The Watch

March 14, 2015 - 't Blok Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel (NL)

Most of us, or at least most of those among us who play one or more musical instruments, likely have had, at some point in their lives, the illusion to be, or be able to become, their biggest idol. Some have given up, some are still trying, and some have succeeded, in a way. Amongst the latter we find Simone Rossetti,
Simone Rossetti
singer, composer, flutist of The Watch. With the right vocal skills and the ability to play the flute, and the luck that his voice resembles that of Peter Gabriel, he founded Night Watch. With this band he released the album Twilight in 1997 and when the band disbanded he continued with a new line up under the name of The Watch. Although this band has seen several changes in line up (the latest being the addition of Simone's son Mattia Rossetti on bass in 2014), they are still around, and have released their latest album Tracks From The Alps in 2014.

Apart from this, in 2010 the band did a long world tour playing a Genesis tribute show, which has made them known to a larger audience as a Genesis tribute band, which they are not. Or rather, not entirely. On March 14th they played the opening show of a new tour, to promote their latest album, but under the telling title The Watch Plays Peter Gabriel And Genesis. So telling, that the final setlist only contains two tracks from the last album: The Cheating Mountain and the fabulous Devil's Bridge. These two were hidden in a great, mainly musical spectacle. Mainly musical, because although they visibly enjoy themselves, this is not a band of the kind that creates a huge stage show. Guitarist Giorgio Gabriel and bass player Mattia Rossetti played sitting down, just like (more obviously) drummer Marco Fabbri and keyboard player Valerio de Vittorio.
Mattia Rossetti and Valerio De Vittorio (front)

This made band nestor Simone the only person moving around the stage, and he mostly left his microphone only to play on his keyboard. However, as said, the musical spectacle made up for that - and a bit more.

The band opened the set with a mix of tracks from Peter Gabriel's first four albums, starting with a The Rhythm Of The Heat merged with I Don't Remember. Looking at the set list, Gabriel fans may be a little bit surprised that the strongest of these four albums (4, also known as Mask) did not play the leading role in terms of number of songs. Instead, the band provided a more or less equally sized selection from the four albums and played these very well - led by the powerful, emotional vocals of Simone.

Half way through this first half of the set, they made room for a nice rendition of The Cheating Mountain, of their own latest album, which was greeted with applause by the small but enthusiastic audience.

Then, to the surprise of the Background Magazine camera crew, the band left the stage after the first set, but immediately returned to play the second set - there was no break. Luckily, the batteries of all cameras were sufficiently charged to survive without recharging.
Marco Fabbri

The second set started off with a medley of tracks from Genesis' Duke (1980), which was received with cheering and applause again. Not being too familiar with the band, and not a great fan of Phil Collins- era Genesis, I was a bit surprised by this choice. However, the way The Watch played those songs, and the enthusiasm they showed in doing so (where they looked very serious during the first set, both Valerio and Giorgio showed a smile every once in a while now) makes that I am going to re-listen at least Duke and Trick Of The Tail (1976)this because after the Duke medley and a great track from The Watch's strongest album Vacuum (2004), Shining Bald Heads, the band continued with Dance On A Volcano and Ripples.

Closing the set with One For The Vine, from Genesis' Wind And Withering (1976), it could have been one for the road. However, as we all know - every gig needs an encore, and so does a gig of The Watch. So, the band returned with Devil's Bridge, a must listen from their 2014 album, and, much to the joy of the gathered Genesis fans, ended the show with a brilliant performance of The Cinema Show.

All in all, a great Saturday evening, which I had almost missed because usually the ProgFrog gigs at 't Blok are on Sunday afternoon. I can only conclude I'm glad I didn't miss it - proven by the fact that both Tracks From The Alps and Vacuum ended up in my collection that evening.

Angelo Hulshout (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

Live videos

   Henri & Roel Strik

Shining Bald Heads (4:44)
I Don't Remember (3:24)

Setlist The Watch:

The Rhythm Of The Heat/ Remember
Shock The Monkey
Family Snapshot
San Jacinto
Cheating Mountain
Here Comes The Flood
Mother Of Violence
On The Air
Duke Medley:
-Behind The Lines
-Guide Vocal
-Duke's Travels
Shining Bald Heads
Dance On A Volcano
One For The Vine
Devil's Bridge
Cinema Show

Pictures The Watch by Arthur Haggenburg

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Line up The Watch:

(left to right)
Marco Fabbri:
drums, percussion, keyboard
Giorgio Gabriel:
electric guitar
Simone Rossetti:
lead vocals, flute, keyboard, tambourine
Mattia Rossetti:
double neck 4-strings bass guitar/12-string electric guitar, bass pedals, 12- string electric guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals
Valerio De Vittorio:
keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals


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