Mama…. If you are a fan of Progressive Rock and Genesis in particular, then that title should send shivers up and down your spine. The track was a central part to the band’s 1983 self-titled album and is a consistently popular staple of rock radio to this day as well as being part of the live set of several of the tribute bands to Genesis that have sprung up around the UK and elsewhere over the last few years. Speaking of tribute bands, we now have a brand new one: Mama who have taken that song as their name. Combining the formidable talents of several musicians who are no strangers to the music of Genesis including vocalist John Wilkinson previously the front man of the extremely popular Face Value, guitarist Chris O’Connell who previously indulged his passion for Genesis’ music in both The Carpet Crawlers and latterly Face Value, Keyboardsman John Comish who also tried his hand in the last incarnation of Face Value. Bassist Mark Conroy meanwhile has credits in tributes to both Toto (Toto Recall) and Emmerson Lake & Palmer (Noddy’s Puncture) and Drummer James Cooper whose credits include stints with Moonlit Knight and Pink Floydish. However, there is more to Mama than a simple re-iteration of the classics from Genesis’ incredible back catalogue. The band have delved a little deeper and expanded the envelope to include in their already impressive armoury, several classic tracks by the solo members of Genesis including Spectral Mornings (Steve Hackett), Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel) and All I Need Is A Miracle (Mike & The Mechanics) ensuring that their appeal is much wider than your average tribute band. It is astonishing to think that the band have been together for barely six months and yet their level of musicianship is superbly high, as displayed by the reaction to the gigs which they have already played to enthusiastic audiences with their debut gig at the Pacific Road Arts Centre Birkenhead getting the following comments from the editor of TWR, the longest established Genesis fan magazine in the world… “this band have arisen from the ashes of one of the best loved tributes to Genesis and taken things to even greater heights. The performance at the Pacific Road Arts Centre in Birkenhead rates as one of the most impressive debuts I have ever seen. Musically spot on the money. Vocally, uncannily like Genesis and visually, convincing enough for me to suspend my disbelief. At times it was as if Genesis themselves were on stage. Either that or they had been cloned - impressive stuff!” One thing is for sure, the future looks bright for Mama and their bookings diary for the coming year looks likely to be filled very soon so if you are looking for a band that will pack ‘em in to the rafters, book them NOW!
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