When the British Genesis tribute band Carpet Crawlers visited the Pul in Uden in 2014 (see review) their front man and lead singer Brian Cummings already told me about his participation in a special project. He revealed that he would be the lead singer for Security Project. According to their Facebook page the Security Project performs music from Peter Gabriel's first four studio albums, and Plays Live (1983), as well as many other sonic surprises. The name Security Project, comes from the American nickname for the fourth solo album of Gabriel. Next to the earlier mentioned Brian Cummings, the band consists of Jerry Marotta (ex-Peter Gabriel) on drums, Trey Gunn (ex-King Crimson) on bass and Warr guitar; Michael Cozzi on guitar and David Jameson on keyboards.
In 2014 the band toured in the USA and Canada followed by a European tour in 2015, which brought them to The Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France and the UK. Of course, shows were recorded for possible live releases. The first live album came out in May 2016 and was recorded in Europe in February and March 2015. They named it Live 1. Several months later in October 2016 another live album was welcomed and got the title Live 2. This time around they used the European recordings as well as recordings done in the USA in May 2016.
The question of course might be asked if anybody was waiting for an act that would copy the music of Peter Gabriel, followed by the question how they would perform the sometimes complex music. Well to answer the first one you have to be open minded toward tribute bands. As for myself, I certainly love to watch from time to time a band that tries to copy their musical heroes therefore I could certainly enjoy what was delivered on both releases and even more when you hear that the musicians came up with perfect renditions of sometimes classic Gabriel compositions. With a line-up that includes the cream of the crop of North American art rock musicians fronted by a British singer who already succeed doing Gabriel with his own band Be Gabriel, you already know it hardly can go wrong and indeed it doesn't. So there you have the answer to my second question. The most important part in the music of Gabriel is of course the way his voice is copied. Well, Peter Gabriel is just so perfectly imitated, that the illusion is almost perfect. The characteristic phrasing, timbre and inflections of Gabriel are in good hands with Brian Cummins. Of course he has tons of stage experience as a singer of Genesis cover band Carpet Crawlers and Mick Pointer's Marillion, in which he incarnated Fish. The Gabriel lyrics he brings to the stage are very immaculate. More so, it's downright spooky how Cummins here coincides with the performer Gabriel. It is undeniable how the spirit of Gabriel takes possession of the stage. Cummins gives the character shape with liveliness and enthusiasm. As for his fellow contributors on stage they also have to get a show of hands because when a band does not perform the music on which he sings it's terrible and you have nothing to enjoy. You can say the rest of the group glue masterfully to the original Gabriel versions: same tempo, same tones and almost the same instrumental sounds so bravo to all of them.
As for the songs that are offered on both discs I can tell you there is a lot to enjoy. I will not go into details about every track separately because that is just not needed. Everything is just of an unbelievable high level. I can assure you there are things to enjoy for the real Gabriel fans who followed him throughout his entire career on the more experimental albums before he became very popular after releasing his major hits Sledgehammer, Don't Give Up and Big Time all from his major selling album So (1986). These are the great art rock songs with ethno-folk influences but also the songs that hark back to the days when he just had left Genesis such as Here Comes The Flood, Humdrum and White Shadow. It's nice that you can also enjoy pieces of music which Gabriel originally did with his former band and during his early tours as a solo artist like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield and Back In N.Y.C. which are a feast for your ears just like all of the other stuff which is featured!
The music on Live 1 and Live 2 are certainly not slavish imitations. The band dares to go further in interpretation by working out new arrangements. Therefore, you can enjoy the music of Gabriel even more than you already do on the original versions. The albums appear as a beautiful compilation of the early solo period of Peter Gabriel on and off stage. The Red and blue covers made me think about the compilation albums which were released by The Beatles many years ago containing their finest music possible. The same can be said about the two live albums released by Security Project. It's Peter Gabriel music at its best only, done by others!
A delight of nostalgia is what I hear! A “must have” for all fans of this great artist!
****/**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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