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Full Band Tour 2004


There are times when I’m really glad that I live in Germany. In May and June 2004 Ray Wilson toured Germany in acoustic formation accompanied by his brother Steve and keyboarder Irvin Duguid. Now it’s November [2004], scarcely a year after the Change tour - and he’s back in German clubs with a full band.

Wilson’s set consists of his own material as well as classics from Genesis and several songs from his „band colleagues“ Collins and Gabriel. Okay, so it’s supposed to be a Ray Wilson concert, but his renditions of old Genesis songs such as Carpet Crawlers, Ripples and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway are absolutely smashing, not least thanks to Irvin Duguid on the keyboards. The decision to have the trained musician from Glasgow play on tour as well as in the studio is really worth an extra round of applause.
 
The audience, however, keep asking for more songs by the man himself, which is a positive development. Ray’s audience also celebrates his songs from the time he was in Guaranteed Pure, songs like Swing Your Bag and Airport Song. That, of course prompted his ironic question (asked back in June [2004]), why he puts so much effort into song-writing if it’s those songs that we love. Apparently, the beginnings of Ray’s career as a musician enjoy cult status.

The songs from his time with Stiltskin are almost as old. On this tour, he plays Rest In Peace, Footsteps, Rays favourite Stiltskin song Sunshine And Butterflies and, of course, Inside.

More highlights come from the new album. Wilson performs Ever The Reason, Sometimes, Magic Train, The Actor and Alone from The Next Best Thing. Pumpkinhead, the song that hails back most to his hard-rock past, was dropped during the tour as was (albeit not literally) Rays Scottish kilt outfit.

The show opens with These Are The Changes from the new album. While the studio version is not totally convincing, the song grows to its full stature live at the beginning of each concert. The tape with speeches held by U.S. politicians, Ashley McMillan’s drumming and probably the chronicler’s personal expectation combine into a fantastic atmosphere for These Are The Changes.

For Ashley McMillan and his brother, Lawrie McMillian on bass and some backing vocals, it’s the second tour with Ray, the first being the Change full band tour. Other remnants of that tour are the songs Change, Another Day, Goodbye Baby Blue, Yesterday, which prompts Ray into a spontaneous Beatles medley, and Along The Way, a song written by Ray’s brother Steve Wilson.

Steve is in the band for this tour, too. Since singer Amanda Lyon did not join the cast this time, Steve does not only play the guitar, but he also tackles a major part of the backing vocals. His is an excellent voice that goes very well with his brother’s, which comes out better on evenings when he’s up in the mix.

Two-and-a-half hours later we remember why Ray’s gigs are so brilliant. It’s an evening chock full of good music, funny stories, spontaneous jokes or ideas or musical findings, for example when Ray sings “Entschuldigung seems to be the hardest word” [Entschuldigung is German for “sorry”; the translator].
You never know who enjoy themselves more when Ray has forgotten to put the mouth organ round his neck for the umpteenth time on the tour, when he plays the intro to a song in the wrong key or when Steve is heartily amused about his own backing vocals on Swing Your Bag:  the people in front of the stage or the lads on stage? It’s little things like these that make each gig so special.

When the band mingles with the audience after the show, we have the opportunity to realize that the musicians really enjoy playing and that they really are a very nice bunch.

Ray called this tour his “most enjoyable” so far. If you have missed it, you can still get a small impression of it. The Worpswede gig, one of the best performances of the tour, has been recorded and published as Live. You can order the 2CD set from Ray’s website.


by Melanie Hohmeyer

translated by Martin Klinkhardt


Line Up for the The Next Best Thing tour

Ray Wilson, Steve Wilson, Irvin Duguid, Ashley McMillan, Lawrie McMillan


Setlist, Oct 03, 2004, Worpswede, Music Hall
These Are The Changes
Goodbye Baby Blue
In The Air Tonight
Carpet Crawlers
Ever The Reason
Follow You Follow Me
Sarah
Change
Another Day
How High
Magic Train
Sunshine And Butterflies
Inside
Footsteps
I Can`t Dance
Gypsy
The Actor
Alone
Ripples
Along The Way
Biko
Lover's Leap
No Son Of Mine
Shipwrecked
Not About Us
Sometimes
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Swing Your Bag
Knockin`on Heaven`s Door
The Airport Song
Rest In Peace


LIVE cover Live 2CD (32 Tracks)

Release date: 9, Mai 2005 (Germany)

Ray Wilson


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