute bands in 2005. Having witnessed a number of the main Genesis tribute acts since then I regret having left it so long. Yes, of course it is not the same as the real thing – how could it be – but for many of us who have never seen the original 5 piece line up live (unless you count the encore at Milton Keynes of course) this is the only real opportunity to hear much of the earlier material played live, and thus far the quality of musicianship has been extremely high. So, would GITC live up to expectations?

GITC were formed in 1998. While they boast a repertoire extending from Trespass to Abacab, they concentrate mainly on the period up to Steve Hackett’s departure following Wind and Wuthering. Few of the songs from this era have been dusted off in “recent” Genesis tours, and it seems we are unlikely to see many more of them this year when Collins Banks and Rutherford take to the road again.

It was therefore a real thrill to be taken back down memory lane and treated to classics ranging from Fountain of Salmacis to One for the Vine. Trevor Garrard’s vocals work well on most songs, whether from the Gabriel or Collins era, and only very occasionally disappointed such as on Mad Man Moon (but nevertheless a great treat to hear it played live.) Of the remaining members, Patrick Heron on lead guitar (and flute) stood out and there was some fine keyboard work from Henry Dagg who braved that dreaded intro on Firth of Fifth and very nearly nailed it. The line up was completed by Andy Smith on drums and Sean Hunt on bass (not Maurice Hendricks as the GITC website suggests).

The lighting, props, and backdrop screen were used to good effect on a number of tracks, such as In the Cage. I particularly liked the grey shadowy images used on the screen which were very reminiscent of the Wind and Wuthering cover and thus worked really well with tracks like One for the Vine

All in all, the show had all the right ingredients to be a great success. Some fine musical talent, a good lighting show, and effective backcloth images. Also the venue should have contributed to a great atmosphere – after all this was the heart of Genesis country, and the venue itself the scene of rehearsals for Genesis tours. Yet somehow it was all a little flat, despite Trevor Garrard’s best efforts to gee up the audience with some self-deprecating humour and good-natured banter. Why? Well, I suspect it was a combination of factors: the audience was perhaps more from the polite Surrey dinner party set and never really let their hair down (despite the fact it was only a 30 yard walk from the bar to the from of the stage!); the sound wasn’t quite right in places (the band are currently looking for a dedicated sound engineer) and on a few occasions the band just didn’t quite seem to be as tight as perhaps they might have been with more regular gigging under their belts (but hey, who the hell I am I to criticise, I didn’t even get grade 1 piano).

That’s not to say the show wasn’t good – it was. I’m also not saying I didn’t enjoy it – I did. It’s just that it never really took off. It certainly had its highlights, such as Supper’s Ready, and the encore of Afterglow and Los Endos, and had the rather subdued audience tried a bit harder at the end we might well also have heard the Knife as the final encore. So the next time GITC are in your area do go and see them. I will certainly be seeing them again as soon as I can. Their latest gig schedule can be found on their web site.

Set list: Watcher of the Skies, Fountain of Salmacis, Firth of Fifth, One for the Vine, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Fly on a Windshield, The Carpet Crawlers, Anyway, In the Cage, Mad Man Moon, Can Utility and the Coastliners, Ripples, Supper’s Ready, Afterglow, Los Endos.