“All In A Hogweed’s Night” - Genesis in concert at Leicester Polytechnic on 23rd February 1972. Review by Rob Phipps.
I suppose this story really starts back in the summer of 1970 when I met this girl at a Young Conservatives’ (!) do in Witham Essex (well, I couldn’t play tennis!). She, like me was interested in rock music and she mentioned a group she liked who (according to her) used to be called Genesis but changed their name to Revelation. There’s one interpretation of the title of their first album for you!
That Christmas I bought her Trespass and played it before I wrapped it up. “Not too bad” I thought to myself and later bought a copy for myself in early 1971. Then Nursery Cryme appeared and I was very impressed though to be honest, I missed Anthony Phillips’ guitar work.
By this time I was at Leicester University and although my recollection of dates a is a little hazy, I think it was either November 1971 or February 1972 that I found out Genesis and Jo Ann Kelly were doing a show at the Poly so I went with a couple of friends. It wasn’t in the main hall, I don’t think they had one anyway. The stage was a simple wooden block affair only raised a foot or so above the floor, very important this in the light of what happened later.
Jo Ann Kelly finished her set and the bikers who had come to ogle her brought out another case of Newcastle Brown from somewhere while Genesis set up. Steve and Mike were still in the “sitting chairs” phase and Peter was wearing a red pair of tights that not only displayed his sex and religion but also the fingerprints of the midwife who presumably helped him into this world! This was difficult for the bikers to come to terms with.
The set began with Stagnation and I was amazed to hear how much they did sound like their albums due of course, to the efforts of sound man, Richard MacPhail who was a few feet away mixing the sound. I heard Twilight Alehouse for the first time and was becoming more and more entranced when the trouble which had been brewing for a while erupted; the bikers, now out of beer were using the empties as drumsticks and bits of glass were going everywhere. Mike decided that enough was enough and told them to “fuck off”; hardly Charterhouse language and dangerous words to use to a group of drunken bikers. They got up and got on stage while Genesis hid behind their two roadies. To be honest I don’t know what happened next as I dashed off (sorry lads) but obviously the set was over.