Genesis In The Cage - Live: Volume 1

Year of Release: 2005
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:46:00

As the name suggests, 8-year-old Genesis In The Cage is a Genesis tribute band that plays pre-pop-era (Trespass to Duke) Genesis music with remarkable accuracy. There's a large number of similar tribute bands, but this south-eastern group of Englishmen calls themselves a "revival" band rather than a "tribute" band, they have attracted audiences all over England and Europe, and they were selected to play the 2006 Genesis Convention, where - as I understand it - they will be a headline act.

Live: Volume 1 is a selection of live recordings taken from shows in Hereford, Nuneaton and Margate in 2004, and it showcases about half of a typical show. There are plans to release the other half at a later date. The band's live repertoire typically includes songs from a broad range of Genesis albums, but this CD includes tracks from Selling England By The Pound (one of my personal all-time favorite albums), The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, A Trick Of The Tail, Wind And Wuthering and ...And Then There Were Three...

I'm intimately familiar with Genesis' work. Whereas the music on Live: Volume 1 is clearly not identical to that on the albums - and maybe a bit rougher than Genesis' original studio albums - I was surprised to find that the performances are probably better than those delivered in Genesis' own live shows, and closer to the studio arrangements. I particularly appreciate the way the band has reproduced the original keyboard / Mellotron sounds, and Steve Hackett's guitar voice is nicely replicated. Having said that - some of the sections seem to stray from the original tracks more than others, leading to a rather rough sound, while others are dead-on. So you might wonder if some of their live performances were simply better than others, or of some of the lines were re-worked in the studio. Probably the hardest "instrument" to get right is the vocals. Let's face it - perfection is not possible, yet the singing is very well done and Trevor Garrard does a good job of mimicking Gabriel and a he does a fair job with the Collins tracks. And for a live recording, the album is well produced.

Opening track "Firth Of Fifth" is a universal favorite and well replicated, and "Lamb Stew" is a 26-minute medley of sections from various albums ending with excerpts from the band's namesake "In The Cage" - and it is here that the true Genesis live flavor shines through most successfully.

The very existence of Genesis In The Cage - and other tribute acts like them - raises two questions for me. Firstly, who would buy this album, and who would go to their live shows? Second - these are clearly very talented musicians, which leads me to wonder why they aren't producing original pieces of their own. I don't have an answer, but I can say that I've attended a show by another tribute band called The Musical Box, and it was very well received by the audience, and their CDs were flying off the merch table. And honestly, skeptical as I was going in, I really loved the show.

Here's a fascinating service offered by Genesis In The Cage: According to their website, If you wish to play along using your own instrument, we can specially remix our album just for you, without the instrument of your choice. So if for example you're an aspiring guitarist you could get a karaoke-style version of the CD with no guitars, and channel Hackett through your own instrument. A wonderful idea that I may take up myself if I get ever manage to elevate my fretboard work to that level.

Live: Volume 1 is interesting, and quite probably worth a try. There are samples on their web site. Try it. You just might like it.

(Due to the nature of tribute bands, this album is deliberately not rated.)

Firth Of Fifth / One For The Vine / 11th Earl Of Mar / Lamb Stew: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway / Fly On A Windshield / Melody Of 74 / Carpet Crawlers Anyway / In The Cage / Dance On A Volcano / Los Endos

Henry Dagg - keyboards
Maurice Hendricks - bass, bass pedals, 12-string guitar, backing vocals
Mark Jordan - drums
Trevor Garrard - lead vocals, percussion, costumes, masks & props
Patrick Heron - lead guitar, flute, backing vocals

Live: Volume 1 (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: March 5th 2006
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday

Artist website:
Hits: 1662
Language: english


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