"G2 Revelations" - G2 in conversation with Alan Hewitt at Charterhouse Public School on Saturday 3rd November 2007. Photos by Anthony Hobkinson.
Due to technical issues on the stage needing attention, keyboard player Piers de Lavison was unable to sit in on this interview. Undaunted by this, he made sure he was on our recording of the interview, by playing his keyboards at gig volume through the PA system throughout!
TWR: First of all, thanks for taking the time to do this. I know you are all very busy. First of all tell us about why we are here in Charterhouse?
Chris: I suppose that it all started initially when I had contact with my friend Vanessa who runs the sports club here and the sports club is runhere in the school. Vanessa has done an awful lot of charity work and I thought it would be a fantastic idea to do a Genesis gig in Charterhouse the year they got back together and so I phoned Vanessa and said "can we do this?" and so she did all of that and so that's why we are here.
TWR: And what is the actual charity?
Chris: The charity is called Chase and it is a children's hospice in Godalming which is the town where Charterhouse is. And they don't get any Government support and so they decided it would be a fantastic cause to support and so that's why we're here.
TWR: Last night was a great success and let's hope it will be tonight as well. No we get to the nitty gritty of why we are here... How did you guys get together to become a tribute band, and why?
David: We started off in a band called Kudos with some members who aren't with us and some who are with us now and the intention of that band was to cover progressive rock in general and we found that the customer expectation wasn't high because many of them weren't into the same bands so it was difficult to get it off the ground and so that was why myself and the keyboard player at the time discussed doing something else and it came down to a choice between Pink Floyd and Genesis, and eventually Genesis won because it was more challenging and technically interesting. And so we got Terry on board and we weren't sure about it... (laughs)...
Terry: It was a lot worse than that I can assure you. I wasn't sure for about six months, but I'm sure now!
David: ...Then we had a change of guitarist and got Chris on and that was an interesting gig because both Chris and our other guitarist played half of the set each, but after that Chris came on board. Then we were chasing a keyboard player and we got Piers. We certainly don't make any money out of it. It is a labour of love really...!
TWR: Are you all Genesis fans?
TWR: That's not as crazy as it might sound because there are other bands around where not all of the members are Genesis fans...
Jeff: I cut my teeth on a lot of Genesis stuff.
TWR: What made you concentrate on the earlier peroid rather than the later period?
Jeff: I was more familiar with the old stuff than the new stuff. Everybody knows everything by this point bt after "Genesis", I sort of lost interest I suppose. the first album I heard was 'Seconds Out' and I thought Phil Collins was the singer for Genesis. Then I heard Selling England By The Pound which took a while to get used to. It was the sheer fun. If it is fun to listen to...I can't explain it. Everyone thinks it is this 'serious' music, but the humour is there.
Terry: It's all of those things, isn't it? It's serious and funny at the same time and you listen to it and sometimes you are listening to how serious it is and you realise how funny it is as well. There are different layers you can get from it.
Jeff: Although to go and perform...someone said comedy is the hardest thing to do on stage...you have to have it together to perform.
TWR: Do you all agree about the set list or are there disagreements?
Jeff: We fight it out (laughs).
Terry: the thing about the set list, we all agree about the setlist, is shortening it and leaving stuff out. You get a set list and you think "that's great" and then you put something else in and then you have got to have something else in as well, which means something has to be left out and you can't drop any of these songs. Eventually you end up with a four hour set and no-one can sit and listen to that! (laughs). It is difficult but the only thing we disagree on is what to put in on certain nights and what to leave out on certain nights.
Jeff: We are playing some of the more subtle melodies *tonight* and it isn't a good idea to play them in a small club, for instance. The set is designed for the places we play.
TWR: Sp, over the two nights you are here, you are virtually covering your entire repertoire?
Terry: Most of it, but there are...some things missing.
Jeff: Also, we are taking on new stuff. We are playing One For The Vine for the first time and that is another fifteen minutes in the set so there will be one or two things dropped and of course we are doing the double drum stuff with Nigel.
TWR: That begs the question, are ReGenesis defunct?
Nigel: I couldn't possibly comment! (laughs). We are still searching for the replacements for the people who left. Having said that, all of us have got other stuff to do and so it isn't the kind of thing that is high on our list of priorities, but we would like to pick up again at some point. It is the kind of thing you can take a break from for a couple of years and come back to. It's like giving a recital, it's like Classical music.
TWR: Have you guys effectively drawn a line under the period of the band's history that you will play stuff from?
Jeff: The thing for us, genuinely...then yes, the end of Wind & Wuthering or And Then There Were Three; that is the kind of thing we are interested in. At the same time, there are other bands out there doing the later stuff and it is a bit pointless everyone doing the same stuff when other bands do it really well. People like Face Value who have got the electronic gear that makes all those noises whereas our gear makes the noises of the old stuff.
TWR: I see the point. The great thing is, especially in the UK, we are spoiled for choice...
Jeff: With these gigs, we expressly had Abacab in the set list and we ran it out at the Astoria last year. We do that as a kind of tongue-in-cheek as well. You play Supper's Ready and you play Abacab and they are two different levels.
TWR: When did you guys actually start as G2?
David: We have worked that out; it was October 2000. We kicked around as Kudos for a while before that.
TWR: So how do you see things developing for the band in the near future?
Terry: We are looking at Europe.
TWR: Have you done any gigs in Europe yet?
Terry: Yeah, two nights in Barcelona which sold right out...three in France...
And at that point we ran out of time, folks. My thanks to the guys for chatting to us and to their manager, Colin Davis for organising it all and to Piers for providing the musical accompaniment!
G2 are appearing at the Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead on Friday 29th Feb. Tickets are available from the box office.