Archive for June, 2013

The Who - MEN ArenaThe Who – Quadrophenia – MEN Arena, Manchester, 23rd June 2013

I’ll be honest. I’m not used to writing reviews. In fact, aside from the odd Amazon review or gear review on a technology website that I’ve just bought something from, I’ve never written one in my life. So this review of last nights show at MEN Arena in Manchester is unique for now. It’s even more unique because I write it not as a fan of The Who but as a live music fan that took a chance to see The Who for the first time ever, when the opportunity came along. This gig was certainly an experience!

So, where to start? My knowledge of The Who is largely restricted to a few of their songs that I have personally performed in bands over the years (thanks to Paul for the musical education – he knows who he is). Notably, these were Pinball Wizard, My Generation and The Seeker. I also know the names of the members because each is pretty infamous in their own right and obviously they have a detailed and well documented historical contribution to rock & roll history. I further have a vague recollection that The Who had something to do with Mods, Rockers, Tommy, Quadrophenia and the latter two were films. I haven’t seen either of them.

The Who - MEN ArenaWith all of the above in mind, I’ll start with the obvious. This gig was The Who (basically Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey) with a bunch of cracking musicians performing the whole of the Quadrophenia album from start to finish, with an encore of other notable Who classics. I paid £70.00 for the ticket and because I booked some special seats that meant I had to be a member of The Who fanclub, I ended up paying £90.00 in total. It’s a high price but one that I felt was justified because I figured everyone should see ‘the greatest rock & roll band in the world’ at least once in their life. Apparently, the show started with some kind of instrumental track but I’ve no idea what that was like because we were late due to a number of our party finishing their drinks in the Hard Rock Cafe outside the venue. Oops! From there on though, things rocked!

I’m dividing my time between writing and checking out the Wikipedia article for Quadrophenia, mainly so I get the song titles right. I notice that the article starts with this little ditty:

“The name is a variation on the popular usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder, to reflect the four distinct personalities of Jimmy, the opera’s protagonist”

So it seems we are well into the world of prog here! I never thought of The Who as a prog band. I thought they were pure rock. Standout tracks for me – Quadrophenia itself. Then I also realised I knew I’m One. I just didn’t know it was a Who song. So really enjoyed that track. Is It In My Head was another most enjoyable track. Sea and Sand was great to watch. The light and shade really came through with a huge PA system and from our vantage point half way up the stand, we could watch the whole venue bounce when the band lit up some of the heavier rock sections of the album. I find the individual tracks difficult to separate from the entire work. In fact, as I don’t own the album I’m sat here now playing the demo sections on iTunes in order to link song titles with the songs I remember on the night. View full article »

Interview with John W (Vocals)

Mama, the UK’s ‘all era’ Genesis tribute band is delighted to share this interview with our fans and fellow Genesis fans!

Note: Previously available on our Exclusive Content page!

Here is our interview with John Wilkinson, vocalist with Mama of course. We managed to grab him just before he went on stage.

John W - Pacific Road Mama Launch GigMama Website: Hi JW and thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. All okay in JW world?

John Wilkinson: Yeah fine thanks.

MW: So, what made you decide to start a Genesis tribute band?

JW: Well most people will know that John Comish and I were in a very successful Phil Collins and Genesis tribute band called Face Value. When that came to an end we decided to carry on with the Genesis songs but give this new band a more Genesis all era feel. We wanted to move away from the Phil solo material, although we still play In The Air Tonight. We then started rehearsals with James Cooper our drummer and a guitarist and bassist, Chris and Mark, and for the first few gigs that was the line up. Mark Comish, who is John’s brother joined soon after Chris decided to leave the band in June 2012 and we got Dave Perry our bassist in April this year.

MW: I take it you all get on well with each other then?

JW: Yeah I think now we have a line up which I am hopeful will last years. We are all united in trying to make Mama the best Genesis tribute band it can be. Nice to have that sense of team spirit in any band.

MW: So you can see Mama carrying on for years then?

JW: Yeah hope we can last at least as long as Face Value did as we all really love doing this. My enthusiasm for singing Genesis songs will never diminish so I can see myself doing this for as long as I am able to.

MW: What is your favourite song to play live?

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