Just received an email from Ticketline - Manchester venue has changed from botw to 'The Blues Kitchen', again iirc that's the former 'Walkabout' aussie themed bar near the Opera House!? Looks like botw refurb is behind schedule.........
(IMO) I think Simone struggles with the 'Phil' vocals. And iirc (I have seen them several times) I don't recall them playing anything after 'Trick', apart from a solo Gabriel style show (songs from his first 3 albums) and in the second half they played the instrumental 'Duke' suite (no vocals).
As I have (probably) said elsewhere, I was there, memories are beginning to fade a bit now, 22 then, 61 now. I agree with Mozo that it probably was a bit shambolic but it definitely was magical (rose tinted hindsight?).
The sense that Genesis were flying by the seat of their britches was further emphasised by the arrival onstage of Peter Gabriel. With the musicians in place, the singer was brought out inside a coffin perched on the shoulders of four pallbearers. His entrance was as much of a surprise to the band as it was to 60,000 rain-soaked supporters. It had been seven years since Gabriel bid goodbye to democracy, and he wasn't about to embrace it again now.
"We all smiled when the coffin came on," recalled Mike Rutherford. "It was, like, 'That's our Pete.'"
Gabriel would later wryly describe his unconventional appearance as "a typically humble gesture." Back from the dead, the singer emerged wearing the kind of leather jacket adorned by Rael, the half-Puerto Rican New York adolescent whose story is told in the confusingly conceptual The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album. Taking their cues from their most widely-discussed release, the group kicked off the night with Back In N.Y.C.
"We were very under-rehearsed because we only spent a couple of afternoons working at it," said Phil Collins. "But I guess it must have fallen back into place quite easily, otherwise we would have been in trouble."
But this was no scratch-band comprised of have-a-go heroes onstage in a blues bar in Beckenham. This was a union of consummate and supple musicians capable of steering their way through the complexities of 'Firth Of Fifth' as if it were no more complicated than 'Blitzkrieg Bop'.
Robert Ellis disagrees. "It was a terrible show," he says. "An awful show. They pulled it off only because they wanted to, but in terms of a performance it was hardly their finest hour. There are a couple of bootlegs going around, and I wouldn't urge anyone to go and listen to them because they're really not very good. If you heard those bootlegs you'd be forced to agree with what I'm saying."
For decades, Six Of The Best at the Bowl was the Holy Grail of counterfeit collections. Scratchily recorded by a member of the audience, the two-disc set buttresses the evening in all its frantic glory. The determined sloppiness of 'Turn It On Again' and 'Solsbury Hill' — the evening's two newer songs — and the paint-stripping abuse meted out to DJ Jonathan King, who introduced the group, suggest an occasion that bordered on the raucous.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the sound of a 60,000 strong all-male voice choir singing 'Happy Birthday' to Mike Rutherford. From smoke-filled refectories to the slopes of adulthood, an audience as dedicated at this did not have to wait for the invention of the internet to discover, and remember, the date of birth of a perfect stranger.
"Some of you may be wondering what we're doing here," announced Gabriel from the stage. "But actually this is a sequence from a previous event by the name of Womad… a great event that lost a pile of money. But I'm very lucky to have a group of people [here] who support these ideals, so in return for your cash we'll give you what we think you will like from this combination."
"I can't express well enough just how much the audience wanted this [concert] to happen," says Robert Ellis. "They stood knee-deep in mud — and it really was very muddy — on a site that stank to high heaven. It was like being in some cow-field that had just been covered in manure. I felt awfully sorry for all the people that stood there for all that time."
But for the bargain price of Immersion Foot Syndrome and the loss of no more than three or four toes, scores of thousands of people bore witness to the first and only reunion of Genesis in their early form. For the final two songs — 'I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)' and 'The Knife' — Six Of The Best became seven when guitarist Steve Hackett, who left the group in 1977, emerged to an overwhelming ovation.
And that was that. Four years later, with the release of the So album, the critically adored Peter Gabriel became a global pop star every bit as famous as Phil Collins. Genesis motored on as recording artists until 1997.
While their detractors bemoaned a descent into "dad rock", those with keener ears heard songs such as 'Dodo', 'Abacab', 'Mama', 'Home By The Sea', and 'Domino', and understood that weirdness still lurked beneath the group's increasingly shiny exterior.
"Although they are often portrayed as very unhip, exploitative capitalist men of the rock world, it's entirely down to them that the Womad movement can move, or struggle, or crawl forward," said Peter Gabriel of the reunion show. "And they didn't get anything out of it."
Backstage at the Bowl, the re-united members of Genesis stood uneasily amid the champagne and cakes of the aftershow party, unsure as to how their evening had gone. But a night's work in a new town in the south of England raised £1.2 million. The tally rescued Peter Gabriel from a future on the bones of his backside, and ensured the continued existence of an organisation he founded with the purest of intentions.
Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere - came across this article on 'Rock's Back Pages':
The shambolic Genesis reunion that saved Peter Gabriel from financial ruin
Ian Winwood, Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2020
Womad crippled Peter Gabriel, so his former bandmates offered to keep the bailiffs away. If only they could remember how to play together…
ON OCTOBER 2 1982, Peter Gabriel rejoined Genesis for one night only at a concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl. For legal reasons, the re-union was billed as Six Of The Best, a sleight of hand that did nothing to deter more than 60,000 supporters from descending on a venue in northern Buckinghamshire that was once a clay pit. As befits this most wistfully English of groups, it tipped it down all day.
In an artistic sense, Gabriel had no use for Genesis. In the seven years that had elapsed since his last concert with the band — at the Palais des Sports in Besancon, in France — the 32-year old had invested time and energy in establishing his credentials as a sole trader.
So effective had this process been that the set-list for his North American tour of 1982 featured not a single song from his period with the band with which he made his name.
"Having tried for seven years to get away from the image of being ex-Genesis there's obviously a certain amount of [trepidation] stepping back," he told the NME in 1982. "I don't think they would choose at this point to work me or, or I with them."
Gabriel told Genesis that he would be leaving their ranks at a meeting at the Swingos Hotel, in Cleveland, on November 24 1974. The fortunes of their want-away singer duly prospered, but so too did those of the musicians he left behind.
With drummer Phil Collins assuming the role of vocalist, the trio enjoyed their first major hit single with 'Follow You Follow Me', in 1978. Two years later, Duke became their first album to reach number one.
Unusually, the reunion of the two camps was not informed by the corrupting allure of nostalgia or personal enrichment. Rather, it was the logical response to a pressing emergency — the need to forestall the arrival of bailiffs, and bankruptcy. Putting it baldly, without the help of his erstwhile colleagues, Peter Gabriel would have gone bust. "It's very generous of them [to offer to help]," he said, "and I'm very grateful."
The singer's problems began in 1981 after he met the three publishers of the quarterly music magazine the Bristol Recorder. United by a passion for what would become known as "world music", the quartet decided to found Womad — World Of Music And Dance — an organisation dedicated to promoting international non-mainstream artists from Chadwell Heath to Chad.
Plans for a compilation album, Music & Rhythm, were put in train with contributions from Gabriel, David Byrne, and Peter Hammill, among others. An inaugural three-day festival at the 240 acre Royal Bath and Wells Showground, in the Somerset town of Shepton Mallet, was announced for the weekend of July 16 1982. The bill featured artists from 21 countries, and included Peter Gabriel, Imrat Khan, The Beat, Simple Minds, Don Cherry, Drummers of Burundi, and more.
The Womad festival featured innovations that would in time become staples of the summer circuit. Films were shown; stage time was allotted to spoken-word performers; food stands included the Simple Simon Wholefood Store, the Portobello Road Sweet Corn Company, as well as concession stalls knocking out wholegrain crepes and Jamaican fish and chips. Ticketholders were also at liberty to purchase items of clothing capable of blinding a child at 40 paces.
But it was doomed from the start. The release of Music & Rhythm met with severe delays, with knock-on effects for the sizable advance from WEA Records. The local authority decreed that the event could take place only in the venue's Showering Pavilion, which held 4,000 people. The Arts Council declined to provide funding; this being Britain in the 1980s, there was also a rail strike. Inevitably, the weather was not kind.
Worse still, ticket sales were poor. One attendee remarked that "there seemed to be more people walking about with laminate [passes] than there were audience [members]." Realising that they were on the hook for the festival's mounting debts, all but one member of the organising committee resigned their posts just days before the curtain was raised.
The man left standing was Peter Gabriel. "It became a nightmare experience when we realised there was no way we were getting the ticket [sales] to cover our costs," he told The Guardian in 2012. "The debts were way above what I could manage, but people saw me as the only fat cat worth squeezing. I got a lot of nasty phone calls and a death threat.
"We naively assumed that we had an event with more appeal than it actually had," was his wistful conclusion.
Salvation came via the umbilical chord that remained uncut between Peter Gabriel and Genesis. Despite their estrangement, the two camps were hardly warring parties. Phil Collins played drums on three of the tracks on the singer's untitled third LP, from 1980. As well as this, the band's manager, Tony Smith, retained a 50 per cent stake in Gabriel's management.
It was Smith's idea to get the old band together. But with the weather cooling and time as an enemy, a concert that would ordinarily take 18 months to plan was pulled together in a matter of weeks. Tickets cost £9, or a tenner for those that paid on the gate.
Adverts in the music press made clear that the event was "a benefit for Womad". "It seemed like a pretty obvious thing to do [but] the problem was logistics," said bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford in an understatement worthy of Reginald Jeeves.
In the autumn of 1982, Genesis were approaching the end of the Three Sides Live Encore tour — only a prog band could hit the road in support of a live album — a two month caravan of North America and Europe that pulled up to the loading bays of the Hammersmith Odeon on the final three nights of September. Rehearsals for the show at the Bowl were scheduled for the afternoons of these London concerts.
The task was mountainous. In 1982, the group were used to performing just four pieces from their era with Peter Gabriel — 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway', 'The Colony Of The Slippermen', 'In The Cage', and 'Supper’s Ready' — hardly ideal preparation for a two-hour marathon of early-day material. Onstage at a deserted Odeon, Mike Rutherford discovered that he'd forgotten an entire four-minute section in the middle of 'The Musical Box'.
"I got a call from management to go down to the Hammersmith Odeon to shoot the rehearsals," says photographer Robert Ellis, who has worked with Genesis since 1972. "I was amazed because I didn't know it was going to happen. I'd been on the tour with the band up until that time, in America and elsewhere, and I didn't know anything about it. So I guess it was a last minute decision to hold these rehearsals… [but] it sounded under-rehearsed. There's no question about that."
The bill at the Bowl also included The Blues Band, John Martyn, and Talk Talk. Under gunmetal skies, the audience treated the latter group to a torrent of boos and bottles which suggested that fans of progressive rock were not without a regressive edge. Six years later, Talk Talk released Spirit Of Eden, an album of such grand invention that it made Genesis sound like The Wombles.
The name Six Of The Best encompassed Peter Gabriel, the three full-time members of Genesis — a line-up completed by keyboardist Tony Banks — as well drummer Chester Thompson and guitarist and bassist Daryl Stuermer, the band's additional touring musicians. The nom de guerre also gave a knowing nod to kind of corporal punishment once meted out at Charterhouse, the private school in Surrey at which most of its members first met.
Backstage at the Bowl, Gabriel sat in his dressing room like a nervous schoolboy. "Peter wasn't at all confident about the whole thing," Ellis remembers. "[In fact] I would characterise him as quaking in his boots." At his keyboards, Tony Banks wore a tracksuit on which was written the word "kamikaze", an adjective that "underlined [his] attitude to the whole night."
I have a ticket for Liverpool as well - radio silence there too!
email from Ticketline re: Manchester botw gig, cancelled refund being issued. Bugger!
Two for the Show - Kansas.
Haven't listened to this for years. "Thank you for being such a great audience and goodnight from Kansas" .....love it!
Thanks for the update vl1! I know we are living in strange times with the pandemic, but given the 2 sides of the coin regarding the music industry - wanting support to preserve venues and livelihoods versus the lack of information to paying customers, it is all incredibly frustrating. I've got c.1200 quid in tickets hanging for a dozen or so gigs (not counting the 180 quid in fees for those tickets) an example I've got tickets to take my wife to see Jamie Cullum, the date has been moved to October (2nd change of date), I've known this for 3 weeks because I looked for the information, no communication from either Bridgewater Hall, Manchester or Ticketbastard! TBH I will be surprised if any (indoor) gigs happen this calendar year.
Simon, put it down to senility ha ha! When I was typing that original comment I had a nagging thought of "who have I forgotten" love Lloyd Cole too, try to see him as much as possible too! He tours solo or last time his son played with him. 'Forest Fire' is still a goosebumps monster of a song!
'Hats' is sublime, but 'Rooftops' means a lot to me, walking my then flatmates dogs around Kelvingrove Park, at night, in the rain, listening to the album on my walkman looking at the very rooftops the song was written about. Happy Days!
Love Edwyn - followed him since the Orange Juice days. I was a postgrad student in Glasgow in the early - mid 80's and I am heavily into the Glasgow/West of Scotland music of that time (so many good memories) - The Blue Nile (I have met Paul Buchanan and PJ Moore), Edwyn/Orange Juice, Simple Minds, Love and Money, early Deacon Blue, Roddy Frame/Aztec Camera.
I can thoroughly recommend the book 'Falling & Laughing' the book written by his wife Grace Maxwell on his near death illness and subsequent recovery. I have seen him live twice at small venues in Manchester and his singing is almost 100% compared to his normal speech. He has a great band - Paul Cook ex-Sex Pistols on drums, but sadly I missed the tour when he had Roddy Frame on lead guitar.
The Watch are definitely worth the watch (pun intended). First time I saw them they played "It's Yourself" (ATOTT b side) into 'Los Endos' still gives me the shivers! They also did a brilliant 'Duke suite' after a set of early Gabriel solo stuff another time. If they come to Manchester I make sure I go to see them.
I know what you mean about Brand X info, blood and stones come to mind, I'm hoping for a convenient reschedule as may 8 clashed with Nick Mason rescheduled.
Generally I can cope with shitty beer and smelly bogs, its tw@ts who insist on talking all night that really p1ss me off!
Rescheduled dates again - Manchester, UK originally 09/04/20 to 01/04/21 now 07/11/21 and back at 'band on the wall' which should be open after its redevelopment. Obviously conditional on the pandemic. Anybody have any info. on the UK Brand X dates?
Not sure people can remember how hard it used to be to get tickets for gigs - sitting on the phone continually dialling, no redial facility, no websites etc
More fun though! Cheques, postal orders, stamped addressed envelopes......you only knew about tours if you followed the music press. No ticket brokers, no rip off fees/charges, no secondary marketing.
Queued all day in December '76 outside the Free Trade Hall, Manchester to get tickets for the W&W tour got to 20 feet from the door and told 'Sold Out''. Out of the country for Knebworth '78, saw them in Manchester 2 x Duke April 1980, Birmingham NEC Abacab Dec 1981, Milton Keynes Oct 1982, Roundhay Park '87, and Old Trafford '07.
Just an aside, this year (my 60th and events subject to this bug going around) is a hell of a Genesis music year - saw TMB Genesis Extravaganza II in Feb, got tickets for The Watch in April, Steve Hackett in November, Genesis in December and TMB - The Lamb next February!
I hovered around various sites earlier, Manchester Arena was impossible to get onto (which didn't bother me too much as its a sh*thole, but nearest to home), I toyed with Liverpool and Birmingham and after 1 hour 45mins I got 3 tix at the (general) top price of £160 (so 540 odd quid with rip off add ons) at Leeds. We are fairly central, two thirds of the way back (I saw Neil Young and Promise of the Real at First Direct Arena and I like the way it's shaped/built). But purchasing that late meant that when you went on to Arena X ticket page, Ticketbastard actually listed exactly where they were and the prices. A lot of the front blocks and even side tier fist level front were showing at the 'vip' fan package prices of £700 or £350 (or whatever they are exactly) which IMO is frankly taking the piss! Yes, I know that 'no-one has to buy, its all about choice etc', my excuse I'm 60 later this year, I've loved Genesis for over 45 years, I didn't get to see them until the 'Duke' tour, then 'Abacab' at the NEC, I was at Milton Keynes, Roundhay Park '87, Old Trafford '07 and no-one knows what tomorrow might bring, but 'big' gig prices are truly getting out of hand.
Mari Wilson - Sale Waterside tonight (yes, she of the beehive hair)!
Got my tix yesterday for Manchester NEXT February! Via See Tickets 'pre-sale'!
Kokoroko (Afro-beat/Jaz - Manchester Gorilla, Tonight
The Musical Box - Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Sunday.