The Genesis Story Chapter Three - Trespass. By Peter Morton.

Towards the end of 1969, Peter Sunders of College Entertainments and Marcus Bicknell, a former College Secretary, managed to get Genesis one or two gigs each week. During the spring of 1970 the group also played a series of gigs upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club . John Anthony, an A & R scout for the newly formed Charisma Records and occasional DJ at the Marquee club in Wardour Street in London was so impressed with the group that he asked Tony Stratton-Smith the boss of Charisma to come up and see them. Strat liked what he saw and within a matter of weeks, the band were signed to Charisma Records.

Genesis rehearsed their music at the Angel Hotel in Godalming and between June and July 1970, Trespass was recorded at Trident Studios with John Anthony as producer. Anthony stated in an article in Melody Maker that during the recording of Trespass he had to assist Peter Gabriel with the vocals as Peter was so shy. During this time, Anthony Phillips was finding it extremely difficult to play live. Often he was ill during and after concerts. The intense perfection of the group had become too much for him. Phillips’s last concert with the band was at Hayward’s Heath in Sussex in July 1970. He left the group shortly afterwards.

With Phillips’s departure, the band decided that a shake up was necessary. John Mayhew, who was not entirely successful as the drummer needed replacing. Tony Stratton- Smith placed an advertisement in Melody Maker; “Tony Stratton-Smith requires drummer sensitive to acoustic music and twelve string guitarist”. Phil Collins then with Flaming Youth and a former child actor, who had appeared in the West End production of Oliver! As the Artful Dodger replied to the advert. The drumming audition took place at Peter Gabriel’s parent’s house in Chobham. Phil became the obvious choice for drummer at the audition because, not only could he play the songs he was asked to perform so perfectly , but because h e also possessed a great personality.

Trespass was finally released in October 1970 and Genesis was forced to go back on the road for its promotion. David Stopps who had helped Genesis reach a far wider audience in those early days managed to get the band several gigs in and around the London area. By this time Charisma Records had decided to issue a promotional single by Genesis. Looking For Someone coupled with Visions Of Angels was the chosen track. The exact number of these singles is uncertain but a figure of around forty has been mentioned. The value today of a mint copy of this single is £180.

David Stopps knew of a guitarist who was very good from a local band called Farm, who were based in Aylesbury. So, for a short while toward s the end of 1970, Mick Barnard joined Genesis on guitar. Unfortunately because of his lack of stage experience he didn’t last too long in the band. However, during December 1970 with the Banks/Rutherford/ Gabriel/ Collins/Barnard partnership, Genesis played a very interesting live set: Visions Of Angels and White Mountain had been dropped and had been replaced by new numbers Twilight Alehouse and Musical Box
Whilst browsing through December 12th’s edition of Melody Maker, Peter Gabriel noticed in the “Musicians Wanted” column the following advertisement: “Imaginative Guitarist/writer seeks involvement with receptive musicians, determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms - Steve 730 2445”

Peter ’phoned Steve and invited him to come and see the band at a free charity concert they were giving at London’s Lyceum Theatre on 28th December. Soon after this highly successful concert, Steve invited Tony and Peter to come to his flat and listen to his guitar playing. They were suitably impressed and because he could write music as well, he seemed the ideal choice to replace Mick Barnard in the band.

Trespass began to get rave reviews in the music press. Their concert at the Gin Mill in Goldalming on 20th December got an excellent review in Sounds; “the best new band to appear here in its three years of existence” said club organiser, Peter Newbury.

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The material used in their live sets during this period varied but in general consisted of the following tracks: Stagnation/Twilight Alehouse/Musical Box/White Mountain/ Visions of Angels/Going Out To Get You/The Knife.

Genesis played the following gigs during 1970.…

Ewell Technical College
London Queen Mary College
BBC Studios London
Uxbridge Brunel University
Brighton The Dome
London Revolution
London Blaises
Uxbridge Brunel University
Essex Essex University
Home Counties Farx Club
Beckingham Mistrale Club
London Ronnie Scott’s
London Ronnie Scott’s
London Ronnie Scott’s
Home Counties Farx Club
London Ronnie Scott’s Club
London Ronnie Scott’s Club
London Ronnie Scott’s Club
Aylesbury Friars Club
Sussex Haywards Heath
London Marquee Club
London Marquee Club
Buckinghamshire Prince’s Risborough
Home Counties Sister Club
Bedford Frairs Addison Centre
Home Counties Resurrection Club
Chelmsford Victoria Road Hall
Uxbridge Brunel University
London Marquee Club
Brighton Big Apple
Watford Technical College
Home Counties Resurrection Club
Home Counties Farx Club Northcote Arms
London Imperial College
London City University
Bangor University
Cleethorpes Humberstone Foundation School
Godalming Angel Hotel
London Lyceum Theatre

Note: For a complete listing of the band’s 1970 gigs, refer to Genesis Revisited.