London, can you wait to see Martin Rossiter, former lead singer with Gene, live one last time?
Martin Rossiter recorded four LPs with Gene from 1995-2001 including two top 10 UK albums.
Rossiter announced a farewell to the music industry one off gig next year at London’s Scala . Fans were obviously curious to see if his former band mates were going to be part of the occasion and today the band responded with the following:
Statement from Matt, Steve and Kev they would like to share:
“Following Martin’s ‘teasing’ on social media, and eventual announcement yesterday, a number of Gene fans and associated industry people who worked with Gene have contacted us for clarification on what’s going on.
Unfortunately, we only know what Martin has announced, as he did not see fit to let any of us know what he was planning. For someone usually so articulate, it seems he was a little lost for words in communicating something that he of course knew would be deeply hurtful for the other band members.
Until this moment we would have been open to stand up with Martin again and play our (co-written!) songs. We all genuinely wished him well with his solo career and respected his decision to call time on his involvement when he did. We are now all very saddened (for Martin and our own memories of the band) to hear that our songs and musical parts will be performed by other musicians in this context. If it was a couple of songs in a set, played with a band and drawing from a wide range of solo material we would have no issue. However, as Martin has only released one solo LP since we split in 2004 it seems clear that the lion’s share of this two-hour show will have to be filled with karaoke versions of Gene songs.
For someone who prides himself as a man of the left this also seems a strangely capitalist move? To clarify, despite the poster leading with his name, it looks to us that Martin has found a way to ‘do’ Gene, including trading in, (the show concept & logo are clearly stated) without having to cut the other members in. We therefore feel that we should make it clear to ticket buyers that if you thought that the band were OK with it & it has our blessing – we are not & it doesn’t. It’s perfectly legal, but really not a very nice move by Martin. Especially with his lack of any pre-announcement courtesy.
Of course everyone will have their own take on the credibility of the idea. We hope that if Martin has any respect for the other members of Gene he will have a rethink about how to finish his career. We all stand by 100% what we created together but this tarnishes it.
On the hottest day of the year we were chilled to the bone…
Matt, Steve, Kev “
Martin Rossiter responded later on his own fan page.:
“I just wanted to say that I simply think it would be fun, at the age of fifty, to play these songs one last time at what I am considering a retirement do. To the fans: If you would like to come to the gig, I would love to see you there, but if you’d rather not, I completely understand. In keeping the personal personal, all I’ll say is I’m not pretending this is a Gene show, just being transparent about the songs I’d like to celebrate one final time, that’s all. (Everyone involved in the writing of the songs will get PRS cheques) “
It seems that Rossiter’s former band mates aren’t too keen on the one off concert and “karaoke Gene ” is quite a damning statement. It would be interesting to see his reaction to Gene performing with a new singer.
If you want to wave goodbye to Martin Rossiter in person and hear Gene’s songs sung by their original singer, this is as good as it gets – tickets are available from here