"(Old) Medley Of Memories" - by Andy Banks. Photos by Alan Perry, Ted Sayers, David Entwistle and Alan Hewitt. Memorabilia: TWR Archive.
My first memory of Genesis' music touching me was sometime in 1976… Some fourteen years old, I was just growing out of Gary Glitter (perhaps just as well!) and although large chunks of my youth are missing from my now sixty year old brain, I can vividly remember where I was: I can even picture myself sat on the step in the hall outside of my big brother's bedroom.
I was used to that door being shut, hearing strange noises and wondering what was going on inside, but this time it was different...acoustic guitars, and what sounded like a choir. It was haunting, beautifully haunting and as the volume built, totally enveloping, I was truly Entangled.
Later I sneaked into his room and my eyes widened as I beheld the cover of the new album: A Trick Of The Tail and bravely played it on his Dansette record player while he was out. A fee months later my good luck continued after I heard Nigel (my big brother) talking to my parents and hearing "OK, but you must look after him!" One of his pals had pulled out of a trip to see the band at the now legendary Bingley Hall show and I could take his place as long as I paid and travelled in the back of his Ford Escort van. I even remember being warned to… "Wear warm clothes - they use tons of dry ice and it's cold!" Maybe not quite true but the vast cattle shed certainly was chilly!
My God! My first ever concert was Genesis! The lights… the volume… the thundering bass pedals pounding my chest...the lasers ...I remember trying to describe it all to my school chums the day afterwards and words just not doing the experience justice.
Next up was Manchester Free Trade Hall in January the year after. A beautiful old hall, home to an orchestra and the new album blew me away: the opening had again resulted in a wow! And spine tingling, and I again remember the opening notes of Squonk and my now beloved bass pedals drawing a "yeeesss!" Possibly one of the last times I would ever make a sound during a show once I had discovered the joy of recording shows (we are sure we don't know what you mean Andy - AH).
Following tip offs of a dodgy shop in Manchester's Tibs Street we had stepped into a wonderful world of bootlegs and I again remember seeing Led Zeppelin's legendary Earls Court shows (cassette) and buying the truly wonderful As Though Emerald City LP - to this day a favourite.
I confess I missed the '78 Knebworth show a venue I eventually visited a year later to see Led Zeppelin and shoot some 8mm film that some twenty five years later ended up on their live DVD compilation (another story!)but I was lucky enough to catch both 1980 shows at the Manchester Apollo; whilst disappointed in the somewhat flat sound production of the Duke album and my 7/10 love for the likes of Deep In The Motherlode, the live show was still stunning. To this day I think a Genesis live show takes their music to another level, their own visuals adding to the ones the recorded music always conjures up in our minds. Who can forget the pink lights in Afterglow? A classic moment high in Prog fans' live top ten. Again I remember recording the highlights of the show on an Old Grey Whistle Test Special - I still have that VHS recording on the specially purchased super high quality tape! Even my parents loved that moment - I played it whenever the TV was free!
Whilst- like most fans - not a lover of parts of ABACAB, the live show (Birmingham NEC) took live shows for every act in the world to another level with the first glimpse of the Vari-lites...we all remember the moment in the opening of Dodo when the lights swivelled round ("...must diieeee!") but all of which was a precursor to the same venue some three years later with the Genesis album, with a truly monstrous lighting rig that was - for me - only surpassed with the very latest Last Domino? shows.
The '82 "Encore" tour holds a special memory. Did anyone else go on a Mead Gould coach trip to Hamburg? (Yes, me, you never waved- AH) a football ground, not quite a stadium and with King Crimson supporting (Matte Kudasai reeled me in). I remember I humped my large and trusty Marantz cassette recorder and less than discreet microphone all the way and hid it inside my rolled up coat for the security checks. How things have moved on, with my current set up small enough to fit inside my glasses case (recorder) and down my socks (cable and mics). I stood with my arms aloft (swapping from left to right) throughout the show and my (I like to think rather good) recording is still out there on The Movement tracker. Likewise my 8mm cine footage of the shitty (again cold) Deeside Leisure Centre (cold because it was an ice rink) was expertly remastered by The Genesis Museum. The lights swinging from side to side for the truly huge Supper's Ready climax are again a vivid memory and crystal clear within it.