Roughly speaking you can judge a Genesis tribute band in two ways. You can either listen if they sound like them or you can look at the way they copy their presentation. Both methods are important! Does the lead singer have the same kind of voice as Peter Gabriel has or is he dressed the same as Gabriel was in the seventies? The Watch from Italy always felt that the music of the early Genesis is more important than the presentation. Since 2008 they copied the music of Genesis the best possible way, but the attributes Genesis used back then were never important to them. They think th ese attributes only distract from the music. This means that during a concert of The Watch you can neither see singer Simone Rossetti perform with the batwing, nor with the fox head, the red dress, the sunflower nor with the ugly face of the old man or the suit of a Slipper man...
In the past I saw The Watch performing several live shows dedicated to one of Genesis' albums. During the first tour they were mainly focused on the early years with songs from Trespass (1970) and Nursery Crime (1971) which they called The Yellow Show (see review). The second one was focused on Foxtrot (1972) called The Blue Show (see review) and during the third one, The Green Show, they mainly played songs from Selling England By The Pound (1973). During many of these concerts a lot of fans kept asking why they never released a DVD or a CD of those wonderful shows. Well, releasing a DVD was never an option, because they expected to get problems with the copyright of the performed songs. However, releasing a live-CD from one of these shows is less difficult. Therefore the band finally met the wishes of many fans by releasing a compilation of their latest Green Shows in 2011.
The Green Show 2011 (Official Live Bootleg) is a kind of short version of the show I witnessed in Uden, The Netherlands. At the time they left the audience speechless after their superb performance. What else could we expect from The Watch's best live line-up ever, I wrote back then, which was confirmed by band leader and singer Simone Rossetti. In 2011 he was accompanied by the best musicians that had ever participated in The Watch. While listening to the music on this album for almost an hour I reached again to the same conclusion! When you hear the stunning live versions of the classic Genesis tracks Watcher Of The Skies, Dancing With The Moonlit Night, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), Firth Of Fifth, The Battle Of Epping Forest and The Musical Box, it's hard to believe that you aren't listening to the original band.
Simone Rossetti (lead vocals, flute, tambourine), Guglielmo Mariotti (bass, acoustic guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals), Valerio De Vittorio (keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Marco Fabbri (drums, backing vocals) and Giorgio Gabriel (electric and acoustic guitars) succeeded in sounding just like Genesis in the early seventies! Many Genesis tribute bands have a problem to find a singer who has the same diction and intonation as Peter Gabriel has, but this isn't the case with The Watch! Mr. Rossetti could have been the perfect replacement for Peter Gabriel in Genesis. Not only his singing is quite alike, but also the way he plays the flute.
On this release the band included two self-written songs namely Sound Of Sirens and Another Life, both taken from Primitive (2007). Both songs merge together and thus sound as being one piece of music containing a lot of Mellotron-samples and melodic playing on the electric guitar. My only complaints about the album are that it's way too short and it lacks a booklet with live pictures. Maybe they should have added some twenty minutes of music. They could have chosen from The Cinema Show, Aisle Of Plenty, Supper's Ready or After The Ordeal, songs that were all on the set list of The Green Show. However, even without these pieces it was a great delight to listen to The Watch performing such fantastic progressive rock music!
I seldom give the highest rating of five stars for a live album. However, in this case the music is just so incredible well-played that I have to make an exception for The Green Show 2011 (Official Live Bootleg). Well-deserved indeed!
***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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