Posts by Gabble Ratchet

    A Genesis tribute band that performed in Guildford, U.K. (amongst other places) recently. Very professional and well worth seeing (see videos)

    The Musical Box ‘A Genesis Extravaganza’ London 11/10/18


    Much as I love 70s Genesis, there’s something vaguely unnerving about being in an auditorium full of men in their fifties and sixties chanting ‘Touch me, now, now, now, now, now!’ Yet, despite the odd accompanying crotch grab, that was about as weird as it got at last night’s performance in London by The Musical Box. This Canadian tribute band played a fairly unique set of just over 2 hours of which the first half was composed of 2 long medleys, the first of which was entitled ‘The tail in the wind’. As the title suggests, this medley was composed entirely from the 4 man era material. Yet, for some strange reason, they chose to make it 90% instrumental and filleted the songs so severely that even the guitar solo on Vine was flung at us before the taste buds were ready for it. Yes, it slipped down nicely enough, but how much more enjoyable it would have been had we been primed by the accompanying aroma of the verses. Still, the medley had its moments and it was good to hear that piano bridge from Mad Man Moon, disembodied as it was.

    The second medley was less disappointing. ‘A Broadway medley’ was the title and being no great fan of the Lamb, I had low expectations. Yet they played all of the six tracks I actually liked and played them fully so we were spared the vicious editing from which the first medley suffered. Ok, we still had to suffer the jazz-handed title track and the jaunty ‘Counting our Time’ but that was, kind of, expected and it was vaguely amusing to watch the baldie in front of me count out his own time with his pot belly, wobble by wobble. However, by the time the interval came along, I was left feeling somewhat deflated. This was the crème de la crème of Genesis tribute bands and here I was feeling a bit, well, disappointed.

    However, I needn’t have worried. After the interval they got down to business. It was obvious that they would devote this second set to classic Gabriel-era stuff as they’d clearly decided to work back chronologically, but would they take refuge in the usual hits? Not a bit of it! They opened the second set with Timetable then followed with Seven Stones and After the Ordeal (a track Genesis themselves never performed live): refreshing stuff. And it didn’t stop there either. More unlikely tracks followed in the form of Looking for Someone & Can-utility whose guitar intro was played especially beautifully. By the time the inevitable hit arrived in the form of The Cinema Show the audience had scratched their itch for something different, yet even here we were in for a surprise as they segued into Aisle of Plenty.

    The show closed with Volcano & The Musical Box, both in their own right climactic pieces even if unlikely bedfellows. I steeled myself for the expected mimicry of Gabriel’s on-stage antics which quickly wears thin after you’ve seen it once or twice and then serves merely to distract from the music but was relieved to see that the singer had abandoned this and had added his own twist by ditching the usual old man mask for a fox’s head and a red dress thereby providing a great visual hook to a symphonic climax.

    The whole show was performed to a backdrop of projected imagery as the musicians largely sat upon stools and plied their trade with a refreshing degree of professional detachment. I might not have indulged in a crotch-grab myself but something in this band’s understated virtuosity certainly touched me and their bold foray into oft overlooked album tracks still touches me..... now .... now.... now.... now....now.

    Except the "hired gun" comment was a reference to Daryl! Lots of bands in the 80's had a synth sound and a good guitarist, nothing prevents them working together. As for Mike criticizing other's songwriting, it seems a bit ironic given his leaning on others to co-write so much M&M stuff.

    Oh, I’d class Steve as a hired gun too, for the reasons stated previously. But he’s a white hatted gunslinger who knows the value of restraint and gets my vote over a black hatted shredder any day.

    As for synths and guitars, of course they’ve always co-existed, but there was a moment in the UK in the 80s when pure synth bands ruled the airwaves. They signalled the future and it was Gary Numan’s bleak synthetic drones that caught Mike’s attention enough to re-focus his songwriting.