“An Unexpected Party” - G2 in concert at the Pacific Road Arts Centre Birkenhead on Saturday 4th February 2012. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photographs by Frank Rogers.
No, your editor hasn’t finally lost the plot (I lost that a LONG time ago!) and confused a G2 gig for one of Tolkien’s epics. Mind you, the comparison is to a certain extent a valid one as G2 have taken it upon themselves to explore two of Genesis’ finest and most grandiose offerings within ONE show. I mean of course, the magnificent A Trick Of The Tail album and the superlative Wind & Wuthering. Anyone who has seen the band perform these two masterpieces before will already know what to expect and for those of you who didn’t… well shame on you!
Most TWR readers will already know my feelings on Wind & Wuthering so I won’t bore you going through them again here. However, the prospect of seeing ( and hearing) the entire album live along with Trick Of The Tail definitely sent a shiver of anticipation up my spine. The band took to the stage and launched into Dance On A Volcano which set the tone for the rest of this astonishing night. Ensconced as I was in the balcony area, I was able to appreciate the sheer magnificence of the spectacle that was gradually unfolding in front of me. Like any self respecting fan, I have my personal favourites from both of these albums and at least I was guaranteed to hear them tonight.
Entangled gave both Chris Cawte and Piers de Lavison a chance to shine which both of them took with evident glee. Not that the rest of the band were far behind here and Terry’s vocals were frighteningly like Phil’s here. Genesis do Zeppelin next with the Kashmir influenced Squonk which threatened to raise the roof as the entire band gave 110% on this classic, especially Jeff whose drumming was tasty and tight throughout.
A rare treat next with a performance of the underrated Mad Man Moon, in which once again, Piers took the lead with a delicate piano intro and magnificent playing throughout accompanied by impeccable playing from Messrs Cawte and Wilk. A trip back to 2007 next for Ripples, without doubt one of Genesis’ finest compositions and one delivered superbly well by G2 here tonight, goosebumps time for myself and a lot of the audience too, I suspect!
Hearing two of my favourite albums played back to back in the live context took on a surreal quality at times, almost like my CD player had come to life but the musicianship of the guys in G2 is phenomenal as was shown during some of the other classics from these two albums. Eleventh Earl of Mar managed to bring shivers up and down my spine, One For The Vine took on even more of an epic stature tonight with the entire band at the very top of their game here aided by an enthusiastic crowd.
All In A Mouse’s Night brought the Tom & Jerry cartoon strip to vivid life in the auditorium and the band certainly seemed to be having great fun with this one. Blood On The Rooftops… need I say anything about this one that I haven’t done so already? No? Thought not! Even Wot Gorilla which is far from being my favourite track from Wind & Wuthering gained enormously from having a drummer of the calibre of Mr Phillips delivering it. Unquiet Slumbers …. Well once again, simply breathtaking and culminating in a truly orgasmic rendition of Afterglow it would be difficult to better this or so I thought.
Encores were not long in coming and surprisingly enough they lasted almost as long as the gig itself. Supper’s Ready continued the trend for musical excellence and was delivered impeccably by all concerned including the Scouse choir from the audience! I was surprised to hear Inside & Out included in the set, a much underrated song and one which deserves the reverential treatment it was given here tonight - superb stuff! I may have forgotten to mention someone’s favourite track from the show but memory isn’t what it was I’m afraid. What I DO remember however, is that an excellent night was had by one and all and I would like to thank a few people for their efforts. First of all, the guys in the band; Jeff, Terry, David, Piers and Chris for another amazing night of some of my favourite music. Thanks also to Steve, Claire and Neil at Moonshooter sine qua non… To Dave Tracey and the staff at the Pacific Road for all their hard work in such a marvellous venue. Finally to the people who helped make it such a special day for me personally; Alison and Brian Lancaster, Graham and Marek Drabble, Frank and Declan Rogers, John and Lisa Wilkinson, Dave Roberts and as if I could forget - Mr and Mrs Hackett! Here’s to the next one!