Genesis reunite for first tour in 13 years

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

  • Published
GenesisImage source, Patrick Balls / Martin Griffin
Image caption,
Genesis (left-right): Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford

Rock band Genesis have reformed for a tour, 13 years after last performing together.

Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford confirmed the reunion on Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 show on Wednesday.

"We all felt, 'Why not?'" Collins told BBC News. "It sounds a bit of a lame reason - but we enjoy each other's company, we enjoy playing together."

The trio will be joined on stage by Collins' 18-year-old son Nicholas, who replaces his father on drums.

The star suffered nerve damage during Genesis's last tour in 2007, which left him unable to play for extended periods of time.

Nicholas has since stepped in as a drummer at Collins' solo shows - and his presence helped inspire the Genesis reunion, Banks said.

"He can sound like Phil and it gave us a whole idea of how we could do it, because we knew Phil couldn't be the drummer on the road again," the keyboard player said.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Rutherford, Collins and Banks pictured in 1983

The veteran band, whose hits include Land of Confusion and I Can't Dance, will kick off their Last Domino? tour in Dublin on 16 November.

They will also play shows in Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, as well as two nights at London's O2 Arena.

"I'm looking forward to doing it," said Rutherford. "I worked it out and we've only done two shows in the UK in the last 28 years, so we haven't over-worked it."

Missing members

Founding member Peter Gabriel, who left the group in 1975, will not be taking part. Guitarist Steve Hackett will also miss the shows.

"Peter left the band 45 years ago and he's been trying to live it down ever since," said Banks.

"When they put his birthday in The Times, they always say, 'Peter Gabriel - Genesis singer.' And I think, 'What's the guy been doing since then, for God's sake?'"

Banks said it wouldn't make sense to bring Gabriel back because "most of the songs people know" came after his departure, but added: "We love Peter."

Collins, whose voice was croaky after a recent illness, said the set list was still coming together.

"There are songs that you feel you have to play because the audience would feel cheated if you didn't," he told Ball.

"There are a few old dogs that won't be running," he added, saying songs that were "based more on my drumming" would be dropped.

The singer arrived at Radio 2 with a walking stick, which he has used since a back operation in 2015 left him with drop foot.

Rumours of a reunion had been circulating since Collins and Rutherford performed together in Berlin last June.

Earlier this week, a photograph of the three members appeared on Genesis's official Instagram account with the caption: "And then there were three."

100 million albums

Genesis started life as a progressive rock band in the 1970s, but after a series of line-up changes, they transformed their sound and became one of the most successful mainstream rock bands of the 80s.

They recorded 15 studio and six live albums, selling more than 100 million records, while scoring top 20 hits with songs like Invisible Touch, Turn It On Again and In Too Deep.

The band last played together in 2007 to mark the 40th anniversary of their formation at Charterhouse School in Surrey.

Those shows mixed their hits with the more expansive, experimental material from 70s albums like Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Image caption,
The band announced their reunion live on BBC Radio 2

Collins announced his retirement in 2011 after nerve damage left him unable to play the drums, but he returned to the stage in 2016 following his back operation.

That prompted speculation that Genesis might later reform, but Banks shot down speculation in 2018, saying that "getting everybody in the same place at the same time is impossible".

Speaking on Wednesday, the musician said Collins' live comeback had been the catalyst for their reformation.

"Phil's been out on tour for the last two-and-a-half years and it seemed the natural moment to have a conversation about it," he said.

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