“A Tale Of Two… Stools!” - The “Come Rain Or Shine” Pan European Premiere at The Odeon Cinema, Kensington, London on Tuesday 20th May 2008. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photos by Anthony Hobkinson.
Well, the idea of sitting in a cinema watching a documentary about Genesis had never appealed to me before and I had avoided the satellite broadcast of the Dusseldorf gig for much the same reason. However, when Anthony told me that he had tickets for the “Pan European Premiere” of “Come Rain Or Shine” in London well… it would have been rude of me to refuse!
I made my way to the Odeon on Kensington High Street and almost immediately bumped into several familiar faces including Ulrich Klemt who seems to be everywhere when it comes to Genesis events and a damn fine photographer to boot! Other familiar and unfamiliar faces appeared and conversation flowed as we waited to be admitted. Maria (AKA: “Xingu”) the co-ordinator of the official Genesis web site made sure that we had access to the best seats and once we were admitted the anticipation set in.
Eventually at just before 7pm Philip Glennister of “Life On Mars” fame came onstage to introduce the documentary and then we were off. I must admit, I don’t think I have ever sat through such a fascinating documentary about a band. This was very much a warts and all telling of the preparation that went into the 2007 Turn It On Again Tour (or “Selection Of Shows” as Phil so euphemistically put it!). If you wanted to know exactly how such a massive enterprise is put together, you were given plenty of detail here. One of the things that made this one special however, was the amount of humour that was displayed by everyone involved and the ongoing drama of the search for the right stool for Phil and Chester to execute their drum duet on was absolutely priceless! There was much humour on display from the guys themselves too and Tony’s acerbic wit was a wonder to behold. The documentary told the story in an almost countdown fashion until the day of the first gig in Helsinki and then carried on to dramatically show some of the problems which the elements threw at both the band and the road crew. I for one would not have traded places with the lighting riggers at Katowice for instance! My only quibble is the completely inaccurate labelling of the vintage footage, snippets of which peppered the documentary and invariably were completely wrong in terms of the actual year they were from. Such sloppiness has dogged Genesis especially in terms of things like press releases etc which are usually written by hired hacks who know little (if anything) about the band’s story. To see the same thing repeated here was annoying but in the context of such a marvellous documentary, I suppose I can live with it!
There was also time for a sneak preview of the new live DVD: “When In Rome” and once again, Genesis have taken the standards of live concert presentation to new heights. Obviously, no DVD/Video or whatever can fully convey the spectacle of any live gig but this one certainly came pretty damn close I can tell you. Almost like being there? Well, yes, actually!
There was then a short break before Mr Glennister returned to front of house
to announce the band on stage for a Question And Answer session with questions
selected from those sent in to the official web site. To be honest, this was
the only disappointing part of the evening. Frankly the questions selected were
pretty poor really and I am sure there were much more searching ones submitted
which never made the grade. There were a few more interesting ones submitted
from the floor when the proceedings were opened up to the audience but nothing
too startling there either to be honest but at least it was nice for a few people
to have the opportunity to ask the band directly for once. Then it was all over
again. Once more the band have put together a package which really sets the
standard for other bands to follow in terms of concert film and documentaries.
No doubt by the time you are reading this edition of TWR, the DVD will have
taken up residence in your players too.