January 30, 2010 - De Pul Uden (NL)
The weather conditions were going to be very bad as I noticed on the news, but it couldn’t stop me from attending the Genesis-tribute concert of The Watch at De Pul in Uden. Last year, the band visited the same venue playing a tribute to the music of Genesis as well (see review). At the time, other activities prevented me from witnessing that gig. Of course, I’ve already seen The Watch several times performing their own compositions, but many people told me that this time I’d missed something special indeed.
An hour later than scheduled, the musicians entered the stage. Now I could finally decide for myself whether it was true what they’d told me. The band started with Damage Mode, a self-written composition, just to make sure that the sound was well-balanced before performing the Genesis-material. The musicians on stage strongly reminded me of the way Genesis performed in the early seventies. The band members playing the parts of Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett sat - just like them - on a chair passionately playing their instruments.
A screen at the back of the stage was used as a visual aid to show images of album covers and other related stuff. However, they only used it scarcely. As far as The Watch are concerned, their music seems to be the only thing that matters. Therefore, singer Simone Rossetti also didn’t use any masks, special clothing or other props to visualize the show. They just performed like Genesis did in their very early days, just letting the music speak for itself! The Genesis-compositions are strong enough to hold one’s attention during the concert. Songs like Time Table, Horizons, Can-Utility And The Coastliners, The Knife (encore), Get ‘Em Out By Friday, Supper’s Ready and a superb version of Watcher Of The Skies wouldn’t have sound any better if singer Simone Rossetti had been dressed like Peter Gabriel.
Nevertheless, Rossetti is the eye-catcher of the band. On stage he interacts a lot with his audience by mimic art. Not only by performing, but he also tries to get in touch with his audience by using the local language. He told an anecdote in Dutch from a piece of paper and that wasn't bad at all for a native Italian. The anecdote was about going through the customs with their old car to visit our country. Apparently they often look like a bunch of hippies smoking dope. Since the customs officers don't know what a progressive rock band is, they tell them they're jazz-musicians just to make sure they can cross the border without having any problems.
As the aforementioned song titles indicate, the main set was focused on the material taken from Foxtrot (1972). However, it was also nice to witness the band playing Anyway and Here Comes The Supernatural Anaesthetist from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974). Other Genesis tribute bands hardly ever perform these songs.
The performance of The Watch felt like travelling in a time machine bringing me back to the seventies. The band played for two hours and before I knew it the show was over like snow melting in the midday sun. I really needed some time to get back to 2010… Unfortunately, the lightshow wasn’t good. There was too much light shining in the concert hall from behind the musicians. As a consequence, you could hardly see the expressions on the musicians’ faces. Moreover, it was difficult to notice details and to make good pictures while the band was performing.
Although their new album Planet Earth? was already for sale, they didn't play any songs from it. They were probably focused on the Genesis-covers. In addition, a new album presentation deserves a dedicated gig and they need time to rehearse the new material in order to reach the high quality level we are used from the band.
On my way home, I had to face a number of blizzards, but I didn’t mind. I had seen a well-performed concert of a fantastic live band in a cosy venue. By the way, the lovers of progressive rock music are served well at De Pul; many interesting prog acts had been programmed lately. Thanks to those who made that possible.
Arthur Haggenburg (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Get 'Em Out By Friday
Here Comes The Supernatural Aneastesist
The Musical Box
In the cage
Watcher Of The Skies
Pictures The Watch by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up:(left to right)
bass, acoustic guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals
Valerio De Vittorio:
keyboards, acoustic guitar and backing vocals
lead vocals, flute and tambourine
drums and backing vocals
electric and acoustic guitars
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