"It's been a long, long time" - Genesis live at the Wilhelm Koch Stadion, Hamburg, September 10, 1982. Review by Mike Ainscoe.

Continuing our trips down memory lane, here is a review of another classic Genesis gig kindly sent in by one of our readers... enjoy!

Having experienced the delights of a Mead Gould Promotions trip to experience Genesis at the Vorst Nationale in Brussels in 1981, the prospect of a similar trip to Hamburg a year later seemed too good to miss. My main memory of that trip was the enormous response to Phil's opening comments after the opening blast of "Behind The Lines/Duchess/The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" when he asked if there were any fans from England "What's the point of us coming to Brussels...?" The added bonus of the forthcoming Hamburg trip was the overnight stay which would make the round trip a little more palatable. So, the booking was secured and subsequently made all the more mouth watering by a phone call from a fellow fan, prospective traveller and very good friend Andy Banks. Of course, the album being promoted at the time - "Three Sides Live" - didn't contain any new material, so there was the prospect of a re-jig of the set list from the previous tour. Sure enough this proved to be the case as that phone call revealed the return of "Supper's Ready" for the first time since 1977- surely worth the cost alone of a trip to Hamburg?!

Travel time eventually arrived and the journey to Victoria Coach Station was made. There awaited the first pleasant surprise of the trip - no, not the free Mead Gould T-shirt (all sizes medium) - but the handout of the concert tickets which showed King Crimson as the support act. The only puzzle was the venue - the Wilhelm Koch Stadion - perhaps not one of the most noted European venues. After what must have been a relatively uneventful journey, this being the case because very little of it sticks in my memory; the group arrived at the hotel. Enter pleasant surprise number two: as the hotel wasn't the standard fare for a bunch of travelling rock fans but a brand spanking new, hardly ever been used, still in the wrapper Novotel. My first mission was to make contact with a couple of guys from the Genesis and Gabriel Club Germany. Mission accomplished, we retired to the hotel bar to make exchanges of "Three Sides Live" (UK edition) for "Three Sides Live" (European edition). I had also brought a couple of the Smash Hits "Lady Lies" flexidiscs which our German friends were drooling over and promptly arranged an exchange for some copies of the vinyl boot "Rarest Live Volume 2".

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A ticket for the Wilhelm Koch Stadion gig

Having had a most pleasant evening and morning at the hotel, time came to set off on the coach for the venue. Cue pleasant (?) surprise number three. The venue was a small, open air football ground in the middle of the St Pauli district of Hamburg, home of the notorious Reeperbahn, the sex capital of Europe! Whilst one or two of the party found some distraction here, my small group got down to the more pressing matter of acquiring some blank audio tapes and checking out the venue. In particular, we were hoping to make an audio recording of the concert so of paramount importance was that we made sure that smuggling the machine into the venue was feasible and that a good recording position could be located. As we toured the outside of the stadium, security seemed very relaxed to the point that we couldn't believe our good luck as we were able to walk into the venue unopposed. Several photos were taken of the empty field and stage before we started to think about the possibility of staying put until the gates opened for the ultimate position. Even hiding the recorder and picking it up as we entered crossed our minds!! Of course it was all fruitless as a German official apologetically ushered us out of the ground before any plans could be carried out.

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King Crimson on stage in Hamburg, 1982
Pictures courtesy of M. Ainscoe/TWR

After ruing our luck and spending some anxious moments queuing with the crowd, we were able to locate a satisfactory position stage centre about fifty metres back - optimal sound and light show appreciation point - and settled down. A visit to the merchandise stall, located in the dugouts on the halfway line became the next focus. The (black... again!) T-shirts and sweatshirts sported what must be one of the most cheesy designs I have ever seen on a Genesis shirt with the band's faces emerging from the background. A more tempting proposition was a lovely poster showing the "Outside the cage I see my brother John...." section of "In The Cage" with the white vari-lites swirling on to Phil... Despite being an essential purchase, the problem of safeguarding the poster through the concert and then transporting it back to England seemed daunting. To jump ahead slightly, this was achieved with considerable skill and luck only to find that the same poster was included as a pull out in the programme sold at the UK shows!

Back at the designated viewing spot; a few photos were taken until King Crimson began to play. Well... at least Bill Bruford came on and started to work away at a small drum kit at the front of the stage until he was joined by Adrian Belew, who for want of a better description, began to wail. Knowing some of the Crimson stuff as I do now, and with hindsight, I probably would have enjoyed it, but at the time it seemed a bit tedious and hard work. Crimson over, it began to get dark and anticipation increased as the time for Genesis to hit the stage crept closer.

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Genesis on stage in Hamburg, 1982
Pictures courtesy of M. Ainscoe/TWR

Audio test recordings were made for Crimson, having successfully achieved the objective of getting the recorder into the venue. Our European cousins seem less vigilant when it comes to concert security we decided. The only worry was if "Supper's Ready" was going to fall in the set at a bad time for turning the tape over! Having bought a C120 (notorious for the tendency to snap or break) to supplement a C90 we were ever hopeful! The true way to ensure the best recording was then decided upon - it simply had to be with the microphone held aloft, Statue Of Liberty style, for the duration of the concert! I will never forget the sight or fail to be impressed at the endurance of my pal Andy. There will always be a part of that foreign field/football ground that is forever England!

Set variations began immediately, as Genesis opened up with "Dance On A Volcano" running into "Behind The Lines/Follow You Follow Me"... as the opening triptych. Not joined a smoothly as the 1981 opening of "Behind The Lines/Duchess/The Lamb..." but different all the same. The rest of the set ran through the standard 1982 show, which the band performed at their live best. Phil was his usual chatty self complete with introductions in German as the band worked their way through the "Dodo/Abacab" selection. Managing to turn the tape over just in time, "Supper's Ready" including all the "quiet bits and loud bits" was as marvellous as expected, particularly Daryl's searing solo during "Ikhnaton And Itsacon"; "666" with the stage bathed in blue while Phil was picked out in pink vari-lites; the explosion of coloured light and smoke and the swirling pink vari-lites for "The New Jerusalem". Being the first time I had actually heard this song live, truly a moving experience.

What else could follow that? Nothing I suppose, so I presume that's why they did "Misunderstanding"! The heat was turned up again for the "In The Cage" medley leading into the live spectacle of "Afterglow" with the stage lit from behind in pink light which streamed out, silhouetting the band and out across the audience. Just open up the "Three Sides Live" cover and you get the idea (although on a much bigger scale). "Turn It On Again" and a version of "Los Endos" which seemed strange being heard without the preceding "Dance On A Volcano" (last time was back in '76 - not that long ago) finished the show proper. Encore time saw "The Lamb..." lying down for us which dramatically segued into the version of "Watcher Of The Skies" which all the British fans had heard on the new live album. A fitting end to the "Three Sides Live/Encore" tour set.

Once again, the journey home has faded with the passing of time yet one or two memories still remain: Andy strictly refusing to play back his concert recording from the C120 in fear of the tape breaking. We had to wait until he had got home and transferred it to a shorter (and safer) tape; being in Hamburg, we were assured of some "suitable" material for the video on the coach for the return journey, again apart from Andy's coach which didn't have a video machine, the journey back to Manchester on the train which involved probably the most laughter I have ever had (certainly on a train) as we recalled numerous train travelling anecdotes.

I got to see the show a couple more times on that tour which all seemed to be a little out of the ordinary. The Deeside show was at an ice rink and involved getting very cold feet as a thin matting was laid across the ice. I returned there a few years later but not for another concert (although it was a venue for several big name bands at the time) but in an advisory capacity to the Welsh Advanced Ice Skating Training Squad! Leeds Queen's Hall seemed like little more than an empty warehouse with great thick pillars which blocked virtually every viewpoint. Of course, there was Milton Keynes Mudbowl where my programme ended up as papier mache. I seem to have missed out on the relatively normal venues like the NEC this time round. Being a budding photographer, I managed to capture several bits of my 1982 journeys with Genesis and if you ask Alan nicely he might open up the archives and put out the visuals to go with these few words which I finally saw fit to commit to paper before old age gets the better of the memory!

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More of Genesis on stage in Hamburg, 1982
Pictures courtesy of M. Ainscoe/TWR

Thanks for the review, Mike. Oh, alright then.... We have included several photos to heighten the moment, don't expect us to make a habit of it though...