“All in a Carpet Crawler’s Night” - The Carpet Crawlers
in concert at the O2 Academy Liverpool on Saturday 2nd March 2013. Review and
photographs by Alan Hewitt.
I have watched this band evolve since their very first gig and their development has been a source of constant fascination for me. Within the last two years, they have improved immeasurably and so with a three hour show promised, I was looking forward to sating the appetite which had been duly whetted by Mama’s performance at The Cavern the night before.
The band emerged on stage to commence this epic night’s entertainment with Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. Musically excellent but with some quite embarrassing lapses in concentration from Brian who forgot several of the lyrics. Not a good start! Get ’Em Out By Friday was much better, and Brian was evidently in his element as “The Winkler” as this underrated classic slice of social commentary from Genesis was served up piping hot and delicious.
That little song about a river came next and here it was the combined playing of the band’s keyboard player and guitarist who redeemed yet another appalling lapse in concentration from Brian whose flute solo bore no resemblance to the recorded version whatsoever and was the cause of several puzzled glances from band and audience members alike! Keyboard and guitar solos were superb though. Another irritation was Brian’s rather worn out joke about this or that song being on “Genesis’ Greatest Hits”. It was funny the first time but serves no purpose any more I’m afraid. Nor indeed was his trotting out of the hackneyed cliché about thieving Scousers any more endearing, to me at least.
Musical Box and Supper’s Ready made their appearance much too early in the set for my liking although it has to be said that both musically and visually they were absolutely stunning. That said, Brian really must get a bigger costume either that or lose a bit of weight, if there had been a slip up tonight he might have found himself arrested for indecent exposure! Kudos to young Mr Morris whose lighting effects were tasteful and effective throughout the show.
More Fool Me gave Brian a chance to recuperate whilst drummer Neil Carter took centre stage to deliver an impressive vocal performance before Brian re-emerged now clad as Rael for a truly magnificent slice of The Lamb… culminating in a truly stunning version of Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist in which the entire band didn’t put a foot wrong.
Duke’s Intro and Turn It On Again contrasted the Collins era nicely as the band moved into the latter era Genesis material with barely a flicker of an eyelid. Abacab and Home By The Sea followed giving neither the audience or the band any time for a let up with truly excellent ensemble performances from everyone throughout. Once again the lighting effects in the latter number were particularly impressive.
Ripples calmed things down for a while with a beautiful performance from Andy Keegan and guitarist Jim Faulkner who apparently had been suffering from back pain all evening - not that you would have known, his performance throughout the evening and here especially was truly superb.
Domino and In The Cage truly tested the band’s (and the audience’s) mettle and once again, the performances were augmented by some incredibly tasteful lighting from Mr Morris. Los Endos and a surprise performance of Invisible Touch rounded out what had been an exhausting evening for both band and audience but the evening wasn’t over yet as the band returned to the stage for the expected encores.
First of these was the band’s own signature tune - Carpet Crawlers which was impressively performed before the crowd were led through a raucous I Know What I Like bringing the evening to a suitably rowdy close and then it was all over, a mammoth show which by my reckoning was actually OVER three hours in duration.
Size isn’t everything though and a three hour show which still displays some of the basic errors I have pointed out leaves a LOT to be desired and these issues need to be addressed before the band can truly start to live up to their own advertising as “the UK’s ultimate Genesis tribute” Nor indeed can The Carpet Crawlers or any other band lay claim to the “all era” tag which seems to be creeping into advertising lately. At least not while no reference is made to either the From Genesis To Revelation and Calling All Stations albums. Genesis themselves got into trouble with the Advertising Standards Agency during the latter tour for misleading advertising so tribute bands take note! I hate to inject a leavening of reality here, but there is not a cat in hell’s chance of The Carpet Crawlers or indeed any other of the UK’s plethora of tribute bands playing Liverpool Arena or any other arena in this country at least. Interest in and demand for this music is simply not there as the lower than last time attendance figures for this gig must tell you. That and the current recession make any such aspiration completely unrealistic. Sorry to rain on your parade Brian, but facts are facts!