Saturday, 15th November 2013
It had been nearly 11 years to the month since I had last caught a ReGenesis show, so the opportunity to see them playing locally at the purpose built Stockton Arc was just too good an opportunity to pass on. The fact that the ReGenesis tour was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Selling England By The Pound and also that the album was to be played in full added to the pull, and so tickets were duly purchased.
So I found myself on Friday, 15th November 2013 at 8:00pm sitting comfortably in the circle as the evening’s support appeared on the stage. The Glorious Fools consisting of Doug Melbourne (keys & vocals) and Nigel Appleton (acoustic guitar & vocals) played three John Martyn tracks from their recent Poor Heart Glad album. A brief set, a little too brief perhaps, but one featuring excellent renditions from John Martyn’s repertoire – and any evening that starts early on with May You Never, bodes well.
Before departing the stage Doug announced that they would be returning shortly. So time for some chatter with friends. And it was during this interval, (and a bit of trivia here), that the grey matter was ticking over and I was convinced I had seen the keyboard man before. Later it came to me that he was in fact the keys man with the support some eleven years earlier when he performed with the excellent Carrie Melbourne. The surname was probably the giveaway :0)…
As promised 15 minutes elapsed and Doug along with Nigel returned to the stage this time accompanied by the three other members of ReGenesis. The lights dimmed and those oh so familiar chords heralded Watcher Of The Skies. Right from the outset the sound was spot on – and especially the drums. Bugger – I’d started to recollect the drummer as well (performing part of the drum duet back 2002?)!
Now as ReGenesis pride themselves on their representations of the Genesis classics, I will not go into any analysis of the tracks but suffice it to say if you closed your eyes… But then of course you would miss the costume changes – Batwings, A Flower, Magog, The Old Man, Britannia and more… although for some reason the Fox’s head and accompanying long red dress were omitted? See photo gallery below (no audio):
As we listened through the first four pieces, (see set-list below), the tightness of the band impressed. Nigel Appleton, forsaking the guitar, now took over the drum throne – Mr Collins had arrived. Shaun Hunt in Mike Rutherford’s role was particularly impressive, performing not only the tricky bass parts with aplomb, adding the depth of the bass pedals and his twelve string playing was superb, capturing the delicate chord inversions.
Doug’s keyboard sounds, and much attention was paid here, gave the sound an authentic vibe – not inconsiderably helped by his exemplary playing. With Steve Hackett currently touring and performing much of this era Genesis material, Andy Gray had perhaps the most difficult task. But I have to say he pulled off the parts admirably, perhaps missing a trick or two especially in ignoring some of Hackett’s trademark “violin” technique, however Andy’s own technique did not come into question. Vocalist Tony Patterson was on top form and his resemblance to Peter Gabriel was uncanny. The added bonus of him being an accomplished flautist was the icing on the cake…
“Can you tell me where my country lies? Said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes…” raised an almighty cheer and the stage was set for the centrepiece of the evening – and wonderfully performed it was too. As Selling England By The Pound is my favourite Genesis album the next forty minutes were a pleasure to witness. What also lifted the evening’s performance was that although the five musicians took the music and their performance seriously, they didn’t take themselves so. Engaging in good humoured repartee during and in between the songs – even Mr Gabriel’s ‘preambles’ were flavoured with local humour.
Here’s a brief section taken from the Firth Of Fifth…
At well over two hours a great night was had by all – old and surprisingly, a large number of young people.
SET LIST (from memory)
Watcher Of The Skies
The Chamber Of 32 Doors
The Musical Box
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth Of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle Of Epping Forest
After The Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle Of Plenty
In The Cage
Tony Patterson – Vocals, Flute
Doug Melbourne – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Nigel Appleton – Drums, Backing Vocals, 12 String Guitar
Shaun Hunt – Bass, Bass Pedals, 12 String Guitar
Andy Gray – Guitar
ReGenesis – Website
I had hoped to catch up with Tony Patterson after the gig to chat to him about his latest joint recording project Northlands with Brendan Eyre (Riversea) and featuring both Steve & John Hackett, Nick Magnus to mention just a few. However, as the band had to pack away and as the hour was late I decided to leave it for another day…