Genesis gig – Brussels, 24 June 2007

Genesis – Dress Rehersal, originally uploaded by vacationland.

20 years after my first ever concert, which was Genesis Invisible Touch tour at Hampden park, Glasgow, in 1987, I get to go and see them again at another stadium, this time the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.

It was really very civilised around the stadium, not at all what I’m used to at big gigs. There were no crowds hanging around outside, and there were loads of seats in the bar. Not like a Glasgow gig at all, really!

The gig itself was really good. We had reasonably good seats off to the right of the stage, but even from that relatively short distance, the band wasn’t really visible and we watched a lot of it on the oval screen off to the side. We couldn’t see the main screen due to its being in a sort of wave shape. A bit annoying really.

Musically it was pretty much as I expected. There were some weak points (Hold on my Heart, Follow You Follow Me) but generally speaking it was really good. The highlights for me were Home By the Sea and Domino
— parts 2 of both of these were really good. I enjoyed all the Invisible Touch tunes, as that was my era. And I Can’t Dance was surprisingly good – that song stands out on that album. It was good to hear Ripples live too — the only tune that isn’t on any other live album of theirs.

The statutory drum duet was really good, too. They began that by playing on chairs before moving on to the drums.

Here’s the set list:

Behind The Lines / Duke’s End
Turn It On Again
No Son Of Mine
Land Of Confusion
In The Cage / The Cinema Show / Duke’s Travels
Hold On My Heart
Home By The Sea / Second Home By The Sea
Follow You Follow Me
Firth Of Fifth / I Know What I Like
Throwing It All Away
Drum Duet
Los Endos
Tonight Tonight Tonight
Invisible Touch

I Can’t Dance

The Carpet Crawlers

All in all it was a great gig and well worth the long drive to and from Brussels (even including the nightmare that was the Brussels ring road after the gig). Was tucked up in bed by 3.30 am.

Albums of the week and a bit about my history with Genesis

The Muse research I did for a week prior to the gig last month has changed the way I listen to music. A week before I decided to go to the Muse gig, I knew only one of their albums, and that one not very well. So I got hold of their other three and spent an entire week listening to all four albums as much as I could. It paid off big time and the gig was one of the best I’ve been to. I knew every song they played and now I’m listening to them a lot (twice through Absolution today — awesome album!)

The thing with the Muse albums was that I only had a week and so the albums weren’t really distinct in my mind. It was more like one big album really and, being an album kind of guy, I like to listen to entire albums from start to finish.

So, what I’ve decided to do is, when I get a new album, I’ll listen to it through several times during the course of a week so that I can become familiar with it.

The girl I went to see Muse with is a U2 fanatic and so I thought I would listen to U2’s albums, starting from the beginning. I’m also going to see Genesis in Brussels on the 24th so have been filling up the holes in my Genesis collection with iTunes Plus (DRM-free at last!).

I got a pile of freelance translation work through from an agency a couple of weeks ago and our almost-one-year-old likes to fall asleep to music in the afternoon. So it’s a perfect time to put on an album on repeat and get as much work done as I can. I can also listen to music in the evenings when I’m translating. After a few listens in the background as I work, I become familiar with the music, but it’s still not enough. So, after the familiarisation process, it’s time to start listening a bit more intently and seeking out some lyrics. Wikipedia also gets a visit (both U2 and Genesis have fairly comprehensive Wikipedia entries).

So, this week’s albums are U2’s first album, Boy, released in 1980, and Genesis’ album from 1976, A Trick of the Tail.

From the very start of Boy, it’s apparent that you’re listening to U2 and couldn’t be anyone else. It’s got a raw, sort of unpolished sound to it, but for a début album from a bunch of kids, which they pretty much were at the time, it’s really quite astonishing. I did have a passing familiarity with U2, having had the Joshua Tree on cassette back in the day and had a taped copy of Achtung Baby. For some reason, I never really followed up, even though I liked what I’d heard. So I guess in some ways, there was a large U2-sized hole in my musical knowledge. Boy sounds very much of its time, and to that end, a bit dated. So it’s fun to come at it as a newcomer almost 30 years later. It was well worth spending a week on this album and it’s whetted my appetite for the following albums.

I’ve been a Genesis fan since Invisible Touch back in 1987. In fact, the first concert I ever went to was the Invisible Touch tour at Hampden Park in Glasgow. At the time, all I had was Invisible Touch, but the concert was played on Radio 1 soon afterwards, so I taped it and listened to it over and over for years.

After that, I got Genesis (1983) and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1975). I loved both and used to listen to them on my Walkman. I grew to love the Lamb a lot and used to try and force it on whomever I happened to be with after a few bevvies. It’s not for everyone of course. It’s a journey into the mind of Peter Gabriel, which is a weird and wonderful place. The next album I bought, and the last one until recently, was Selling England by the Pound (1973), which I also loved.

So, that’s my history with Genesis pretty much.

Not too long ago, I reclaimed Invisible Touch from my brother and was in seventh heaven belting out all those songs and being caught up in a flood of memories. Then I found out, after blogging about my first ever concert, that they’re touring again with Phil Collins. Long story short, I scored some premium tickets on eBay for half-price for the gig in Brussels on 24 June.

Then Apple announced the DRM-free iTunes and it was time to get some more Genesis albums. I got Duke, Foxtrot, We Can’t Dance and A Trick of the Tail. I’ve listened to them all, but I decided to spend the week with A Trick of the Tail.

It was released in 1976 and was the first album after the departure of Peter Gabriel following The Lamb. It still sounds quite Gabriel-esque; it’s quirky as ever with weird lyrics, and ever-changing time signatures. All in all, I love it. I knew Los Endos from the 87 gig but what I didn’t know was that they used a lot of bits and pieces from this (and other) albums in the medleys they played in 87. It was a pleasant surprise!

So, all in all, it’s been a good week. Next week I’ll be working on U2’s second album, October, and need to figure out what Genesis one to work on. In fact, I’ll probably work on two Genesis albums as I only have two weeks until the gig. So I’ll do something old and something new, so that they don’t meld in my mind. I’ll keep the U2 one to add some balance.

This is fun!

iTunes upgrade – DRM free at last!

I just got the notification on iTunes that there’s an upgrade available to 7.2. So I hopped over to to see what was new. And there it was, iTunes PLUS, DRM free music available at 256kbps. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time for two reasons:

1. I’m a snob and prefer higher bit-rates (my CD collection is ripped to FLAC for my Squeezebox players);
2. Apple DRMed files don’t play on the Squeezebox

So this week I bought 9 CDs, not something I do every week but I just got paid and I’m filling in holes (all the old Wonder Stuff CDs and the new one, and all the Muse CDs).

For the last year I’ve been ripping everything to FLAC onto a server and it took me pretty much most of the year to get through them all. Then a couple of months ago I got rid of ALL my CD jewel cases and put the disks and inlays into CD ring-binders. The amount of space I got back was incredible.

So, I’m excited that DRM free music is now a feasible option for me, although I would like to see higher bit-rates even than 256 kbps before I declare the CD dead to me. But I can live happily with 256 if it’s DRM free and means instant gratification.

I just bought my first iTunes PLUS album, Genesis — Duke (2007 Remastered) but only two tunes downloaded before the server timed out. Same deal when I hit the upgrade button in the iTunes store to upgrade the few DRMed songs I did buy to non-DRM. I guess Apple’s servers will be getting slammed for the next few weeks while folks upgrade their libraries. It will be interesting to hear the stats about how many people are actually upgrading.

It also means I’m much less likely to use P2P to get instant gratifcation. In fact I just shut Soulseek down to kill my Genesis downloads!

I see this as a milestone in the digital revolution. May you live in exciting times, as the old Chinese proverb allegedly goes. These are certainly those!

The opposite of Friday the 13th (Monday the 21st)

I had a great day on eBay today. I found out too late that Muse are playing at a venue really close to my house. It was sold out and tickets were going on eBay for double face value. Lorraine is quite a pro with eBay and knows how to search out auctions that are under the radar. She found one listed on by a seller who had put that she was willing to ship only to France, so it didn’t show up on or I ended up winning the auction for just over the face value! It also turned out that the seller lives a mere 12 km from my house, over the border in France, so I drove over there (passing through Belgium for a bit — three countries in the space of 10 minutes) and picked them up. I now have them in my bag and I only won the auction a few hours ago!

Next up was the more important concert, Genesis! The first concert I ever saw was Genesis at Hampden Park in Scotland in 1987. Tickets for the Brussels concert were selling for just over face value and I’d been monitoring a few auctions. Then I found an auction for two category 1 tickets (face value of 100 euros) with a starting price of 100 and BuyItNow of 250. I put in 100 to kill the BuyItNow and then waited for the closing minute to put in my max. And d’you know what? Nobody else was bidding! So I basically got two for the price of 1!

Muse is this coming Saturday; Genesis is 24 June.

And finally, some other good news…

More on that later. Hoodies will know of what I speak but I’ll post up a hood only post about that some time tomorrow when the dust has settled and it’s confirmed 100%

So, from now on, Monday the 21st is a lucky day and it all balances out. Time for some Mackies ice-cream to celebrate!

mp3eme VOX: Your 1st Time



Post a song from the band/artist that played the first concert you ever attended.

It could be your first real concert as an young adult/adult or one your parent(s) dragged you to …whatever you consider to be your first.

The more background info…the more interesting. (Date? Location? Seating?Did it suck? Rock? Don’t Remember?)

If you don’t have a tune from the actual album said concert was promoting…you can post a favorite song from the band/artist.

Time to ‘fess up!


Genesis, 26 June 1987, Hampden Park, Glasgow. Support artist: Paul Young.

Genesis drum duet Wembley concert

Here’s my diary entry:

I didn’t do milk this morning. I went for Claire at 12 and got the 12.50 train to Glasgow. I asked Claire if she knew her way about Glasgow and she took it sarcastically. Then we got on a train to Mount Florida and wandered about. Claire bought a Genesis T-shirt for £5 off a guy in the street then I bought one but Claire said she will give me the money for it. She was dead bitchy to me. It was dead warm and sunny. Just perfect. I met Youngy and co. we got in about 4 and then I saw the stage. It was amazing. It had big canvas things with dominoes on it. We were in stand L. The food was extortionate so I only had a hot dog. People started coming into the middle but we couldn’t get to the middle. We had a good view anyway. There were 2 big TV screens. Princess Anne came about 7. They just played music from 4 till 7. Then Paul Young came on. He was great. I like Paul Young and he sounded 10 times better live. It is so loud. He went off and they just played music again until Genesis came on. It started with a video of Anything She Does. It was brilliant. Then Genesis came on. They were just so… There are no words to describe how good they were. The feeling you get is intense. Unexplainable. It was dead loud and you just can’t believe what is really happening. At one point I was crying with emotion. Phil Collins is a magic laugh. He talks to the crowd but he talks just as if he was only talking to you. Whenever he played a song I knew, I went wild inside. The lights were amazing as well. Smoke was rising an the lights were all the colours you can imagine. When they put the floodlights on the crowds, you really saw how many people were there; roughly 40,000. It was truly unbelievable. He sang Throwing it all Away and he sang wee tunes through it and everyone copied him. Magical Then he got the crowd to hold their hands up and hum to contact the other world. They went off but we all chanted “we want more” and they came back on better than ever.

It finished at half 11 and we went out. The streets were packed and there were big queues for the train back to Central station. The trains were chocabloc standing room. We got back to Central and had missed the last train so Claire phoned her dad and told him to come for us. Then she goes to me, “don’t come near me” and started going on about when I asked if she knew her way about Glasgow so she moved away and sat on her own. Then her dad came and I got home about 2, had something to eat and then went straight out on the milk, but that’s a different story.

So that was my first concert, first of many. Not sure how long Claire and I stayed together after that, but I think it was quite a while.

Land of Confusion – 21 years later

I was a big Genesis fan in my day and remember very well the Land of Confusion video with the Spitting Image puppets in 1986. The first concert I ever went to was the Invisible Touch tour at Hampden park in Glasgow. I must’ve been 14.

I just found a cover version of the song by a band called the Disturbed. Never heard of them but the video and song are still as relevant now as then. Judge for yourself.

Land Of Confusion – Genesis
Disturbed – Land Of Confusion