“A Midsummer Night’s Dream Revisited” - Genesis live at Knebworth Park Stevenage on Saturday 24th June 1978. Bootleg reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
In view of the group’s forthcoming concerts at Knebworth later this year, it was with great pleasure that I recently discovered this compact disc of their show at Knebworth fourteen years ago in 1978 (was it really THAT long ago/!). The disc is another in the “Super Golden Radio Shows” series from Italy and as its title would suggest, the disc is taken from the radio broadcast of the show, with excellent sound quality.
The disc opens with Burning Rope, which was for me, one of the highlights of the show in 1978 with its dramatic opening and brilliant vocal performance from Phil. I have vivid memories of this show because it was the first time I ever saw Genesis and I have to admit, listening to this disc brought a few tears to my eyes at times -especially with the next track: Ripples, which sounds superb on this recording, even if you do miss Steve Hackett’s guitar playing on it.
The only fault with this disc is that most of the between song stories have been edited out to make room for as much music as possible and it is a shame that this disc doesn’t contain the entire show like its superb counterpart from Chicago (Follow You, Follow Me) but that is a minor quibble.
The Genesis “history lesson” comes next with Phil relating the story of “the people who got in their covered wagons and went West… West or West . I’m not sure where West is but it is out there somewhere…” The song is of course, Deep In The Motherlode which in turn is followed by the classic oldie: Fountain Of Salmacis, dedicated to all of the fans who were ”with us back in ‘72, ‘73 they know who they are..”
Both The Lady Lies and Afterglow hold special places in my affections and the versions on this disc are marvellous I can vividly remember Phil’s antics and Vaudeville acting on the former and the dramatic climax to the latter which has remained a high spot of the Genesis show to this day.
The new “hit” single is included on this disc and I don’t care what fans say, Follow You Follow Me is a great song and the one that certainly wove some magic that night! Dance On A Volcano and Los Endos round off the disc in suitably impressive style. Both give a superb demonstration of the musical skills of the entire band, which is probably why they are still in the set today.
Finally the encore: I Know What I Like - what can I say about this track except that surely I wasn’t the only one hoping for it to be played on 4th July 1987 because as an encore it is IMPOSSIBLE to beat.
Over all then, as a memento of an era in the band’s history, this disc is a nice item to have and to those of us who were at the show, it is an essential souvenir.