“Saw It On The TV” - A look at some of the latest items to arrive at the TWR archive.

With only Ray, Steve and Peter generating any live performances of late, the emphasis this time round is on their material.

First up, Peter Gabriel who has been a busy man recently with the release of his Scratch My Back project and New Blood Tour. Thankfully, for those of us who missed it, there have been a couple of private films from some of the gigs which manage to give a good idea of what was on show this time round. First of these is the gig from the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris which was the subject of review last time round. More recently still, the shows from the Radio City Music Hall in New York have appeared.

A couple of marvellous recordings, both of these releases manage to give a glimpse into the atmosphere of these unusual gigs. Peter’s performance is somewhat mannered and at times even nervous. Not surprising really when you think that he does not have his “mask” of a band to hide behind here. Peter is far more exposed here and it shows at times with some of the tracks coming across as very tentative but nonetheless, these recordings are an excellent document of this most recent outing from Peter.

Peter Gabriel and The New Blood Orchestra - Radio City Music Hall New York NY 2nd and 3rd May 2010.
Track Listing: Heroes/My Body Is A Cage/The Book Of Love/I Think It’s Going To Rain/San Jacinto/Digging In The Dirt/Downside Up/ Signal To Noise/Washing Of The Water/Mercy Street/The Rhythm Of The Heat/ Red Rain/Solsbury Hill/Don’t Give Up/The Nest That Sailed Away/Mirrorball/The Book of Love/I Think It’s Going To Rain/Little Wings/Signal To Noise/Red Rain/Solsbury Hill/In Your Eyes. Bonus: “Peace One Day Concert” 2008: Father, Son/That Voice Again.

Next up, a series of Gabriel compilations under the generic title of “Big Time”. So far, three volumes have been released, comprising TV footage from the UK, US and Europe including some real gems.

The first two volumes contain a variety of material which, no doubt the more serious collectors among you will already have in your collections but nonetheless, the overall quality of these compilations is above average. The third volume was a real surprise to me though. I had never seen the TV broadcast footage of the Amnesty gig from 1998 and here it is in perfect broadcast quality - nice! The rest of the footage here was equally enjoyable and the added bonus on all three volumes is the audio tracks which make this an excellent series of compilations for old and new fans alike.

Volume One: “Kate” (ITV) 1979/”Southbank Show” (ITV) 31/10/82/This Is The Picture (from Good Morning Mr Orwell)/Red Rain Whistle Test BBC TV 1986/”The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball 28-29.3.87/”Human Rights Now Tour” 1988 (Various TV Footage). *

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Volume Two: “Human Rights Tour” 1988 (Various TV Footage)/”One World, One Voice” 1990/Mandela Tribute Wembley Stadium 16.4.90/Liquid Selves (animation)/ US promo videos. *

Volume Three: Tonight With Jay Leno (US TV) 2.4.93/Taratata (French TV) 2.5.93/Amnesty Concert POPB Paris 10.12.98 (TV)/”100 Days To Go” Music Video (2000)/ “Growing Up Tour Diaries” (2002-03)/ 46664 Cape Town 28/11/03/Full Moon Club (2004). *

* = Each of these releases comes with a bonus selection of unreleased, rare and live Gabriel audio tracks.

Another surprise recent addition this. Martin Levac is probably best known for his work as vocalist with Canadian Genesis tribute band: The Musical Box. He has, however, worked with several others including this one; working under the title of Dance On A Volcano. This recording, taken from the band’s gig at Studio Hamilton on 11th February 2009 is a real delight.

It was quite weird to watch this recording knowing that I had attended several of the shows on which it is based. In fact, there were several flashback moments during the viewing which were quite unnerving. Martin has taken yet another period of the band’s story and recreated it in vivid detail. He is aided and abetted by an equally talented band of musicians and the result is both a delight for anyone who attended the shows and a fascinating look back for anyone who didn’t - great stuff all round.

Dance On A Volcano: Studio Hamilton Ontario Canada 11.2.09.
Track Listing: Standard Three Sides Live Tour Set.

Finally, it is the turn of Ray Wilson who has been on the touring treadmill pretty much incessantly for the last few years - sadly not here in the UK though. However, another recording from the 2007 tour he undertook with the revamped Stiltskin has emerged.

As has become the norm with Ray’s performances these days, the emphasis is on variety. Throughout the duration of this excellent performance you are given a great selection from Ray’s entire back catalogue which only serves to show how good a songwriter he really is. Of course, the performances of Genesis and the occasional solo performance such as an enjoyable version of Phil’s In The Air Tonight will be of real interest to Genesis fans but that shouldn’t detract from the rest of what is an extremely enjoyable performance all round.

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Ray Wilson + Stiltskin: Arena im Freizeithaus Buxtehude 16th November 2007. Track Listing: She/Space Oddity/Another Day/Lemon Yellow Sun/Calling All Stations/Hey, Hey/Sarah/Constantly Reminded/In The Air Tonight/The Actor/ Follow You Follow Me/Change/Carpet Crawlers/Alone/The Airport Song/Goodbye Baby Blue/Show Me The Way/Taking Time/Sick And Tired/Footsteps/Inside/ Sunshine And Butterflies/Knocking On Heaven’s Door/No Woman, No Cry.

Ray finally put in an all too rare appearance in the UK in October 2009 at the Bull & Gate pub in London and the performance is captured in great quality on this 2 DVD set. As usual, the interplay between Ray and the audience is enjoyable and Ray seems relaxed throughout. Again, the emphasis is on variety and it is great to hear material from the Cut album rubbing shoulders alongside later period material and some Genesis classics to boot. On this showing it is a great pity that Ray doesn’t tour here more often but be grateful for what we have in yet another excellent recording.

Ray Wilson: Bull & Gate London 9th October 2009. Track Listing: Bless Me/Lemon Yellow Sun/Another Day/Not About Us/Propaganda Man/Constantly Reminded/ Show Me The Way/Change/Follow You, Follow Me/Along The Way/Solsbury Hill/ Sarah/Razorlite/The Actor/Shipwrecked/Sunshine & Butterflies/She/Footsteps/ Inside/Taking Time/In the Air Tonight.