“Ding, Ding; Second’s Out” - Face Value at the Rock Café 2000 Stourbridge Saturday 28th June 2008. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photos courtesy of Alan Maggs.
It has been a while, hasn’t it? I hadn’t seen Face Value since March and was looking forward to this gig. However, there were even more important reasons why I was looking forward to this gig with more anticipation than was usual. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the 21st birthday of Rachel, the daughter of two of my closest friends; Kevin and Shirley Powell.
Travelling down to Wolverhampton, I was met at the station by Kevin and also by a couple of other long standing Genesis fans; John Hayes (AKA: “Little John”) and Alan Maggs (AKA: “Mal”) both of whom had travelled a considerable distance for this event; in John’s case all the way from Ottawa in Canada! He wasn’t the only one though, there were fans from Spain and Northern Ireland and Scotland too making this a truly international gathering almost a mini Genesis Convention in fact. Gathering together later in the afternoon for a few celebratory libations (has to be done, doesn’t it?!) it was great to see so many faces I had previously only seen at Conventions or other tribute band gigs over the last few years.
Arriving at the venue in time for the start of the show we were all looking forward to a much more Genesis-orientated set tonight from the lads and that was precisely what we were to get. Opening once again with the intro music the band had used on last year’s tour and the introductory salvo of the Duke Suite and Turn It On Again, this was going to be a high octane show with no prisoners taken. As usual, the band were in fine form and there were no signs of the vocal problems that John had apparently had during their last couple of gigs.
No Son Of Mine and Land Of Confusion were delivered in fine style as indeed were many other classics from the band’s repertoire including a truly wonderful rendering of the underrated Many Too Many. There was even a truly surreal moment as Wrex went into his alter ego as Jimmy Saville to announce how Face Value had “fixed it” for Rachel to play Tony’s keyboards ( a RARE honour indeed!) the look on her face as she went on stage was priceless!
This was an all too rare day these days with fans gathering together in the real spirit of friendship and amity to make Rachel’s day a VERY SPECIAL one in our “Own Special Way “ of course and as such I don’t think anyone will ever forget the event. The band even managed to take me by surprise with an all too rare rendering of the awesome Fading Lights which was a joy to behold. It was strange to see everyone adopting the “We Can’t Dance” dance routine during Invisible Touch but what the hell; we were enjoying ourselves too much to care about that degree of accuracy! The gig was rounded off by Phil’s farewell song, Take Me Hone which got everyone in the crowd united in song although after over two and a half hours’ worth of music from the band no one really wanted to go home but the party had to come to an end at some point and how better to do it?
Face Value gigs are always enjoyable events but this particular show took on special significance because of Rachel’s birthday and the sheer amount of effort that had been made by so many people from so many places to make it a special day for her. It certainly restored my faith in the Genesis fan community and made me wish I was 21 again myself - a wonderful (or should that be; “bostin”?) night and thanks to all involved!