"The Long Goodnight" - DVD reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
This was a somewhat bizarre item to find on the 'merch' stall at the recent Genesis gigs, but Phil's DVDs have always been more than your usual commercial fodder and so I though I would investigate this one too.
The DVD is a warts-and-all look behind the final leg of the First Final Farewell Tour back in 2004. Beginning with Phil's manager, Tony Smith, explaining the rationale behind this leg of the tour and Phil's admirable decision to play places which he has never visited before either on his own or with Genesis. Laudable as this idea is, it undoubtedly must have caused some severe heart-searching with regards to the safety of the man and the people who not only perform the music, but also those behind the scenes without whom none of it would happen.
There is an unmistakable air of sadness about this DVD, even the title suggests that the subject may be someone suffering from a terminal illness! fortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth although we do get to see just how much a simple cold can play havoc with a singer's voice and the discussions on whether to pull a show or not are quite a revelation.
Anyone who has ever wondered exactly how a band's manager 'earns' his percentage should take a look at the footage here where our very own Tony Smith lays into a Greek promoter who has patently not done his job properly, promptly and quite rightly incurring the wrath of Mr Smith!
The DVD is also a frank look at the work that goes on behind the scenes into putting such gigs together and the diplomacy that is sometimes necessary to ensure a smooth transition from country to country.
Anyone expecting another music video is in for a disappointment here. Yes, there are views of gigs along the way and soundchecks aplenty, but the real emphasis here is on the work that goes into putting it all together and it is here that all concerned are to be congratulated for allowing us such a frank and unadorned look behind the music and as such, this is a first class effort.