"It Was 25 Years Ago Today" - Memories of the 1982 Encore Tour by Ted Sayers.
The 1982 Genesis tour was something of a watershed period for the band. While their more commercial side was very much to the fore in terms of setlists, these gigs were to be the final time we’d get to see Supper’s Ready played in its entirety and the huge demand for tickets for the 2 previous tours only served to make them the stranger given the mix of older fans and those that had come on board during the success of Duke and Abacab. Even without the presence of Supper’s Ready these gigs still had enough to satisfy anyone who had followed the band since the 70s.
This tour was also odd for the fact that there was no album to promote as such. Yes, Three Sides Live had recently been released and there was the 3x3 EP, but they’d never toured a live album before and the tracks from the EP were just about conspicuous by their absence, a couple of performances of Paperlate aside.
Having taken one of the first Mead Gould trips to Europe (Cologne) in 1981 another journey to catch Genesis on the 1982 Encore tour was an absolute must. As on the previous tour, there were a number of cities that Mead Gould were offering trips to. Having enjoyed Germany I decided to make that my destination again but this time it was Hamburg. Boarding one of the many coaches in London the atmosphere was intensified the moment the courier handed out the tickets for the show. For on the tickets under the name Genesis were the words King Crimson. For me personally, and many others judging by the atmosphere on our coach, the appearance of Crimson was almost a dream. Having seen them in their Discipline incarnation the previous year this was a rare opportunity as they played a few gigs to promote the beat album. Anticipation duly heightened we set off on the long journey to northern Germany.
The setlist for these gigs was fairly common knowledge with the US tour having pre-warned anyone who wanted to know what they would be playing, so while there were few surprises it took nothing away from the excellent performance. Having witnessed the previous tours when they did have albums to push this was very unusual as there were no restrictions on the setlist and they appeared to play exactly what they wanted and there was something for everyone with Dance On A Volcano moving effortlessly into Behind The Lines and onwards through Follow You, Follow Me. Further in we had Supper’s Ready surrounded by Misunderstanding and Abacab and the show culminated in a marvellous Los Endos with the band returning with a little Lamb Lies Down On Broadway smoothly running into Watcher Of The Skies.
While tickets had appeared a little easier to come by than on the previous 2 tours there was one overnight queue to obtain tickets for the Deeside gig. Thankfully these went on sale through the Royal Court in Liverpool and that theatre’s box office has a long canopy running away from the box office which provided excellent shelter from the elements though at that time of year they were fairly benign. Recollections are little hazy these days but I seem to recall the atmosphere being very pleasant in that queue in stark contrast to the audience at the gig itself. The Deeside Leisure Centre was an awful venue partly due to the fact that gigs took place on a covered ice rink. You could easily confuse your body attending shows there – the ice was obviously covered over so we could stand on it but that didn’t negate the effects of the underlying ice on the feet and lower half of the body. Coupled with the crush of the crowd which had a warming effect on the upper body it was a strange experience and one which I’d hesitate to repeat. Having found myself close to the front I was constantly being crushed from those behind and eventually was forced to vacate that position due to one particular idiot’s overwhelming desire to find his way to the stage front through me. Not one of the better memories from the tour.
The gig at the NEC in Birmingham was far more civilised and comfortable. Having been at the same venue for one of last of the Abacab dates the previous year it was a venue I was more at ease with.
The tour culminated in, what for many people, was the highlight of the year – the reunion gig with Gabriel at Milton Keynes. This show has been covered in detail by just about everyone who was there so it’s pointless me reviewing the show other than to concur that while it wasn’t a great performance it was a stunning day despite the weather. There are certain aspects of the gig that will live with me forever, such as Gabriel’s entrance in a coffin, Steve’s encore appearance, etc. It was made all the more special by the fact that the audience had no pre-knowledge of the setlist unlike the earlier shows, so every song was a genuine surprise. We really didn’t know what we were going to get but in spite of the rough-around-the-edges playing there was so much enthusiasm from the audience that night that we really didn’t care.
The 1982 Encore Tour – we’ll never see the likes of it again.
Above photos copyright Ted Sayers.
Above photos copyright M. Ainscoe.