Wind and Wuthering tour – 1977
This review was published in The Coventry Evening Telegraph (Coventry, West Midlands, England), on 8th January 1977
This show took place at The Odeon Theatre, Birmingham, England on the 7th January 1977.
Due to the scan being poor, we have taken the time to transcribe the text.
Rebirth for Genesis– By John Palmer
Genesis – Birmingham Odeon. Last night and tonight.
When singer Peter Gabriel left Genesis, many thought that would prove the death knell of the band. For although they collaborated to write their music, front man Gabriel provided the visual impact at live shows. Turning concerts into theatrical events as he acted out their mini operas. However, against the odds Genesis have continued to grow without him, carrying on almost as though nothing had happened.
But something drastic has happened to their stage performances, as they showed last night when they played in Birmingham for the first time since Gabriel took off in 1975. Drummer Phil Collins has assumed the singing duties and, although he occasionally slips back behind a kit, American Chester Thompson has been enlisted as percussionist for the tour.
The difference the reshuffle has made is that the music now takes pride of place, not the theatrics. Some of the band’s earlier compositions sounded adequate on record but really came to life when Gabriel performed them.
Last night, the pieces they played from their hugely successful “A Trick Of The Tail” album and the newly released “Wind and Wuthering” didn’t need any visual aggrandisement. The new compositions are more accessible and less musically introspective than earlier works, while the change of mood in the pieces is more directly attributable to the music and not the vocals.
“Your Own Special Way” and “One For The Vine” from the “Wind” album were among the highlights of the two and a half hour show. Of course, there are still eye-catching elements and for the classic “Supper’s Ready”, lasers strafed the theatre and the auditorium was swathed in dry ice and light changes were fast and furious.
Collins has taken to his new role, but his approach often appears out of keeping with the feeling of the music, he detracted from it at times.
And with Thompson’s proving so capable, there is no reason for Collins to make excursions back to the drum kit.
Perhaps he does so because the band are consciously trying to drop the idea of a front man, because their music and their playing are so solid that they don’t need anyone to interpret for them.