It was February last year when I went to see "In the Cage" for the first time. Somehow, somewhere I found out that they were playing at a pub which was only walking distance from where I live and I thought: "great a Genesis tribute band almost at my doorstep, I have to go". Deserted by my friends I went on my own. Two months later the band played at The Roadhouse, a bigger venue and better sound.
In April this year they were back at The Roadhouse but this time the band had a different line-up. Trevor Garrand (lead vocals, percussion), Patrick Heron (lead guitar, flute, vocals), Mark Jordan (drums, percussion, vocals) - all of them from a previous incarnation and the new members Maurice Hendricks (bass, bass pedals, 12-string guitar, vocals) and Henry Dagg (keyboards). In The Cage plays tracks from Peter Gabriel years and early Phil Collins period - from Trespass to Duke.
I arrived early at the venue and soon after a friend invited me to go where the band was doing the soundcheck. I went in, grabbed a seat and sat quietly. The minutes passed and people started to come in, I saw some familiar faces from last year's concerts and it was interesting to see some youngsters as well. By this time the band had disappeared and the lights went out.
The band opened with Watcher of the Skies, a great song that gets better after the initial notes. Then Trevor introduced Maurice and Henry, made a few comments, as he normally does between songs, and carried on with a powerful The Eleventh Earl of Mar. Squonk one of my favourites was next, followed by Fountain of Salmacis and The Burning Rope. Five songs so far and each one from a different album. Then was a time for an excellent One For The Vine but it gave me the impression that some parts were a bit slow. Their own interpretation, maybe? No, my friend reminded me that that was how they played live. What can I say...? I've been so far from here... to know that.
A treat came with Firth of Fifth after that Timetable, Abacab and a wonderfully played Ripples.
Highlights: the Lamb selection with Lamb Lies Down, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway melody '74, Carpet Crawl, Anyway and In The Cage. The crowd just loved this part and who can blame them! As it happened in previous concerts this seems to be audience participation time. A quiet moment was brought with Horizons and the next one was everyone's favourite Supper's Ready. Superb, people were singing along this one as well.
Los Endos was brilliant, an excellent way to finish the concert. It's a pity that Trevor tends to vanish after announcing the final track as I would like to see him on stage with the rest of the band to receive a well-deserved applause.
Abacab was a surprise, a strange choice but it was fine. Afterglow was not included in the set and I was a bit disappointed but I shouldn't complain. The lighting was good and at times enhanced the atmosphere of the show. There were no costumes this time. I missed that. Later on I found out that their equipment took too much space leaving no room for Trevor to walk on and off the stage. I blame Henry and his mellotron for that!
If during a concert I find myself with a smile on my face I know that I experienced a magical moment. And this is exactly what happens every time I've seen "In the Cage". These talented people deliver an incredible performance and the gig at The Roadhouse was no exception.
Well that was at The Roadhouse. The following weekend (16 April) I went to Rock Cafe 2000 in Stourbridge It was the first time that the band had a gig there. I was surprised to see that the attendance was not as I would expect in this bigger venue. Maybe the fact that it was their first gig there had something to do with it ?? Anyway, for those who weren't there I could say that they missed a fantastic show. It was better than the one at The Roadhouse. The sound was louder and I loved it like that and the costumes/masks were back this time. Abacab was dropped from the set but we had three extra songs Follow You, Follow Me, Afterglow (specially back in the set for me, not really but I would like to think so) was marvellous, mesmerising as always and an amazing Dance On The Volcano.