Archive for the ‘Peter Gabriel’ Category

Frank Zappa & the Tubes Knebworth 9th September 1978

image“Oh God, Not Another Boring Old Knebworth” said the posters. Line-up: The Tubes, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Boomtown Rats, Rockpile, Wilko Johnson’s Solid Senders.
This was the second Knebworth festival to take place in 1978, following the Genesis / Jefferson Starship / Tom Petty gig earlier in the summer. I remember thinking it was a bit late in the year for an open air gig and feared the worst from the weather, but actually it was ok on the day; quite fine. I drove down with a group of mates. We argued all the way down about who was the “best” act of the day. Such things seemed to matter a lot in those days. In the car we had a big Zappa fan (me, and I was sure that Zappa was the biggest and best act and should be headlining), a newly converted Tubes fanatic, and a couple of Peter Gabriel / Genesis fans. Zappa and the Tubes were billed as joint headliners, however on the day the Tubes closed the show, which annoyed me a little. We camped and pitched our tents near a big generator (big mistake) which for some reason we didn’t really notice when we set up. However it was humming loudly all night and powering a massive floodlight which shone on our tents, so we didn’t get much sleep.
The show was opened by the Boomtown Rats, Wilko Johnson who had recently left Dr Feelgood and was fronting his new band Solid Senders, and Rockpile featuring Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. All class acts and a great start to the day. I’ve already written about Peter Gabriel and the Tubes in earlier posts. Both were great; the Tubes closed the festival with a massive crazy show. They were joined by Todd Rundgren for encores of Baba O’Reilly and
The Kids are alright, played in honour of Keith Moon who had died just two days before this concert.
Zappa was great, although I didn’t enjoy his performance as much as the concert I saw in Edinburgh the year before. His band had changed and they played very few songs that I knew. Still, it was a good day with a varied, and very strong line-up, although the lack of a major league headliner resulted in a far from capacity crowd.
We spent the night with a big light shining on us, a loud humming noise from the generator, and a few “Wally” shouts (although they were starting to fade away by this point in the ’70s). Very little sleep and a long drive home in the morning.
Zappa setlist: Rubber Slices (The Deathless Horsie); Introduction and Soundcheck; Dancin’ Fool; Easy Meat; Honey, Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?; Keep it Greasey; Village of the Sun; Poor Suckers (The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing); City of Tiny Lites; A Pound for a Brown on the Bus; Bobby Brown; Conehead; Flakes (part 1); Flakes (part 2); Magic Fingers; Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow; Nanook Rubs It; Saint Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast; Father O’Blivion / Rollo; Bamboozled by Love
Zappa band: Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals); Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Arthur Barrow (bass); Ed Mann (percussion); Tommy Mars (keyboards); Denny Walley (guitar, vocals); Peter Wolf (keyboards); and Ike Willis (guitar, vocals).

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Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979

Reading Festival 24th – 26th August 1979readingprog79
This was my 8th visit to Reading. The line-up was a predictable mix of new wave and heavy rock. It was also a year of line-up changes. Two of the main bands who were billed to play: Thin Lizzy and The Ramones did not appear. Thin Lizzy pulled out at a few days notice due to Gary Moore’s departure from the band. Lizzy were replaced by Scorpions and The Ramones by Nils Lofgren. Both of these changes were major disappointments. The weather wasn’t bad and the event was well-attended, but didn’t sell out. My recollections of the weekend are below:
Friday line-up: Bite the Pillow, The Jags, Punishment of Luxury, Doll by Doll, The Cure, Wilko Johnson, Motorhead, The Tourists, The Police.
Friday was the “new wave” day. I watched all of the bands from Punilux onwards. Highlights were The Cure who impressed me even though the only song I had heard before was “Killing an Arab”, and Wilko and Motorhead, both acts going down a storm with the crowd, who preferred their rock heavier and more traditional. The Police were riding on the crest of a wave of success, and were amazing, Sting had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and the entire field sang along to the hits. It was great to witness a band at their peak.
The Police setlist: Deathwish; Next To You; So Lonely; Truth Hits Everybody; Walking On The Moon; Hole In My Life; Fall Out; Message In A Bottle; The Bed’s Too Big Without You; Peanuts; Roxanne; Can’t Stand Losing You; Landlord; Born In The 60s
Saturday line-up: Root Boy Slim; Fame; The Yachts; Little Bo Bitch (not sure that they played?); The Movies; Bram Tchaikovsky; Gillan; Steve Hackett; Cheap Trick; Inner Circle; Scorpions
reading79badgeWe spent much of Saturday enjoying the delights of local hostelries and didn’t venture into the arena until later in the day. To be honest, looking at the line-up now, it was pretty uninspiring. We made it into the festival for Gillan onwards. Gillan seemed to play everywhere at the time, and were always good fun. I’d seen them so many times that I was getting to know the new songs, but I also always looked forward to hearing Purple classics, which they did including ‘Smoke on the Water”. Steve Hackett played “I Know What I Like” which prompted a mass crowd singalong. The highlight was Cheap Trick with crazy antics from Rick Nielson and an exquisite performance by Robin Zander. A video of their performance that night is on YouTube. You can find “I Want You To Want Me” here, a bit rough, but still amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTLEYcO2VnE
For the encore Cheap Trick were joined onstage by Dave Edmunds and Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs for a rendition of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”. Classic 😄
Inner Circle’s reggae rhythms went down well. Scorpions were great (I really liked “Loving You Sunday Morning” at the time), but we were disappointed that we weren’t seeing Lizzy who had become a Reading favourite and were massive at the time.
readingpaper79Sunday line-up: The Cobbers; Terra Nova; Speedometers; Zaine Griff; Wild Horses; The Members; Molly Hatchett; Climax Blues Band; Nils Lofgren; Peter Gabriel; Whitesnake.
Sunday highlights for me were The Members who were in the charts with “Sounds of the Suburbs” and got a mixed reaction from the crowds with some people liking them, and others lobbing cans, and Peter Gabriel who started with “Biko” and played classic solo tracks like “Moribund The Burgermeister”, “Solsbury Hill” and “Here Comes The Flood”. Phil Collins joined Gabriel for the end of his set for “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. Whitesnake closed the evening and were worthy headliners (although they weren’t billed as so, with Peter Gabriel and non-showers The Ramones having shared top billing in the pre-festival publicity). They started with an amazing new song “Walking in the Shadow of the Blues” which set the tone for the evening. Ian Paice had just joined on drums and Whitesnake now had three former Purple members (Coverdale, Lord and Paice).
Whitesnake setlist: Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues; Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City; Steal Away; Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick; Mistreated; Soldier Of Fortune; Love Hunter; Breakdown; Whitesnake Boogie.
An enjoyable Reading weekend, if not one of the strongest line-ups.

Peter Gabriel Newcastle Arena 4th Dec 2014

Peter Gabriel Newcastle Arena 4th Dec 2014
gabrielsotoixPeter Gabriel is currently on tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his album “So”. The show sees Gabriel reuniting with members of his old band line-up, and last night it called at Newcastle Arena. The show started with Peter walking on stage unannounced to introduce the opening act Jennie Abrahamson and Linnea Olsson who played a few songs to an attentive audience. Jennie plays keyboard and Linnea cello, and they each sang one or two of their own songs, which were all pretty good. They both also featured as vocalists in Gabriel’s band. After a very short break, Peter Gabriel and band took to the stage, Peter seated at a piano. He explained that the concert would be in three parts: an acoustic “starter”, followed by a more electronic and adventurous “main course” and followed by the desert, which would be “So” in its entirety.
For the short acoustic set the house lights were left on, and the set included a great version of “Shock the Monkey”. The “main course” was much darker in presentation and content. The house lights dropped and tall robotic lighting rigs were wheeled around the stage, on what looked like a small train line which encircled the band, sending white beams across the crowd. The songs were much rockier, with sharp riffs and electronic funk, and Gabriel parading around the stage, side-stepping in a jerky dance. garielsoprogI’d almost forgotten what a showman this guy is. Peter and the band must have had cameras fixed to their instruments, and in Peter’s case to his mike, as scary, huge, close-up black and white images of the band’s faces were displayed on the screens around the stage. It was great to hear Gabriel’s 1977 hit “Solsbury Hill” again, reminding me of when he first went solo, and his magnificent shows at the City Hall during that period.
The desert of “So” was delivered next, starting with bright scarlet lights enveloping the stage for “Red Rain”. Highlights of this set  for me were the well known songs: “Sledgehammer” and “Don’t Give Up”, which featured Jennie Abrahamson taking Kate Bush’s vocal part, and doing an excellent job. It seems to be the “thing” for bands to perform one of their albums in their entirety. At first I thought this was a goo idea, but now I’m beginning to wonder. Even the best albums have a few tracks that either aren’t so good or have been forgotten. I am beginning to think I would prefer to see a band play a set which draws from the best songs across a spread of albums. Having said that; it was really good to see Peter Gabriel again, it has been a good few years since he last played in Newcastle; an enjoyable concert.
Starter: What Lies Ahead; Come Talk to Me; Shock the Monkey; Family Snapshot
Main course; Digging in the Dirt; Secret World; Darkness; No Self Control; Solsbury Hill; Why Don’t You Show Yourself
Dessert (So): Red Rain; Sledgehammer; Don’t Give Up; That Voice Again; Mercy Street; Big Time; We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37); This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds); In Your Eyes
Encore: The Tower That Ate People; Biko
Band line-up: Peter Gabriel: vocals, keyboards; Tony Levin: bass; David Rhodes: guitars; David Sancious: keyboards; Manu Katché: drums; Jennie Abrahamson: vocals; Linnea Olsson: vocals.

Peter Gabriel Newcastle Arena 2004

Peter Gabriel Newcastle Arena 2004
Still Growing Up Tour; “In the Round”
gabrieltix2004 This was the first time I had seen Peter Gabriel for over 20 years. It was also the first gig I went to for many years with my old friend John, who is now living to the USA. So it was a night of seeing old friends again; in more ways than one. It was great to see John again, and to go along to a gig, just like old times. And it was a pretty good gig too. The arena was set out with the stage in the centre, and we had seats right up close. One thing that you can expect from Peter Gabriel is the unexpected and this gig was no exception. Peter moved around the stage on a small two-wheeled vehicle to ensure that we all got a good view of him. At one point he rolled around the stage like a hamster in a giant ball, as shown on the front of the programme. gabrieprog2004 Peter’s band for this tour was David Rhodes, Rachel Z, old band mate Tony Levin on his stick bass, his daughter Melanie Gabriel on backing vocals, Ged Lynch and Richard Evans.The set was a mix of tracks from throughout his career. There were several songs that weren’t familiar to me, but I recognised the opener Here Comes the Flood, and old favourites Games Without Frontiers, Solsbury Hill, Sledgehammer and the final encore Biko. A great concert by a truly original artist who never fails to surprise. Setlist: Here Comes the Flood; Darkness; Red Rain; Secret World; White Ashes; Games Without Frontiers; Burn You Up, Burn You Down; Downside Up; The Tower That Ate People; More Than This; Baby Man; San Jacinto; Digging in the Dirt; Growing Up; Solsbury Hill; Sledgehammer; Signal to Noise. Encore: In Your Eyes; Biko. Peter Gabriel is touring again later in the year, but isn’t coming to the North East. I think a trip to Manchester to see him may well be in order.

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1983

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1983
Support Act: Zerra One
gabrieltix83 Peter Gabriel was back at Newcastle City Hall in 1983. By now he had released four solo albums. The tour was billed as the Playtime 1988 tour. His fourth solo album displayed the influence of world music, and included the single Shock the Monkey. Peter was soon to move further towards the pop mainstream and mega-success with the release of his album So a few years later in 1986. gabrieprogface This was the last time Peter was to visit the City Hall, and the last time he played in Newcastle for over 20 years. His tours from then on called at arenas and missed the North East out, until 2004, which was the next time I saw him in concert. The programmes scanned here are from later tours, picked up at a car boot fair somewhere! One of them is clearly from the So tour. gabrieprogplaybill Setlist included: Not One of Us; The Family and the Fishing Net; Shock the Monkey; Family Snapshot; Intruder; No Self Control; Humdrum; Lay Your Hands on Me; Solsbury Hill; I Don’t Remember; San Jacinto; On the Air. The band for the 1982/83 world tour was Peter Gabriel – synthesiser, piano, vocals; Jerry Marotta – drums, percussion; Tony Levin – bass, stick; David Rhodes – guitar; and Larry Fast – synthesiser, piano. This tour was more theatrical than previous tours and took Peter and his band around the world. In the USA he played some dates as support act for David Bowie.

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1980

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1980
Support Act: Random Hold
gabrieltix80 Peter Gabriel returned to Newcastle City Hall in 1980. This was the fourth time I saw the post-Genesis Peter in concert. The first time was on his first solo tour in 1977, which I blogged on yesterday. I then saw him at two festivals. The first of these was at Knebworth in 1978 where he shared a very strong bill with Frank Zappa, The Tubes, Boomtown Rats, Rockpile, and Wilko Johnson. The second festival was Reading 1979 where he appeared on Sunday afternoon, before Nils Lofgren (who replaced the Ramones) and Whitesnake closed the weekend. The thing I remember most about that night at Reading was returning to the campsite to find my tent had been stolen! I’ll blog on those festivals on another occasion. So that means I saw Peter every year from 1977 to 1980. gabrieprogschina During that period he released three albums. For me Peter’s first solo album is the best, but that could simply be because it is the album with which I am most familiar. By 1980 new inclusions within the set were the great single Games Without Frontiers and the protest song Biko, both of which were to become big favourites. The programme was entitled Tour of China 1984, and took the form of a little red book, based on that of Chairman Mao. The band for this tours consisted of Peter Gabriel (vocals / keyboards), John Ellis (guitar), Jerry Marotta (drums), Tony Levin (bass / stick), and Larry Fast (keyboards / synths). Setlist: Intruder; Start; I Don’t Remember; Solsbury Hill; Family Snapshot; We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37); Modern Love; Not One of Us; Lead a Normal Life; Moribund the Burgermeister; Mother of Violence; Humdrum; Bully for You; Games Without Frontiers; And Through the Wire; I Go Swimming; Biko; On the Air. Encore: Here Comes the Flood.

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1977

Peter Gabriel Newcastle City Hall 1977
gabrieltix77 I’ve enjoyed blogging about Genesis for the past week or so, and reliving my memories of that great band in concert. It is fitting to now move on to a few days of memories of Peter Gabriel in concert. It was a big shock when Peter left Genesis and none of us knew what to expect from him. We bought his first solo album when it was released and were delighted when he announced a solo tour. A few friends and I bought tickets and we were really looking forward to the gig. We weren’t quite sure what we were going to see or hear. How theatrical would it be? Would he play any old Genesis songs? I was certainly hoping to hear The Musical Box or maybe The Knife, but I guess deep down I knew he wasn’t really going to play those songs. It was clear from what we had read in the music papers that Peter Gabriel saw his solo career as a complete new start. Peter’s first solo album is a collection of great songs, and contains a lot of very strong tracks such as the creepy Moribund the Burgermeister; the single Solsbury Hill; Humdrum; and Here Comes the Flood; all of which he played in concert that year. We’d listened to the album to prepare ourselves for the gig. The rocky Modern Love had just been released as as single prior to the tour. gabrieprog77 Peter played two sold out gigs at the City Hall in 1977, supported by Nona Hendryx from the trio Labelle, who had a hit with Lady Marmalade. For the tour the band were Peter Gabriel (vocals, keyboards, flute, recorder); Sid McGinnis (guitar); Bayete (keyboards); Tony Levin (stick bass); and Jerry Marotta (drums). The show was quite theatrical, but not to the grandiose excesses that Peter had reached in Genesis. This was a much more subtle, restrained theatricality. At one point Peter disappeared from stage to reappear at the back of the hall, working his way back to the front through the audience, dressed in a white karate-like getup. My mate Norm was photographed with his arm around Peter as he passed by. There was a barber’s shop quartet for Excuse Me, and covers of I Heard It Through the Grapevine and All Day and All of the Night. The only reference to Genesis was the last song which was Back in N.Y.C. from the Lamb album. A great gig; quite different from Genesis. We all went home very impressed. Setlist: Slowburn; Moribund the Burgermeister; Modern Love; Indigo; Humdrum; 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.