“Coming Of Age” - Los Endos in concert at the Hurtwood Polo Club on Saturday 3rd May 2008. Review by Alan Hewitt.
Well, after a marvellous afternoon the previous day chatting to Steve Hackett’s mum I was just about ready for anything. That was however, until Stuart and I arrived at the venue for this evening’s proceedings. Polo clubs are usually places I wouldn’t even dream of entering and arriving at this one I was astonished to see that it was a converted Tithe Barn complete with hammer beam rafters and all! Not your usual place for a Genesis tribute band gig eh? Neither was Charterhouse School but we have been there before too, haven’t we?!
Anyway, I was looking forward to the gig I had not seen the band since the inauspicious gig at the Grey Horse in January and from what I had heard, they had improved considerably since that gig. Well, that was certainly to prove to be the case tonight. From the moment the guys came on stage and opened the proceedings with Watcher Of The Skies, I noticed a definite tightness to their performance. Watcher was followed by The Lamb… and the closing section to Musical Box both of which worked extremely well and musically and vocally were pretty impressive.
Carpet Crawlers gave the band a chance to slow the momentum down and it was a pleasure to hear this classic performed almost note perfect. Dennis might not sound like either Phil or Peter but he has a cracking voice in his own right and his delivery here was spot on!
In The Cage and Firth of Fifth would have been enough to give some musicians nightmares but not so this bunch. The demands that both of these tracks place on the people playing them are incredible and there is always scope for screwing things up if you are not careful. Yes, there were the odd faux pas here and there but the band rose above them and delivered a 100% professional rendering of both numbers which were warmly appreciated by the crowd. Blood On The Rooftops occupies a special place in the canon of my favourite Genesis songs and Gary really played his heart out on this one ably accompanied by the rest of the band and once again Dennis’s vocals added a crisp edge to this classic.
A rarity for the Genesis faithful next with Get ‘Em Out By Friday accompanied by a hilarious story by Dennis. For a song replete with awkward time and tempo changes, the band sailed through it and were obviously beginning to really enjoy themselves by this point and from the reaction of the crowd, so were they and quite right too! The first half of the show closed with a wonderful version of Cinema Show in which Alan Pearson finally came of age as a keyboard player. Given that Alan had never played keyboards in public before forming this band; his performance here was 110% professional and the rest of the band augmented him in a truly remarkable fashion ending the first half to rapturous and thoroughly deserved applause.
The familiar drum tattoo introduction heralded the arrival of The Battle Of Epping Forest and this wonderful tale of East End gang warfare was delivered in impeccable fashion by the band with Dennis donning great coat and bowler hat to really get into character for it. A lovely version of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight followed before the tale of the “Cosmic Lawnmower” I Know What I Like, really got the audience into participatory mode.
Entangled was another brave choice for the band and one they took with a great deal of gusto and bravura. Once again, Gary and Martin’s guitar and bass playing really held the song together while Alan’s keyboards soared over the top of it and John’s percussion was both tasteful and understated and once again, Dennis delivered a formidable vocal performance.
Time for a real instrumental workout next as the band launched into Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth which really separated the men from the boys as it showed exactly how much the band have improved as players and above all as entertainers - this was rare stuff indeed! Afterglow never fails to bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye and tonight was no exception and there was no time for rest as Supper’s Ready followed in quick succession. The band really took off during this one and it was with a mixture of astonishment and delight that I saw them truly become a BAND with everyone in synch with the others and no real need for individual praise because they all played their parts to perfection here.
Turn It On Again was a surprise choice for the first encore but it got everyone up and about but the encores were really all about the two tracks that have become this band’s signature tunes; Dance On A Volcano and what else but Los Endos. If there were any doubts left that this was a band on top of their game then the performance during this would have blown them away. I don’t think I have ever seen a drum kit assaulted in such a fashion as John did tonight augmented by Dennis’ rattling of the traps as well. Martin and Gary were equally impressive and Alan overlaid it all with some tasty keyboard arpeggios. The end result was a satisfying finale that had the audience cheering and shouting for more and the band took their well deserved bows with self satisfied smiles on their faces.
All in all, this was by far the best gig I have seen by the guys and one of which they should be justifiably proud - everyone played their part to perfection and what stumbles there were, were both minimal and did not have any adverse affect on the performance. At this rate I see a long and happy future for Los Endos - great stuff all round!