“It nearly never happened…” - The Carpet Crawlers in concert at the O2 Academy Liverpool on 2nd March 2013. Review and photographs by Frank Rogers.

Having checked the time of the trains home I was stunned to find that it was 10.05pm and I didn’t fancy walking out only two thirds of the way through the gig and was questioning whether to go or not and so I mad the last minute decision to drive . So, my expectations were pushed to breaking point and I hoped this was going to be worth it.

As a budding Tony Banks fan and at year two of learning to play the keyboards, I quickly headed up to the front and I got a key (pun intended) position right in front of Andy Keegan’s keyboard rig.

Right on cue, at 8pm, the band took the stage, headed by front man Brian Cummings. Opening with Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Brian appeared wearing a black jumpsuit or “onesie” as I believe the new name for them is. Sort of apt for the Gabriel era tracks which were to follow… Get ’Em Out By Friday, Firth Of Fifth and The Musical Box and Supper’s Ready all accompanied by some interesting Gabrielesque costumes including the flower head for Willow Farm and a quick change into an all white figure hugging outfit for the close of Supper’s Ready, complete with florescent tube which reminded me of a light sabre! Certainly some attention had been given to the paraphernalia attached to this era.

The next track was More Fool Me sung by Neil Carter, the band’s drummer, thus giving Brian a chance to change into some less figure hugging clothing for the final track from the Gabriel era; The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway which led into The Supernatural Anaesthetist and Fly On A Windshield.
Then the opening of the post Gabriel era stuff began with a track which I particularly like; Duke’s Intro leading into Turn It On Again which incidentally, was the first Genesis track I ever bought and which started my interest in the band. Next came Abacab and Home By The Sea and I really enjoyed the stage set by this point with an impressive visual backdrop and the usual drumming from Messrs Carter and Cummings.

The following track; Ripples, a track from what is probably my favourite Genesis album , although NOT my favourite track. My personal favourite ; a track which a member of the audience called out for but which didn’t materialise, (Entangled) OK, you can’t please everyone!

The next track involved the usual “audience participation” and this affects that which affects this, and into the Domino effect once again featuring some nice double drumming.. it’s all part of the act which with a massive audience, Phil Collins could pull off but on this occasion it didn’t do it for me.

And so towards the conclusion of the evening with the absolute classics: In The Cage and Los Endos. I really enjoyed the use of the white lights giving it that Seconds Out end of show feel.

Sadly the next track for me, the first of the encores, is a real thorn in my Genesis side; Invisible Touch, a well executed track, which for me no matter how well executed, will never sit well with me but for some a possible favourite. I seriously don’t5 like this track - hey, we’re all different.
The evening appeared to be concluding with the band’s own signature tune; Carpet Crawlers and as you would expect, this was the cue for a mass audience sing along and then managing what seemed to be an “unplanned” FINAL final track, the evening was brought to a close with the immortal words… “it’s your show…” from a well executed I Know What I Like.

Initially I was glad that I had made the effort to get to this gig despite the obstacles placed in my way and I was seriously impressed by the sound and lighting and stage show. Of all the tribute bands I have seen, the light show was the best I have seen to date, by far.

As a “learning to play” keyboardist, I know how hard it is to play this stuff , so my inability helps me appreciate and respect even more what goes in to this and the skill of the band members . Although I did pick up a few facial expressions indicating a few bum notes here and there and the oops that wasn’t right. Musically, I thought that The Carpet Crawlers performed well. Figure hugging jumpsuits or onesies on blokes though, ain’t my thing.
The lead singer hinted at raising the band’s profile, so I joined their Facebook page and I posted my full collection of 100+ photos from the night a month later, and it would have been nice for one of the band members to have acknowledged them. I have since deleted them… that disappointed me. (You’re not the only one whose photographic contributions have gone unnoticed or unacknowledged, Frank - AH).

Would I go to see them again? Probably yes, but not if it means using either Virgin or London Midland trains to get home!

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