After a year in limbo, the London based
tribute band Invisible Touch are
back in business, and better than ever. Ok, so it's easy to say that sort
of thing on a review (especially when you are bound to be accused of bias
- ok, I suppose that's true).
However, last nights perfrormance marhed
the first ocasion in the band's
history when they made me feel the same way that ReGenesis can and usually
do. Don't get me wrong, the performances were not perfect, but something
good has happened to this band since they last gigged, at the same venue
12 months ago.
The Red Lion always seems to attract
plenty of young people, possibly no
matter who or what performs in the bar, but even those who hadn't come
specifically to see the band (and that was a considerable proportion)
seemed to enjoy the set.
What was immediately apparent to me
was how good the sound (not the PA)
was. A year ago, Mama which here opened the set had not sounded nearly so
powerful. Now, the band seemed to be playing with a regenerated vitality.
The guys then steamed through Land of Confusion and Domino thereby proving
that the promising start had not been a lucky fluke - We knew from the
first ten minutes that the night was going to be host to a great gig. I
can only compare the *new* Invisible Touch experience to that of the
Italian tribute Supper's Ready. While not quite as note-perfect as the
Italians, Invisible Touch are now hot on the heels in terms of sound,
energy, enthusiasm and entertainment value.
Fading Lights was so much better than
before, with both Daves leaving the
stage in turn to leave the trio that remained to tackle the lengthy (and
beautiful) middle section. A year ago, this song looked like a chore to
play, now it appeared as a labour of love. Dodo/Lurker and abacab followed
to remind us of how well they can play the more energetic stuff before a
Mama tour inspired Squonk with the 11th Earl intro - how about adding
Firth of Fifth to the end, or even Ripples (yes, I am a keen scholar of
...And then there was the cage medley
with Supper's Ready. Three words:
amazing, emotional, powerful.
The latter part of the set went well,
I'm sure its been a while
since I enjoyed Invisible touch to anything like the extent I did during
this performance, and the Volcano/Endos thing was one of their best.
A blissful Carpet Crawl and a frenzied
Knife were contrasting highlights
of the encores, proving yet again the diversity of the styles which this
outfit can now pull off better that ever before.
In short - the performance and (majorly)
sound has undergone a change for
the better. Could the improved sound be something to do with a young man
by the name of Dave Woodward? Dave only joined Invisible Touch in May, and
already he is up to speed - He could have playing this music publically
for years, and looked like he was enjoying every minute of it. Before they
began, Dave said he felt a bit nervous, but none of it showed for the
whole 2 and a half hours of Dave's *first public gig*.
The other four were all pretty much
on top form too, with just one or two
*very minor* niggles.
The dependable Phil Durga Duke pounded
away on drums, keen as ever to show
off her studentship of drumming Collins-style. The obligatory and
effortless Drum solo lead as usual into a Los Endos which was possibly her
high point of the set.
Dave Whitehouse continues to impress,
making the most of the audience as
he always does, while retaining a good mixture of familiar introductions
and ad-libbed banter between songs. More importantly though, his voice was
(as always) powerful where required and controlled likewise.
Richard Mills' keyboard work was excellent
throughout, especially during
an astounding Cage medley, which for me was the highlight of the evening.
Richard managed to get away with a couple of occasions during the set
where he appeared to come in an octave down before correcting, but other
than that, he was pretty much flawless. I could be wrong, but this could
be the first time Richard has been relieved of backing vocal duties -
perhaps they felt it was not work carrying the extra mic for the benefit
of having two people singing "Abacab..."
Tony Burton's bass work always reinforces
the rhythm section, and Saturday
was no exception, although I'm forgiving a couple of (rather
insignificant) bass pedal slips! - it can't be easy playing pedals at the
same time as a guitar or bass... It was interesting to see that Tony had
inherited the intro to Dance on a Volcano, whereas the reprised line was
played by Dave Woodward in Los Endos. Hmm!
The only sticky moment of the whole
gig was the beginning of Throwing It
All Away, with the band trying to play in two different keys at the same
time! Fortunately the song recovered from this with sufficient dignity!
The full setlist for the gig was as follows:
Land of Confusion
Jesus He Knows Me
Dodo / Lurker
Eleventh Earl of Mar / Squonk
In the Cage / In that Quiet Earth / Supper's Ready
Throwing It All Away
Home by the Sea / Second Home by the Sea
I Can't Dance
Dance on a Volcano / Drum Solo / Los Endos
Dancing with the Moonlit Knight / Carpet Crawl
Turn It On Again
To conclude - if you've seen Invisible
Touch before but missed this one,
you missed perhaps a coming of age - there is life in the not-so-old dog
yet. Go see them in action soon and you will be delighted at the progress
they have made.
If you haven't seen them before - why
not? There is a way to compensate
this gap in your experiences:
Invisible Touch will next appear at
the refurbished Grey Horse, Kingston,
on Friday 8th October. If you loved Supper's Ready at the convention, then
I'm sure you'll love this too...
(ps - Thanks to manager Ken Hilton -
they couldn't have done it without
this man's motivation and determination. Well done Ken!)
Invisible Touch home web site