Deutscher Genesis Fanclub it: Startseite
Deutscher Genesis Fanclub it
Choose artist

i/o Peter Gabriel new album
Phil Collins Recording Compendium
Brand X Special: An Urorthodox History

Genesis Live – The Mama Tour

Play The Bloody Cage!

A VHS video is a historical artifact these days, but neither video nor audio footage of the Mama tour has been released officially. Even the VHS video has gone out of print more than 15 years before.
From November 1983 to February 1984 Genesis had been on an extensive tour through North American venues that was interrupted only by the Christmas holidays. At the end of February 1984 they returned to Europe. For reasons unknown they decided not to play any show on mainland Europe but scheduled five consecutive shows at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham between Feb 25 and Feb 29 instead. Not even London was included. Whether the video is a compilation of footage of various days cannot be determined. A glance at the calendar reveals that at least Phil’s welcome to the audience (“It’s Monday night and it’s Birmingham”) is from Feb 27, 1984. The decision to film the tour video in Birmingham is understandable since they could choose the best from up to five different versions. Still, not nearly all songs of a rather interesting set list made it onto the video, but more about that later.
The video begins with brief impressions backstage while we already hear the beginning of Abacab. Jim Yukich, Genesis’s resident director, has evidently cut lots of material from the show. 45 of the usual 150 minutes were left out. Amongst the cut material is the opening song Dodo/Lurker; some fans may feel they can live without that. The Old Medley of 1983/4 that in Birmingham consisted of Eleventh Earl Of Mar, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Firth Of Fifth and The Musical Box is another thing altogether, and so are Carpet Crawlers and Los Endos.
During his introduction Phil even dares announce that they would play a couple of Barry Manilow songs – but it does not get that bad, they just play some Country & Western music they have, Phil claims, imported from the U.S.: That’s All. It is the first of six songs from the “untitled album”.

CoverThe gentlemen’s wardrobe may have been fashionable, perhaps even hip, today it seems rather gaudy: Mike Rutherford wears tight leather pants and a sleeveless shirt with a stand-up collar. Phil sports sweatbands. He has completed his outfit from the Three Sides Live Encore tour 1982 with braces and traded his kerchief for a superslim red tie. During the show Phil disappointed the female fans by keeping on his shirt. He can be admired in a white undershirt from the Cage medley onwards, though...
The stage is as simplistic as ever, only platforms and instruments. Tony Banks, however, cannot be seen at his usual place at the right side of the stage – his keyboard fortress was moved to the rear middle in between the two drumkits. The space above the stage is of particular interest. An armada of VariLights and only a couple of traditional spots hangs there organised in triangle patterns.
After Mama it is time for Phil to put on sunglasses and a chequered jacket and shoulder a ghetto blaster through which the band pretend to try and listen to the police radio. All they tune into, however, is Yes's Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Van Halen's Jump and – to the huge delight of the audience – Mama. All that is part of the introduction to Illegal Alien for which the tourcrew appears on stage as the background choir.
And then it is “audience participation time”: After the whole lighting rig has been miraculously lowered by the active participation of the audience until it almost touches the stage the band play Home By The Sea and Second Home By The Sea. It is during this song that one can admire the then revolutionary light show at full blast on the video. “Dr” Alan Owen has definitely pulled out all stops.
The song after that is introduced as a story about the cosmos. Keep It Dark is a song the band had not played live during the 1981 and 1982 tours. It passes seamlessly into It's Gonna Get Better. Up to this time the video has shown songs from the Abacab and Genesis/Shapes album.
After that song Phil steps up to the microphone. Before he can say anything someone from the audience screams “Play the bloody Cage!” and indeed the band would usually play the Cage medley at this point. Phil, however, wanted to introduce Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson first, and so he asked the fan to “wait a bloody minute!” In That Quiet Earth was spliced into this medley for the first time in 1983/4.
The classic Drum Duet ends abruptly before Los Endos even begins and the video moves straight to the last song of the show, Turn It On Again, complete with the medley of various Motown songs and contemporary music like Karma Chameleon and Every Breath You Take.
This concert excert is available on VHS video only. Though the show is unfortunately incomplete fan nevertheless wish for an official DVD release similar to the Invisible Touch tour DVD. Whether such a DVD will ever be released and, if so, when, is anyone's guess. One may also wonder whether there are good quality shots of the other songs of the concert so that the footage of the complete show could be released. Fans can but hope that Genesis follow the example U2 have set and really re-release all vintage VHS concert videos on DVD.

This was the full setlist of the Birmingham 1984 concerts:
Dodo / Lurker
That's All
Eleventh Earl Of Mar / The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway / Firth Of Fifth / The Musical Box
Illegal Alien
Home By The Sea / Second Home By The Sea
Carpet Crawlers
Keep It Dark
It's Gonna Get Better
Follow You, Follow Me
In The Cage / The Cinema Show / …In That Quiet Earth / The Colony Of Slippermen
Drum Duet
Los Endos
Turn It On Again / Everybody Needs Somebody To Love / (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction / Twist And Shout / All Day And All Of The Night / Baby Let Me Take You Home / Karma Chameleon / Every Breath You Take / Pinball Wizard / In The Midnight Hour

The song in bold letters are included in the video.

By Ulrich Klemt
translated by Martin Klinkhardt