The Watch

March 28, 2009 - De Pul, Uden (NL)

The Italian progressive rock band The Watch sounded right from the start like Genesis in the seventies. Ten years ago, when they visited The Netherlands for the first time, the band already played several covers from early Genesis albums. In those days, they called themselves The Night Watch and you could experience fine performances of songs as Seven Stones, The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and later on The Musical Box. Nowadays, The Watch still plays songs from that early Genesis period. Recently they did some gigs in Europe and they visited De Pul in Uden. On their website the tour was announced as ‘The Watch plays Nursery Crime’, but they had better could name it ‘The Watch plays early Genesis’.
The band started rehearsing the Genesis material in September 2008 and in December performed their first real Genesis live show. Only professional musicians can manage such a difficult task in such a short period.
As I mentioned before, they played not only material from Nursery Crime, but during the two and a half hour live show, one could also enjoy stuff from Trespass. Looking For Someone and Stagnation even opened the concert. It was obvious that the audience was ready to see and hear a special show. During the first set, The Watch played also tracks that never got a proper album release. Twilight Alehouse and Happy The Man for instance sounded just like I remembered them from my Genesis bootleg collection. However, Going Out To Get You did not ring a bell. Lead singer Simone Rossetti announced the song to be a piece from 1971, but according to the track list on the Genesis Archive 1967-75 box set it is a demo recorded in 1969. The only original Watch composition the band played during the first live set was the beautiful ballad Soaring On taken from their latest studio album Primitive. Fine sampled mellotron strings played by Valerio De Vittorio lifted the song to a high level. Keyboardist Fabio Mancini was not available during this tour. After the show, Rossetti told me that both musicians form party of the band. When Fabio is not available, Valerio performs instead and vice versa. Valerio did a wonderful job behind the keys. The Hammond organ, mellotron samples and electric piano sounded very much like Tony Banks on the original albums. My compliments concern indeed all the band members. If you closed your eyes, you might think that the real Genesis played in Uden.

The second set contained only highlights, especially during the combination of the Watch-composition The Fisherman with the final piece of Supper’s Ready. Almost everybody present experienced this as a breathtaking performance. Superb! This time Rosetti left his masques, props and painted faces in Italy, but I did not miss them at all. I asked Rosetti, why the band performed The Musical Box without the old man’s masque. He said that the music is essential and not the expedients. The band had planned three extra songs for the final encore. With a wonderful medley of the band’s own material and with excellent versions of The Return Of The Giant Hogweed and The Knife The Watch finished this great show in Uden. However, the audience shouted for another encore and they got it. DNAlien, originally planned as the show opener, now became the final song of the concert. You would expect the musicians to be very weary after this long and intensive show, but soon after the show all members showed up, talked to their fans and signed CD’s. It is a pity that copyrights are the main reason that such a fine piece of nostalgic music cannot be recorded on CD or DVD. It would make many prog heads very happy myself included.

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)


Set 1
Looking For Someone
Twilight Alehouse
The Fountain Of Salmacis
Going To Get You
Soaring On
Seven Stones
Can-Untility And The

Happy The Man
Set 2
Shining Bald Heads
The Musical Box
The Light
Lilywhite Lilith
The Fisherman/
excerpt Supper’s Ready

2 Faces/Another Life Medley
The Return Of The Giant Hogweed
The Knife

Pictures by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up The Watch:

(left to right)

Valerio De Vittorio:
keyboards, acoustic guitar and backing vocals
Guglielmo Mariotti:
bass, acoustic guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals
Simone Rossetti:
lead vocals, flute and tambourine
Marco Fabbri:
drums and backing vocals
Giorgio Gabriel:
electric and acoustic guitars

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