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Review: Books, Theatre, Movies, Albums & Gigs.


The Turn It On Again Tour
Old Trafford
Manchester United Football Ground
Saturday July 7, 2007

Image: Genesis 2007 Promotional image


Perhaps coincidentally, Genesis came once more to Manchester on the seventh day, of the seventh month, of the seventh year of the millennium. The Lord spoke, said “let there be light” and was well pleased with what he had created.


Image: Genesis live at Manchester 2007Fifteen years on from their last outing, slim-line Genesis stalwarts Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks – their band still sadly bereft of Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel – took to the stage to the rhythmic beat of Duke’s End and barely let the pace drop one iota.

Having opened the Live Earth show at Wembley earlier in the day, Collins prowled the stage, coaxing the crowd with amiable chit-chat and powerhouse vocals that, despite the passage of time, mirrored his performances in Wembley and Philadelphia in 1985, wringing the most from songs that – without question – have stood the test of time like few other.


Surely it is this, more than anything else, that is the most notable aspect of Genesis. Like Queen, everybody knows a Genesis song, despite their incarnations having been divided into two discernible sections – with and without the Maestro that is Gabriel. Watcher Of The Skies, The Lamb Lies Down, The Cage and I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) are all as popular as the more eighties-Pop influenced numbers such as No Son Of Mine, Turn It On Again and I Can’t Dance and were all performed here with effortless ease, before a stunning stage set resembling an aging film actresses arched looking glass, surrounded by lights and lasers that towered high into the air before the vast Stretford End.

Image: Genesis live at Manchester 2007 image 3Mike Rutherford – looking like a kindly Grandfather showing his offspring how it should be done – was the epitome of professional brilliance, allowing Collins to act as the unruly schoolboy performing Invisible Touch, Throwing It All Away and Wind And The Wuthering with aplomb.

Tony Banks, on the other hand – as is his wont – was more of the stern, slightly bored Uncle, putting up with the kids whilst all the while exhibiting what it is the keyboard is actually for. With Daryl Stuermer wafting out note-perfect guitar riffs and Chester Thomson hammering out an incessant rhythm – both with Collins and without – the Genesis trio had additions who were both outstanding. One of the highlights, indeed, came when Collins and Thomson faced off for a drum duet that was both mesmerising in its accuracy and its performance dexterity. How can they possibly swap sticks in mid-stroke and still not miss a beat?

Image: Genesis live at Manchester 2007 image 4So the songs kept coming. Follow You Follow Me, Hold On My Heart, Land Of Confusion, Mama, Home By The Sea – with its backdrop of materialising ghosts morphing into the faces of audience members up on the huge screen behind – and the sublime Domino, which is surely the band’s greatest “second stage” classic. There was also a particularly fine version of Carpet Crawlers to be heard at the end that was a joy. No Driving The Last Spike, sadly, or – for a Greatest Hits show – Keep It Dark, but hey, these are preferences on a personal level. There was still much here to revel in and the sell out crowd certainly did. This despite the one quibble of there being no support acts … a surprise in such a huge venue. U2, two years ago, had Snow Patrol, Athlete and Idelewild and played for as long as Genesis on Saturday – 190 minutes – for the same cost. Yet, this aside, their would be few – both young and old, and their was refreshing mix it has to be said – who would have walked away from Old Trafford disappointed with what they received in return for their £60 +

A brilliant night in every respect.



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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