“The Music, The Whole Music And Nothing But The Music” - Regenesis in concert at the Floral Pavilion New Brighton on Friday 8th November 2013. Review and photographs by Alan Hewitt.
Anniversaries seem to be coming thick and fast if you are a Genesis fan, don’t they? 2013 just happens to be the 40th anniversary of the creation of one of my favourite Genesis albums - Selling England By The Pound and several tribute bands have marked that occasion with gigs commemorating the album. It was great therefore, to see the band responsible for getting me into this tribute band lark in the first place treat fans to another marvellous performance. Hard to credit that this is the same band (OK with a couple of different faces) that I had first seen back in 1997 and in fact, if I am not mistaken a band who will be celebrating their own 20th anniversary next year.
Anyway, on with the show….
The band were relegated to the smaller room within the Floral Pavilion complex tonight as the main stage was being occupied by a Queen tribute band no less! So it was a smaller than usual crowd that filed in to watch our very own cinema show. The band trooped on stage at 8.15 and opened the proceedings with Watcher Of The Skies. Immediately it was evident that the band were not perhaps quite as match fit as they could have been and there were several bum notes at times but no one seemed to mind - almost made it even more authentic in some ways I guess. Another thing that was instantly evident was that this was a stripped down show without gimmicks and gizmos relying instead on the strength of the music and those performing it.
With this show being billed as yet another 40th anniversary celebration of the band’s classic Selling England By The Pound album, Regenesis kept their powder dry and kept us waiting(!) for that as instead they led us through several earlier classics including an enjoyable romp through Can Utility And The Coastliners and Musical Box both of which taxed the band at times and in fact, the latter elicited a restart after someone forgot their cue! All part of the fun though and the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the band were.
I was surprised by the inclusion of the next track though, a nod to the album AFTER Selling… and a delicious version of Chamber Of 32 Doors in which Guitarist Andy Gray and vocalist Tony Patterson shone throughout.
Then, with the hors d’oeuvres finished, it was time for the main course, the complete Selling England By The Pound and what a treat this was. Reduced to the barest of stage props, the band drew from their own inner strengths and those inherent in the music itself to coax out some delightful interpretations of this magnificent album for the delectation of the audience. We were even treated to an acapella version of More Fool Me where drummer Nigel Appleton had his moment in the spotlight. It now makes perfect sense why some of this material was never performed in the band themselves as the likes of Aisle Of Plenty don’t really lend themselves easily to live performance but it was enjoyable to finally get to hear them nonetheless.
The band closed the show proper with what else? Supper’s Ready of course and here the band really did play to their strengths without resorting to any but the most basic kind of visual gimmickry. Of course, when you have a piece of music as monumental as this to play you don’t really need anything else - the music is the message as someone once said and here the tale of good triumphing over evil was delivered in fine fashion by the band and I for one was having vivid flashback to the first time I saw this band back in 1997 and realising just how entertaining a performance of this nature really could be.
After a short break the band returned for their statutory encore as Tony bellowed out… The Knife! And off we were on a raucous version of this early classic and then it was all over in the blink of an eye or that’s how it felt. Time always does pass more quickly when you are enjoying yourself doesn’t it and I certainly enjoyed tonight’s performance.
OK, it has to be said, the show was not the best Regenesis gig I have ever seen, far form it. Errors and omissions abounded but the band brushed them off and carried on regardless taking us, the audience along with them. Anyone expecting the visual extravaganzas offered by other tribute bands may have been disappointed by what was on offer here but as my review title said, here we got the music, the whole music and nothing but the music and I for one enjoyed every minute of it - thanks again guys!