Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Peter Gabriel Glasgow 1977

Peter Gabriel Glasgow 1977

15th September 1977

Glasgow Apollo

I appear to have spent most of adult life missing buses…….both literal and metaphorical ones.  One prime example of the latter variety was when I discovered the wonderful and slightly surreal world of Genesis, just as vocalist Peter Gabriel chose to leave the group.  Now that’s not to say the remaining members didn’t go on and produce some excellent music themselves, but I am probably not the only person in the world who believes the band lost a lot of its magic after 1975.

Peter Gabriel’s self-titled debut solo album was, indeed still is a bewitchingly eclectic selection of songs: straightforward rockers (Down the Dolce Vita and Slowburn), heavy metal (Modern Love), a prog epic (Here Come the Flood), plus a couple which would have sat comfortably on earlier Genesis albums (Moribund the Burgermeister and Humdrum).  There was also a blues tune and even a barber shop quartet, but the jewel in the crown was the perfectly perfect pop song: Solsbury Hill.  All in all, a beguiling collection.   

There have been, over the years been a number of albums when, after first hearing I have immediately turned ‘em over (we are back in vinyl days here, remember), to experience it all again.  But only twice in my life have I encountered albums where I have been compelled to listen three times on the trot: this being one, the other (of which more in a later blog) Lou Reed’s New York.

I had hoped to be taking a young lady to the concert, but my clumsy and embarrassingly gauche first-ever attempt at asking for a date produced a predictable result, so thus it was a four-strong bachelor group drove through to Glasgow for the concert.  One of us, older than the rest and having passed his test, had managed to borrow a car for the trip; some light blue thing of indeterminate make and vintage.  I recall us spending an initially funny, and then increasingly frantic 15 minutes at a petrol station, attempting to locate the petrol cap – we eventually found it hiding beneath the rear number plate, I think.

Nona Hendryx, formerly one third of Labelle, provided the support for the concert.  Dressed in some low-cut silver metallic looking outfit, she spent a deal of her time leaning over the stage to allow the front few rows a view of her impressive décolletage.  But she could also sing a bit, and her entertaining set neatly straddled rock and funk, and included a surprisingly sprightly version of The Who’s We’re Not Gonna Take It.  Her single Everybody Wants to be Somebody was another highlight.

Gabriel’s set began with the opening verse of Here Comes The Flood, before the band moved smoothly into Slowburn.  Gabriel messed up the intro, I recall, starting to sing the opening lines over the short guitar break.  He sheepishly grinned and hoped no-one had noticed – the band pretended not to, but we all had.

He ran through the whole of his new album, resisting the temptation to add any Genesis songs to the main set, although one clown in the audience clearly felt he should have, bellowing “The Knife!” at every opportunity.  He was eventually shut up by an aggressive Glesgae voice from just behind me, reminding him “We’re here tae see Peter Gabriel, no fuckin’ Genesis”.  He was rewarded a by cheer from the audience, and a blown kiss from Gabriel.

A couple of cover versions were played: All Day and All of the Night and I Heard It Through the Grapevine, plus a few new songs which would turn up on Gabriel’s next album: Indigo (introduced with “Here is a song my Father wrote, before they shut him up in his box”), White Shadow and (apparently) On the Air, although I have no recollection of this particular one.

Gabriel donned a Rael black leather jacket for the encore Back in NYC ; perhaps not the most obvious Genesis tune to close with, but I felt it suited things fine.  I certainly enjoyed it, and like to think the young lady would have too.  Her loss. 


Here Comes the Flood/Slowburn
Moribund the Burgermeister
Modern Love
White Shadow
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Excuse Me
Waiting for the Big One
Solsbury Hill
Down the Dolce Vita
On the Air
All Day and All of the Night
Here Comes the Flood

Back in N.Y.C.

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