"Foxtrotting At Forty” - ReGenesis in concert at the Brindley Arts Centre Runcorn on Friday 19th October 2012. Review and photographs by Frank Rogers.
I saw my first Genesis tribute band; Moonlit Knight (who are sadly no longer gigging) in a little village pub in my hometown of Runcorn (their debut gig was reviewed in TWR - AH) and now nearly two and a half years later, in the Brindley Theatre here in Runcorn are ReGenesis. In the meantime I have seen several Genesis tribute acts, some more than once and on every occasion I have walked away thinking “wow”. So, would ReGenesis be any different?
On entering the auditorium, certainly the stage set up looked familiar to anything I had seen before; some drums, guitars, a couple of keyboards, but how good were they going to sound? The lights dimmed and the band took the stage, opening the evening with The Return Of The Giant Hogweed. The playing began and my initial thought was ‘these guys sound really good’, and then the front man Tony Patterson took to the stage and at this point the show took on a new dimension - this guy not only knows the songs, his voice is as close to Peter’s, I had to look again to see that it wasn’t him! I have never before heard someone sound so incredibly close to the vocals of Peter Gabriel - not even me topped up with a couple of shandies at the weekend!
At this point I would like to add that I have been teaching myself how to play keyboards for the last eighteen months with an aim one day of being able to play some of these Genesis tunes that I have listened to and loved over the last thirty or so years, and then the next track Firth Of Fifth; one of my personal favourites also told me that I’ve got a bit to go in my keyboard journey. Keeping one eye on the whole stage, whilst trying to watch the keyboard wizard that is Doug Melbourne.
The next track, I admit has never really hit it off with me, but nevertheless, another perfect execution of Harold The Barrel. Stagnation next, and yet another near faultless performance. A track I have never heard played live and at this point I am feeling like I am listening to a digitally remastered bootleg from the early days. Tony’s vocals are so unbelievably good.
The following track is one of those which is clearly in my Genesis Top Ten:- Musical Box… a perfect rendition and Tony’s old man face followed by The Knife. At this point in the show I had to remind myself that I had said I would do a report on the show for TWR … I have become so engrossed. Some fine drumming in the latter of these two from Nigel Appleton.
Then came the main event, the whole of Foxtrot. The next track I have been trying to learn the intro to, unlike the guy along the row from me whose arms were going everywhere. I find my fingers taking the shapes of the chords with Doug being lit up for this bit. Here comes Watcher of The Skies. You did OK Doug! With Tony wearing the wings and cloak a great touch to a monumental track.
Timetable next, a very gentle tune further showing the keyboard skills of Doug followed by Get ‘Em Out By Friday with that classic Hammond organ sound and Tony’s flute playing. Horizons was perfectly executed and this time my eyes were glued to the guitar of Andy Gray. Inch perfect, or should that be “millimetre” in this metric day ‘n’ age?
The next song began with the now familiar story of “Old Michael” and Supper’s Ready which was more of a main meal than a snack! Performed in its entirety and complete with all of Tony’s theatricality; the flower head dress and the Gog Magog headpiece - a perfect ending. In the early days I used to think why would anybody make a song 22 minutes long and why does a tribute band want to perform it? Why? Because you can!
Along the way, keeping the beat, Mr Nigel Appleton on drums and loving the double neck guitar of Mr Shaun Hunt - again, two very talented musicians.
The final tracks of the evening more commonly known as “the encores” began with the not so easy cross-hand keyboard playing technique that opens up The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which moved into Fly On A Windshield - another personal favourite and again excellently performed before the evening ended with a fan’s favourite; I Know What I Like ringing out the words that must have been invented for playing live - “it’s your show…” and an excellent show it was.
All in all, I was seriously impressed with ReGenesis, shame my car is off the road at the moment, or I would have loved to see these guys again. Musically every one of them are seriously talented. The vocal proximity of Tony to Peter Gabriel is something that even now I still can’t get my head around.
In summary, a tribute band is what it says on the tin: a tribute. A group of musicians’ collective interpretation of the original. In this case, ReGenesis are no ordinary tribute. Musically and vocally tonight was an interpretation of the highest order that for me was like listening to a digitally remastered bootleg - a crystal clear version of the original.