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a tiny review - NEC Birmingham

manir@donaghue.karoo.co.uk

This is being done as I pack for Yes in 8 hours time -

Venue was appreciably fuller than expected, exp. with the recent horror
stories re: tickets.

Overall impressions were:

1. Genesis as a live unit have moved distinctively away from a pop band that
did rocky songs, to a rock group that have a pop edge in places. Two
immediate reasons for this being that the dropping of key for some Phil
songs and the faster tempo of the same material gives it a much darker edge.
Land of Confusion especially benefits from this, and Domino was just
breathtaking. (and most of you know how I feel about Invisible Touch the
album)

2. Ray is a brilliant live singer. The audience appeared to have no problem
at all with him and warmed to him appreciably as the set progressed. (btw,
Mama was magnificent) He sang the PC era material well, and the PG era stuff
was at times literally breathtaking.

3. Why does Ant Drennan have the same hairdresser as Barry Venison? (UK
football joke) His playing was excellent, and whilst he obviously isn't
Steve Hackett, his playinng exuded the sympathy to the material that I often
felt was lacking from Daryl's playing.

4. Nir - is the single biggest difference to the sound (imo). And probably
will cleave opinion about how you see Genesis much more than Ray. He is a
much less laid back drummer than Phil or Chester, and has a Bruford-like
propensity to propel the beat, rather than sitting slightly behind it. Thus
songs like Domino, Home by the sea, Land of Confusion, had a lot more
urgency than there WCD tour counterparts. PLease note that he doesn't sound
like Bruford at all, though, more Bonhamesque than anything, esp his bass
drum work. I loved him. Others won't.

5. Mike's enjoying himself a lot, and playing as well as I've ever heard him
play. Tony smiled. And was as Tony is.

6. Enjoyed immensely meeting list alumni Duncan and Lisa (Waltz of the
mobile phones?;-)), Maurizio and the mighty Gary, whose joy at the gig would
probably have been temprered by use of the word "Barnsley".

7. My only criticism, is that the CAS stuff (apart from Dividing line, which
was the 3rd best bit, after Domino and the acoustic set) dragged quite
badly. Possibly because as everything else was played at a faster tempo, to
then revert to normal speed during Calling all Stations and There Must be
some other Way (poor choice for a live number imo - One Man's Fool would
have been better), felt slow in comparison. Congo however was damn good and
transalates a lot better live than on disc.

8. Did I say this was going to be short?

Manir