For the army of Genesis fans out there who crave to hear live once again the glorious symphonic songs of the pioneering progsters, until this year, the nearest thing you got was hearing guitarist Steve Hackett revisiting a Genesis tune or two.
Hackett-era Genesis (from 1971 to 1976) forms a huge part of the soundtrack to my early life, and the music returned to my life a decade ago after (shamefully) lying dormant. The complex tunes, thrilling, eccentric and twisty-turny, mean more to me now than they ever did as a girl.
We’ve seen Hackett play live a number of times, but until May 2013, never a whole gig devoted entirely to Genesis songs, when we joined the army of fans at Symphony Hall in Birmingham to see the Genesis Revisted show. So uplifting was it that we ran off the see the Genesis circus again this week in Bristol’s Colston Hall. Coming back for more was utterly inevitable.
I know what I like.
Vocalist Nad Syvan trod carefully and perfectly the knife-edge of eccentric frontman. With his cascade of long blond curls, long jackets and various props he calmly and quietly filled the stage before retreating almost unnoticed for long instrumental sections. It would have been easy for him to steal the show, but that would be wrong for no-one person is the star here; this show is entirely about a whopping great earful of pure progtastic music.
A montage of images ran on big screens adding to the atmosphere, pulling me deeper into the vastness of the music – or was that the bass pedals reverbarating around my body?
We got a slightly different set to Birmingham in May. Out went The Lamia, not one of my faves, and in came Return of the Giant Hogweed, one of my faves! Later I sang happily along to all 23 sumptuous minutes of Supper’s Ready (as did most of the audience) and shivered with the powerful beauty of Firth of Fifth, one of the rare songs that brings me to musical orgasm. The Who’s ‘Won’t get fooled again’ has the same effect.
Set list: Dance on a Volcano, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, Fly on a Windshield, Broadway Melody of 1974, Carpet Crawlers, Return of the Giant Hogweed, The Musical Box, Horizons, Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers, In That Quiet Earth, Afterglow, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), Firth of Fifth, The Fountain of Salmacis, Supper’s Ready. And encores: Watcher of the Skies and Los Endos. Two and half stupendously melodic hours which I’d happily revisit once again.
And today’s earworm is Firth of Fifth.
Photos: Moth Clark