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Ought To Be Unfulfilled

Ray Wilson & Stiltskin, Warsaw, 18/10/2011


Young Man And The Concert


The year 2011 has given us many interesting album releases so far. Obviously, for Ray Wilson fans it was all about his new Stiltskin record called Unfulfillment. Because of great marketing techniques it reached 17th place on Polish Official Album Charts, and it was the second best selling album in Empik stores. However this success was not reflected in the number of shows that promoted the latest CD. There was the pre-release show in Wroclaw on 27.08 and a mini-tour in October which consisted of 4 shows in Krakow (16.10), Warsaw (18.10), Poznan (19.10) and Leszno (20.10).


1As I promised myself, I had to visit Warsaw if it appeared on the tour schedule, so I bought the ticket and started waiting. Again… The best thing about that concert was the venue – the Hard Rock Café. I had been there once already, just before another show of Ray’s in Warsaw that promoted the winter Genesis Klassik Tour in one of the Empik stores in Warsaw. It was the meeting point for all members of the Polish Ray Wilson Fanclub who were to attend this concert.


Another surprise was the information that Ali Ferguson would play a couple of songs from his first solo album The Windmills And The Stars as a support for the main show. Personally, I am a big fan of Ali and I remember the times when I was still asking him about the details of the album and when it would actually be finished – it was the beginning of 2010 as far as I remember. And now I had the opportunity to listen to some of the tracks live! Time flies, I have no doubt about that… When I reached the capital of Poland, I was really happy to have the 9th opportunity to see the band on stage. It has to be said, that there were a lot of people inside Hard Rock Café that day. Of course the sections were divided, for those who wanted to see the concert and those who did not. It all was well thought out and I can say nothing wrong about the way it was organized. Oh, apart from one thing: There was no section for people taking photos. That meant that I had to stay in the crowd with a quite heavy camera and, what was worse, I had very limited possibilities of movement.


2It seems impossible that singing birds may interrupt a noise made by a crowd of impatient people, but that is exactly what happened when Ali Ferguson, Lawrie & Ashley Macmillan appeared on stage. For all who had listened to The Windmills And The Stars it was obvious that birds and narrative vocals are the intro part of Hidden Instruments. And then I heard the first notes played by Ali on his guitar. I was simply delighted. And when Lawrie & Ashley joined him I felt it was going to be a great show. After this they played my favourite song from the album – Coincidence Is No Accident, which was as great as the studio version. Then came Flickering Golden and In Morning Sky. The farewell song was Bending Bullets, Breaking Falls. This particular tune is very interesting, since the first part of is very slow and calm, but when the second part comes in it becomes fast and heavy. A fantastic finish. To be honest, that’s how I would like all artists to promote their albums - with an outstanding show. What’s more, not only I was satisfied with it, but also all the people there seemed to have fun and enjoy the show. Ali received a big, big applause.


Within 20 minutes Ray Wilson and his band turned up on stage and were met with great enthusiasm from the crowd. In response, they greeted us with one of the most astonishing songs that could open the show – Bless Me, from Ray’s previous solo album, Propaganda Man. It is one of those songs in the live set that I’ll never get bored of. The concert version is more powerful and aggressive compared to the studio version. Then came Another Day, a song about a friend of Ray who committed suicide, from the Millionairhead CD, and a quick return to the previous album. This time it was the title track – Propaganda Man, as usual with a great solo by Ali Ferguson. The tempo was slowed down with an acoustic set of songs: Goodbye Baby Blue, First Day of Change and Lemon Yellow Sun, all of them well known and enjoyed by every fan of Ray Wilson’s music. But what about fans of Wilson’s era in Genesis? They were probably satisfied with the next two songs from Calling All StationsCongo, and the title track of it, during which Ali played a wacky, orange Fender guitar that belongs to Steve. Again the atmosphere of hard playing was broken down. Unfulfillment’s More Than Just A Memory sounds much better than the album recording. Then Ray made another journey back to 1997 with Shipwrecked, but after that he played one of the best songs from Propaganda ManRazorlite. Of course it would be a misunderstanding if one of the most remarkable Stiltskin songs were not played. In this case I mean Fly High, the opening song from She. And whether it was a coincidence or not, a few minutes later we could hear the opening song from the current Stiltskin album, UnfulfillmentAccidents Will Happen. Another song that seems to feel better when played live. To continue with the latest CD, I heard Voice Of Disbelief, the song I didn’t like at all, but the live version was so nice that I think I may change my mind about it.


3If you ask Ray what was the most important song in his carrier, he’d probably say Change. On every single concert I attended it was in the setlist. This time it wasn’t different. After the title track of the first solo album that Ray recorded, the time had come for another song from MillionairheadSarah and another one that I really never liked. I didn’t change my mind but the next one was quite the opposite for me. Tale From A Small Town tells a history of a young, talented girl, who because of her family will never fulfill her dreams of moving into the big city and try to make her ambitious plans come true. Next played were Not About Us and The Airport Song. The second one was described as the best song ever written. But that was only Ray’s opinion. Other members from the band disagreed with him. As the end of the concert slowly approached it became heavier. At first, Constantly Reminded, then an incredibly dark Guns of God and three Stiltskin classics: She, Footsteps, Inside. The encore consisted of two songs of Unfulfillment: the first single – American Beauty and my personal favourite from the whole album – The 7th Day, a song about living a relationship backwards. Great concept, that touched my soul from the very first listening till now.


As usual, everyone who wanted to make a photo, autograph or talk with anyone from the band had the opportunity to do so. This time Ali was quite busy signing his CD since many people had bought it. I think that it was the best selling record in Warsaw, which is really good. I asked Ali about his further plans of a solo career and he told me that he had plenty of ideas but he lacked the time to work on them. This means that sooner or later we will have pleasure to hear another album!


4By accident (we all know that accidents will happen) I met and talked with a journalist from Teraz Rock magazine. Our small talk was about reviews, interviews and other things concerning Ray and the band. This magazine was probably the only one that reviewed Unfulfillment in Poland. That’s really strange because when you look on the press section on Ray’s site you may see lots of German reviews, but only a few in Polish. Apart from that, he told me that Ray was his favourite Genesis lead vocalist and that Teraz Rock and Ray have friendly relationships. It was a big pleasure to meet a man who works as journalist, does something he loves and shares the same opinions as I do. A really cool end of the night!


To conclude, the first thing that came to my mind after the whole show was “I want more!”. However this was impossible to do, since there were only 2 concerts to go and both of them were during the week which made it very difficult to deal with my daily occupation. By now, the Unfulfillment Tour 2011 in Poland is officially over. I don’t know whether there are going to be any more concerts this year, but I keep my fingers crossed for shows in 2012. I hope there will be more of them than this year.


by Maciej Soroczyński

Ray Wilson


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