SAW IT ON THE TV...a look at some of the video goodies which have surfaced in the last couple of years.

It has been while hasn't it since we last took a look at some of the video material by the band and it's off shoots. In that time as you can imagine, there has been a considerable body of material to occupy us during our Lockdown quarantine…

Two items by the band itself have emerged recently causing excitement and outrage in equal measures. Let's deal with the excitement first, eh?

The band's performance at the Bataclan Club in Paris in 1973 has been available for some time now and is a prized item, documenting as it does, a period in the band's history for which no other TV footage appears to be available. Just when we thought we had the best possible version of it however, up pops a new version. What makes this one exciting? Well, the presence of Supper's Ready is what! Even when I was researching for the Genesis Songbook project all those years ago, the only available version of this broadcast was lacking this performance. Where the missing footage has been hiding all these years is anyone's guess but who cares? It is here now and an absolute joy to watch.
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Now for the outrage. A major gripe for fans was the omission of the In The Cage medley from the 1987 Visible Touch Tour video. Received information at the time indicated that it was not filmed for two reasons: 1 it was where the cameramen changed their film, and 2 having already been released on the previous Mama Tour video, the band wished to avoid repetition. Neither excuse really holds water but there you go.

However, the medley had been captured at the band's gig in Hannover and this footage was known to be in private collectors' hands who for reasons best known to themselves, refused to make it available. It had been dangled as "bait" on several occasions. Anyway, it's emergence on You Tube along with more footage from the same gig earlier this year caused some serious caterwauling amongst the hoarders I can tell you! Oh dear, how sad, never mind as someone once said.

The footage that has appeared is taken from a single video feed to the Jumbotron video screens and is a single camera shot so not quite up to official standard but it finally plugs that gap in the collection quite nicely.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Other interesting items that have emerged recently include soundcheck footage from both the St Louis, MO and Birmingham NEC gigs from 1984 which make for interesting viewing but neither are of broadcast quality. The video rushes for That's All complete the available material from this period.

Another item from the 1986/87 tour which is of interest to me personally as it was a gig I attended, is the complete privately shot film of the show from Madison Square Garden in New York on 1st October 1986. If you are a videophile this one probably won't be your cup of tea but as a souvenir of a gig I was lucky enough to see, it is very enjoyable to say the least.

More recently still, John Edgington the guy in charge of the ill-fated Together & Apart documentary made the unedited rushes from his various interview segments with the band members available via You Tube. Very interesting viewing they make!

Of an earlier vintage, the 1990 Genesis A History documentary has also seen a series of out takes being released which are of interest to collectors.

Most likely the last official word from the band is the Last Domino? video released in the USA last year. Basically this is a promo for the tour put together just in case the gigs never actually happened! With no official live video planned, this is the only official footage that will emerge from this tour.

Click to enlarge

Peter Gabriel collectors have not had much to do lately as the man appears (despite the rumours of an album etc) to have effectively retired from recording/touring after the completion of the Rock, Scissors, Paper tour with Sting in 2016. That tour was reputedly coming to the UK/Europe in 2018 but the illness of Peter's wife curtailed that. Thankfully she has since made a complete recovery which is the important thing.

Peter documented his Back To Front Tour of 2012-14 with the Live In London DVD release which gave those amongst you who didn't see the show, a chance to catch the excellent presentation you missed. And for those of us who did, a few enjoyable memories of what was another superb tour by Peter.

In addition to that, there are at least two privately shot films available from the 2012 US tour from the Wells Fargo Centre in Philadelphia and the Nikon Arena at Jones Beach both of which give an audience member's eye view of what the shows were like and are very watchable but if you want the squeaky clean version, stick to the official release!

Surprisingly given the superb set list from both artists, the 2016 Rock, Scissors, Paper tour was not documented by an official DVD/Blu Ray release - contractual reasons perhaps? As far as I am aware only one privately shot film from that tour has surfaced and that is a combination of footage from two separate gigs which can be quite disconcerting as the camera viewpoint changes sharply between songs - but hey, ho it's better than nothing!

Phil's return to the live concert stage has, as you would expect, generated a LOT of footage. Sadly there are no plans for an official release from the Not Dead Yet Live Tour and so we have to make do with privately filmed footage and boy is there plenty to choose from!

There are many complete films spanning the UK, European, US and South American tours in general circulation. Of these I am going to select a couple.

The show from Nottingham Arena on 21st November 2017 is from a private recording particularly good with steady camera work and a good vantage point throughout resulting in an extremely enjoyable video which is accompanied by the soundboard recording of the gig which has also surfaced.

Phil's gigs in South America in 2019 were performed in the enormous stadiums which this continent boasts in plentiful numbers. The gig at the Rio Plata Stadium in Buenos Aires on 20th March 2019 is particularly good. The cameraman does an excellent job of capturing the entire gig from a vantage point on the left hand side of the stadium and to give you an idea of how big the audience is, he regularly pans out so you can see the scale of the crowd which is...ENORMOUS!

Click to enlarge

An unusual item by Phil has also recently surfaced which is a complete live performance of the Brother Bear soundtrack which was filmed by US TV in New York on 23rd October 2003. It is fascinating to see the soundtrack brought to life as it were and very enjoyable.

Of course, Phil's recent activity has also generated a plethora of TV interviews etc but space dictates that they remain undocumented here...for now!

The up side of the recent spate of interviews is that there have been several featuring Messrs Banks and Phillips too including the excellent Cherry Red Records interviews done with both of them to promote the A Chord Too Far box set and Ant's ongoing series of reissues by that label. Even TWR got in the act with a film of one of our more recent interviews with Tony - a very enjoyable day out that was!

The Mechanics too have seen an upswing in TV and other appearances including several TV broadcast of almost entire concerts. Surprisingly there is very little privately filmed footage available from the band so it is just as well that their TV appearances have become more regular.

And last, but not least, we come to Mr Hackett whose ongoing activities have been documented in our pages. Steve has (along with Ray Wilson) been the most active member of the band on the live performance front. Steve now gives his fans an annual live document of his ongoing Genesis Revisited shows with the latest being filmed recently in Brighton for release next year.

For collectors however one film is never enough as my own collection amply demonstrates!

Of all the members of Genesis, Steve is probably the best represented by privately filmed material either with or without his permission but he has also recently increased his profile with several TV appearances and there are several interview/documentary style films which are of interest to collectors.

Needle Time and My Vintage both hark back to 2015 and feature in depth conversations with Steve about his favourite records and instruments making fascinating viewing for his fans. During the Pandemic, Steve also put together a series of short Lockdown videos filmed at his home in which he talks about individual tracks, albums etc as well as giving demonstrations of playing technique etc - a nice gesture to his fans.

Paul Gosling whose Crooked Hand production company has been responsible for many of Steve's more recent promotional videos has also put together two frustratingly short (only because they should be LONGER - no criticism of the quality intended, Paul always does a top notch job!) documentaries about the Please Don't Touch and Spectral Mornings albums featuring Steve and most of those involved in those projects.

More recently still, Paul has also produced documentaries covering Defector, Cured, Highly Strung and Till We Have Faces with equally fascinating results.

Of live recordings, apart from the officially released DVDs there has been a cascade of live material from Steve in recent years. Of these I shall select one example.

The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall gig from the first leg of the first Genesis Revisited Tour in 2013. Filmed from the rear of the stalls this is a superb single camera shot which captures all of the action with occasional closeups at particular moments. Sound is excellent too. If only all private films were this good!

Click to enlarge

There are many others documenting pretty much all of Steve's tours since his re emergence as a performing artist at the start of this century with more emerging every day (pun intended). Maybe I should write a book...perhaps not!