“The Evolution Of A Tribute Band” - Moonlit Nite live at The Griffin, Newton-Le-Willows on Saturday 17th July 2010. Review and photographs by Alan Hewitt.
It is great to be able to say that at last we have a couple of excellent Genesis tribute bands here in the North West. Face Value have been entertaining us for years but recently they have been joined by another intrepid band of musos whose evolution I have been proud to document here in TWR. Moonlit Nite are that band and here I was on another Saturday night looking forward to another evening’s entertainment.
Not content to rest on a set list already full of established favourites, the band have continued to expand their repertoire and tonight there were to be several surprises. The Griffin is another of those marvellous venues of which there are increasingly few these days. And in Pete their in-house sound guy they have someone who can really make the difference to a band’s performance. Anyway, tonight’s show got off in familiar fashion with a hard rockin’ version of Squonk followed in rapid succession by Fly On A Windshield and Broadway Melody of 1974, all delivered in fine style by the band who were obviously out to enjoy themselves as much as their audience.
Abacab too, had a harder edge tonight with Barry, Justin and James taking no prisoners in their playing while Mick was obviously relishing his role as front man. Behind The Lines, Duchess and Dodo-Lurker continued the hard rockin element of the show before the pace was allowed to slow a bit with the first of this evening’s surprises. Knowing how good the guys are, I was none the less surprised to hear them play Your Own Special Way AND Wot Gorilla which elicited gasps from certain elements of the crowd. It has to be said, I have never heard either of these tracks played better by any other band who has attempted them which is sadly all too infrequently for my liking. Bary and Mark shared the honours here with some impeccable playing.
The second half of the show opened with a few more surprises. Unusually, I Know What I Like opened the second half and got the usual audience particiaption going. What came next though was a real surprise as guitarist, Barry led us through a delightful medley of acoustic Hackett pieces leading nicely into the evergreen Horizons. The acoustic treats didn’t end there though, as Barry continued with Kim - a track that Mr Hackett himself is unlikely to perform again! All of this was performed with suitable aplomb by Barry who was obviously in his element playing some of his hero’s material. Blood On The Rooftops brought the usual reaction from yours truly before the pace picked up again with the instrumental section from Firth Of Fifth and the In The Cage medley culminating with Afterglow now reinstated into its rightful place and as excellent as always.
Follow You Follow Me gave everyone a chance for a singalong before James gave us the usual five minutes of thunder heralding the arrival of Los Endos, not that this was the end of the show - oh no. Mark’s keyboard ushered in The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway segueing into the closing section of Musical Box which closed the show proper in fine style.
The audience were suitably enthusiastic and encores were not long in coming and what a delicious pairing of tracks from both ends of Genesis’ career. First up, the audience pleasing Turn It On Again which once again was rendered faithfully and got everyone singing along before the night ended with a rousing version of The Knife. Sadly, there was no time for Ripples, the other encore on the band’s set list buit after a show like this, I don’t think anyone really minded - I certainly didn’t!
I don’t think I have ever seen a band progress so rapidly in such a short space of time. Tonight’s performance was a million miles away from the nervous debut at the Norton Arms (reviewed in a previous edition of TWR). This is a band confident in their abilities and determined to explore the band’s full legacy and they are doing so with an evident relish and enthusiasm which makes it a joy to watch them - well done, lads!