“It’s been a long time…. Hasn’t it?” - ReGenesis in concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire Theatre London on Saturday 28th November 2009. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photographs from the soundcheck and gig by Stuart Barnes.
It really has been a while since I last had the pleasure of seeing ReGenesis on the concert stage - 2006 in fact. Deciding to take a break, the band members have been far from idle as the interview with some of the band members carried over to our next issue, reveals.
I had been told that there were a few surprises in the new look set and the information was right on the money as the band emerged on stage to the persistent drumbeat introduction to Back In NYC which opened the show. Always a demanding song, it certainly tested Tony’s vocals to the limit tonight but he gave the performance 110% as did the rest of the band in a marvellous rendition of this classic slice of Genesis.
No rest for the wicked, and the tale of an ornamental garden plant’s revenge next in the shape of The Return of The Giant Hogweed which the band rampaged through very much in keeping with the antics of its subject matter. Kudos here especially to Nigel Appleton, Shaun Hunt and Doug Melbourne whose instrumental prowess really brought this one to life. Continuing the trend towards underrated Genesis tracks, Get ‘Em Out By Friday followed with some fine ensemble playing from the entire band while Tony managed to recreate the various character “parts” although with some difficulty owing to his suffering from a severe cold but good on him, he soldiered on like a trouper!
The Fountain Of Salmacis too, was performed with tender loving care, the sheer attention to detail within the sound was breathtaking and this was probably the closest rendering to the original that I have ever heard - simply stunning. Musical Box too received the full widescreen works from the band and Tony’s antics as the old man were a joy to behold while Andy Gray gave vent to some of Mr Hackett’s finest licks in such fashion that I am sure Mr H was proud - and yes, he was there in the Gods looking benignly down upon his creation as it was brought beautifully to life.
A real surprise next with a trip back to the days of Trespass. Tony poignantly dedicated Stagnation to the memory of the late John Mayhew before the entire band gave the track a respectful treatment with some superb acoustic playing from both Shaun and Andy while Tony gave a mesmerising vocal performance. Back to more familiar territory next with Firth Of Fifth, always a welcome part of the show and tonight the band gave it the full works and Doug and Andy in particular took their solo spots with gusto.
No show by the band is complete without a performance of Supper’s Ready and tonight was no exception. Musically, this was as excellent as you would expect from a band as talented as ReGenesis, but by now the effects of Tony’s cold were making themselves apparent but nonetheless he gave it his all and the crowd lapped it up. That wasn’t the end of the show proper though; oh no! Nigel was joined on stage by Jamie Fisher and the awesome pairing of Dance On A Volcano and, of course, Los Endos brought the show to a suitably orgasmic climax.
The band took their well-deserved bows and left the stage but everyone knew that an encore or two were on the cards and they returned to launch into a full blooded performance of The Knife which carried all before it in terms of power and majesty before the cosmic lawnmower took us “further westward” for a rousing version of I Know What I Like which left everyone cheering for more.
This gig brought back so many happy memories for me. ReGenesis were the first tribute band I ever saw and this gig had all the drama, humour and musical excellence that had made me a fan in the first place. On this showing, bring on next year’s UK tour - I can’t wait - superb stuff all round!