“The actor’s story” - Ray Wilson’s Genesis vs Stiltskin - 20 years and More CD/DVD reviewed by Alan Hewitt.

Ray has certainly been prolific of late with this, his second live album within the space of a year. This one however, comes with the added bonus of a DVD of the show as well which is a delight as far as I am concerned as I finally get to see what Ray’s current live show is like after such a long time… “it’s been a long, long time, hasn’t it?” indeed!

Ray’s current show mixes some of the best elements from his own material, that from his old band Stiltskin and of course, several classics from his brief stint with Genesis. The venue for this performance looks somewhat like a hotel but is probably a sports centre or some such place and as such, the DVD lacks a great deal of the paraphernalia which usually attends a rock gig. Does that matter? Not a bit of it as Ray and his band have the key element to any successful musical performance: the MUSIC itself and what a fantastic selection we have!

Opening the show with Another Day and Easier That Way, the latter a wry look at the bonus culture of bankers (spit!), all couched in Ray’s own inimitable style. American Beauty too shows that Ray has developed a marvellous line in observational and at types bitingly cynical lyrics.

For the Genesis aficionados among us, there is plenty to enjoy on this one too beginning with a delightfully tongue- in-cheek That’s All and fine readings of No Son Of Mine, Carpet Crawlers, Ripples and Calling All Stations to name but a few. Ray may not quite have the same stage presence as either of his predecessors in Genesis but his between songs patter displays a healthy line in self deprecation.

Throughout the entire performance, Ray is ably assisted by a marvellous bunch of musicians, including his brother Steve, a quartet of female string players and the more usual bass, keyboards and drums all of which are quite superb. The end result is another extremely enjoyable release from Ray and one which makes me wish he would bring this show to the UK so that more of us can catch up on the magic that is an evening with Ray Wilson - excellent stuff all round!

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Ray Wilson: Genesis vs. Stiltskin 20 Years And More. Jaggy Polski RAY 04 (2CD/ 1DVD set)