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Bebop Spoken There

Frank Tate: “Travelling’s part of life. It just goes with the job. It’s in one’s best interests, I think, to enjoy it, because it’s sure what you’re gonna be doing!” – (Jazz Journal February 1992)

Joe Temperley"I was on the bus as Carney's replacement. I said to Harold Ashby 'Where are we going?' He answered 'What difference does it make?' " - (Jazz UK January 2013.)

Archives.

Today Saturday January 21

Evening

James Harrison (solo piano) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:30pm. No cover charge.

Hannah Taylor/Alix Shepherd - Redwood Bar, Vermont Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ. Free 7.pm 0191 2331010.

Dutch Treat - Jazz Café, 25 Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 9pm. £3.

Budtet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8pm. £5.

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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Musical Box play Genesis 'Selling England by the Pound' @ Newcastle City Hall October 20.

Not Peter Gabriel (lead vocals, flute, percussion), not Steve Hackett (guitars), not Tony Banks (keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), not Mike Rutherford (bass, guitars, backing vocals), not Phil Collins (drums, vocals).
(Review by Steve T).
At the risk of young Russell observing another 'essay' on prog rock and Lance adopting his gruff, husky, crackled whisper to tell me to 'take the pen out of my hand', I thought I'd risk another.
Jazz now seems to encompass any ambitious, experimental music and most emerging Jazz musicians have some familiarity with prog rock and many incorporate it. Prog was of its time in the late sixties/ early seventies when it seemed anything could happen and generally did. When pop wasn't rock and rock wasn't pop.
  It's often said bands like Genesis were just like the Beatles but heavier and with longer pieces, which is like saying Jane Austen novels were like the Beano but heavier and with longer words. It's perhaps pertinent to say the prog groups took Beatles-type songs and embellished them in the same way that Jazz artists do with the Great American Songbook.
Jazz was always adrenaline to rock: Cream, widely considered the first great British rock band, were a blues-obsessed guitarist with a drummer and a bass player who considered themselves Jazz musicians; Hendrix was into Albert King but also Roland Kirk; Zappa listened to black r+b but also Eric Dolphy, Beefheart sang like Howlin Wolf but played like Free Jazz and Santana liked BB King but worshipped John Coltrane.   . 
Genesis were quintessentially English so the classical outweighs the Jazz though they share many traits common to both: multi-suite pieces, extended instrumental passages, complex time signatures, frequent tempo changes and some virtuosity, most notably from Phil Collins who had been bitten by Buddy Rich, loves Weather Report and played in Jazz-rock group Brand X in the late seventies/ early eighties.
Perhaps most significantly, Peter Gabriel maintained a roving imagination, constantly evolving through innovation and experimentation and is, to me, what the mass media constantly tell us Bowie was, reinventing himself every five years or so.

Genesis hold an integral place in the narrative of tribute bands. Many think Marillion were the first tribute band, so close was the Fish era to the Gabriel era Genesis. Some are more cynical and think Genesis were the first tribute band with Phil singing Gabriel.
Although there are lots of Genesis tribute bands, most concentrating on the Gabriel years, Musical Box are significant because they bought the props, costumes and stage sets from Genesis including the vast multimedia production of the final Genesis album with Gabriel, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.
Tonight was from the previous tour, last seen in the City Hall forty-three years and twelve days earlier. It had a massive impact on me, and remained my favourite gig for almost a decade and, with Roxy Music featuring Eno and the original Mahavishnu Orchestra in the preceding months, assured the inevitability that I would, sooner or later, come to Jazz.
Watcher in the Skies, Dancing in the Moonlit Knight and Cinema Showfor me the best record they ever made and Peters' greatest ever vocal performance. Check out the live version on Seconds Out and the drum partnership between Collins and Bill Bruford, two of the great rock drummers who both consider themselves Jazz drummers. Incidentally, Bruford was replaced by ex-Weather Report, Mothers drummer Chester Thompson.
I Know What I Like and even the staff and Collins fans wondering what the flip was going on knew this ode to lawn mowers.
Musical Box which gives them their name and the Peter person returned for the finale wearing an old man mask. Horizonsa solo guitar piece once played by number one son, never a big keyboard heavy Genesis fan, at secondary school, followed by The Battle of Epping Forest.
Some say prog was all twenty-minute mellotron and lute solos but Genesis only ever made one side (vinyl/cassette) long piece but it's one of, perhaps the best of the genre.
Supper's Ready had the staff hot on the trail of anybody after a snap of the Peter person while his head was 'a flower' and even I was tempted by the exploding spaceman outfit.
A chap in front of me seemed curled in a ball, his company clearly instructed not to speak to him (which people do at rock gigs) and I remembered the first tribute band I saw do this sprawling epic (Liverpool’s Carpet Crawlers) and just about crumbling when the Peter person got to the final lyric The New Jerusalem.
Inevitably, The Knife was the encore, a pre-Collins/ Hackett piece and the rockiest of the night, strobes lasting longer than I think they're supposed to nowadays.
No Carpet Crawlers or In the Cageah well. No Selling England by the Pounfillers either.
Steve Hackett is bringing his hugely successful Genesis Revisited back to the Sage again next year but, until Gabriel finally agrees to go back, the tribute bands are the best way to listen to Genesis live.  
Steve T.


1 comment :

  1. Lance was concerned by the length of this review so I thought I'd better add a couple of bits.
    I hope anybody who knows the album doesn't think I class Firth of Fifth as filler. I assumed they would do the album in full and in order so I didn't even take a note pad. This track is one of four killers off the album and if you like Gabriel era Genesis you'll agree and if you don't you won't.
    One group who maybe should give it a listen are guitarists. Hackett has made loads of solo albums over forty years but this is still unanimously considered his finest hour and he has never not played it live.
    He ain't a flash guitarist like in Jazz or the best rock players but it's a fine solo.
    Also the flute playing was quite good and more important in early Genesis than even I had realised. They all have a go but some are terrible.
    The Carpet Crawlers do a set of Gabriel and one of Collins (including some Gabriel stuff Collins recorded live) and he plays flute and drums, the latter quite well, so that's real devotion.
    Los Endos, another tribute band are playing Whitley Bay on Friday and Consett on sat. I've seen them before and they're good - Genesis music doesn't have the same virtuosic challenges of Yes - and on Saturday they're doing Trick of the Tail, first and best Collins album (closing with the track with which they share their name), much in the same vein as it's predecessors. At the time many didn't realise it wasn't Peter.

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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