In The Cage, February 8th 2003
Spirit Of 66, Verviers, Belgium
By Ser Spronck
First a few words about the "Spirit of 66" in Verviers, 50 km south of Maastricht. This café annex rock temple at the feet of the Belgian Ardennes is run by Francis Geron and during the last couple of years he has managed to contract a number of great progressive and symphonic bands and musicians like Camel, Caravan, Pendragon, IQ, Jadis, The Watch, Kayak, Fish and John Wetton. For the complete, impressive list of bands (the "hall of fame"), agenda and more info see the website.
After having seen ReGenesis, Invisible Touch, Supper's Ready and Genesis Project, In The Cage was the fifth Genesis tribute band that was invited to the Spirit. About 150 people had come to the Spirit for this English Genesis revival band. Although the evening was planned to start at 22:00 the band began to play at 22:45 in the traditional Genesis line-up, including a small drum kit for the singer.
The band opened with some "newer old songs" from the albums Wind And Wuthering, ...And Then There Were Three and Duke. After optimizing the sound during Eleventh Earl Of Mar it was not yet clear whether they wanted to play a perfect copy of the Genesis songs or their own interpretation.
Some parts of the songs did not really sound like the original and some stitches were dropped. This was the case for One For The Vine and Down And Out. Before they played the next song, Burning Rope, singer Trevor Garrard mentioned that this was only recently added to the repertoire. The newer Genesis period was finished with The Duke Suite, a compilation of six Duke songs, lasting even longer than the 23 minutes of Supper's Ready...
After a short break, the band played the "older old songs" and it became clear that the longer they played, the better the music was performed. In Watcher Of The Skies also the theatrical part was put on the stage, including the batwing robe that the vocalist was wearing. After playing Fountain Of Salmacis, In The Cage and The Carpet Crawl, the well known classic song Firth Of Fifth was played in a perfect way with excellent keyboards and a great guitar solo. Unlike some other Genesis tribute bands, the flute part was really played on a flute by guitar player Patrick Heron. The audience started to become more enthusiastic and during the next song, Supper's Ready, the technical quality of the band was shown again. During this 23 minute master piece also the legendary flower mask and cubical hat were used. The gig was continued with the medley Cinema Show & The Colony Of Slipperman, followed by Afterglow, one of my favourite Genesis songs
At that moment, after playing for about two hours, you would think that after one or two encores, the band would put an end to the performance, but it looked as if they just had been warmed up. They surprised the audience by adding another hour of great music. The "encore" started with The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, which was followed with the Musical Box. This was performed with great theatrics and the traditional old man's mask in the closing part. The performance was finished with Los Endos, The Knife and I Know What I Like.
After playing for more than 3 hours -the clock of 2:00 in the morning had already passed- the audience could look back at an evening of splendid Genesis music. As far as I can remember this performance came very close to my first Genesis concert that I saw in 1978. The band mixed with the audience to drink a nice Belgian beer and to have a talk. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to talk to the band members, because we had to go home. Maybe next time when Francis invites them to the Spirit again…
Eleventh Earl Of Mar
One For The Vine
Down And Out
The Duke Suite:
Behind The Lines
Turn It On Again
Watcher Of The Skies
Fountain Of Salmacis
In The Cage
Firth Of Fifth
Medley: Cinema Show / The Colony Of Slipperman
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
All photos © Piero (used with kind permission)