I was lucky enough on a recent sojurn in Edinburgh to catch ex-Stiltskin and
Genesis frontman Ray Wilson on "The Storyteller Tour". Arriving at a piano
bar called Madogs with two friends (one a progster, one his girlfriend who
was softly falling under the spell) we found to our delight an intimate
piano bar with a small stage, waiter service and a lovely atmosphere. The
great man appeared amdist the ocean of Fish t-shirts looking slightly
nervous but full of enthusiasm and treated us all to a marvellous 90 minutes
which I'll run through here, for those who may be interested.
There were video cameras everywhere for the purposes of Ray's mum who was
ill and couldn't make it, bless her! He began with the first song he had to
sing at his Genesis audition, No Son Of Mine. Tony Banks had told him
afterwards that when he sang it the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.
Ray replied "Just as well Phil Colins isn't here, he hasn't got any hair!"
And wow, how he sings it! Just the man and an acoustic guitar, but blimey,
it was truly amazing. He then treated us all to an acoustic Follow You
Follow Me which was jolly pleasant.
Next he moved on to Calling All Stations, telling a marvellous story of how
Mike Rutherford tried to sing this next track to him when he was writing it,
and Mike has a dreadful voice, "like a goose farting in thick fog." He
looked at Tony who never smiles to stop himself laughing, only to find Tony
in hysterics and hiding behind the Times crossword. The track was
Shipwrecked, and again was sung with astounding emotion. Over the beer I
caught Max and Lindsey smiling at me as they knew my love for that song.
Next was a new song called Believe which was very good, then a Stilskin
track called Rest In Peace.
Ray then asked if there were any fans of old Genesis here, and I yelled a
resounding "Yes!" He then assumed I was the only one until the crowd spoke
up. He admitted the Gabriel era was his favourite, even more than his own
era. Off we went to the opening section of Supper's Ready (the best
performance of the evening) and Carpet Crawlers.
The inevitable Inside by Stiltskin worked brilliantly, with Steve Wilson, his brother,
giving some elec guitar backing.
Next up he introduced singer Amanda Lyon, who played keyboards and backing
vocals on a rather out of place but present In The Air Tonight. There
followed Dylan's Forever Young, an absolutely gorgeous new track called
Sarah, about "the perfect love", then a Right Said Fred-style piece called
Swing Your Bag, which we weren't quite so keen on!
[This track, which Ray performed with his band Guaranteed Pure, appeared
on Fish' Funny Farm Outpatients '93 Project album - Ed.]
A song Ray wrote upon Genesis disbanding, Garanga won our thumbs up as
being "more than just good!".
I Don't Like This Place At All was Ray's tribute to a schoolfriend who had died,
then a track from his old band, Guaranteed Pure, entitled Always In My Heart, and
Gyspy, inspired by Jeff Buckley, closed the main set.
Two surprise encores were Peter Gabriel's Biko (the first time I've actually liked the song!) and then an incredible Mama, the hardest Genesis song vocally sung effortlessly by Ray.
He played a blinder, and very kindly spared me a few words after the gig. A
great bloke, with a voice to die for. Anyone in Edinburgh...go see him!