The Early Days (Trespass, et al.)

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As always, see anything you like, email me. All boots are listed in chronological order, and all are on Audio CD-R unless I say otherwise. All dates are written in the European style, as in day/month/year. Click on the text links below to scroll directly to the entry you're interested in.


Tour Summary and Menu

Genesis Plays Jackson (clips), 9/1/70 (BBC Studios?)

The Shepherd, 1970-72 (London)

The BBC Sessions, 1970-72 (London)

Twilight Francehouse, 7/3/71 (La Ferme, Belgium)

Hogweed 12, 7/3/71 (La Ferme, Woluwe St. Lambert)

BBC Tapes, 1971-72 (London)

Sounds of the Seventies rebroadcast, 9/1/72

Genesis Plays Jackson


1 Provocation (0:21)
Frustration (0:20)
3 Manipulation (0:20)
4 Resignation (0:19)

Type/Quality: Studio/Very Good-Excellent

Comments: (With the release of the 1970-1975 box set, this set of tantalizing clips has now thankfully been rendered useless. The bonus disc which comes with the set has full versions of all of these tracks!) This is a very interesting set of songs, in mp3 form, and they deserve some explanation. In very early 1970, not long after their very first tour had begun, Genesis was approached to provide music for a documentary about a painter named Mick Jackson. A BBC TV producer heard of them, and the full songs from which these mp3 clips come were recorded in Shepherds Bush BBC Studios in London. The documentary was scrapped and the tapes sat in a barn in Europe (!) for 15 years before ending up in the hands of a friend of one of the studio technicians involved in the recording. Recently they re-surfaced in the hands of a private owner. He decided to auction the tape to the highest bidder, and created these tiny, tiny mp3 clips so that potential bidders could get a taste. However, members of Genesis got wind of the auction and quickly took steps to purchase the recording; it is now in the hands of Tony Banks.

These little clips are of extraordinarily good quality, especially considering the fact that they are without a doubt the oldest bootleg material I have. This comes from a very interesting period in the band's career, when they were just beginning to develop their trademark "High Genesis" style which would see its first incarnation on Trespass. In fact the composition of these songs comes from a magical period in the band's development when they spent around six months in Richard MacPhail's parents' farmhouse cottage near Dorking, Essex. A lot of the band's second album and much of their early material was written during this period. What little there is here is tantalizingly intriguing and just flat out fantastic. Descriptions of the songs are actually quite easy: "Provocation" is supposed to be an instrumental version of "Looking For Someone," but I had trouble hearing any remnants of the final product in there. Perhaps only a section of it ended up in the song. Actually, if evidence of the band's first professional set list is correct, this song had already been kicking around before November of '69! "Frustration" is a prototype version of "Anyway" with alternate lyrics (think a more mature rendering of "She is Beautiful," which became "The Serpent"). "Manipulation" is a more layered, atmospheric performance of Anthony Phillips' "F#1," which after much tinkering by multiple guitarists would evolve into "The Musical Box." "Resignation" does not have any description that I know of, but it sounds like an exploration of the same themes of "Provocation." This song was also known as "Peace." Really interesting to hear these, though their incompleteness is almost pure torture--you get a peek of these great early gems, just enough to despair that the complete versions are not available. I intend to have the mp3s for these songs up on my "Goodies" page--check there if you'd like to hear these.

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The Shepherd


BBC Session: 22 February 70
The Shepherd (4:00)
2 Pacidy (5:47)
3 Let Us Now Make Love (6:16)
4 Stagnation (8:20)
5 Looking For Someone (7:20)
BBC Session: 25 September 72
6 Twilight Alehouse (8:04)
7 Watcher of the Skies (7:49)
8 Get 'em Out by Friday (8:53)
BBC Session: 10 May 71
9 The Musical Box (12:09)

Type/Quality: Radio/Very Good-Good

Comments: This is a series of BBC sessions with fake applause added on the ends. OK, so it's technically really a compilation, but I figured since all of the songs on it are from the Pete years, I'd put it in here instead of on my compilations page (you'll see a lot more of this kind of fudging in later entries...). The dates I have above I saw listed by Simon Funnell as his dates for the Complete BBC Sessions boot, and they match with BBC sessions dates provided by Alan Hewitt as well as the years given by Scott McMahan (also the "Twilight Alehouse" date I've seen elsewhere). Tracks 1-3 are (I believe) identical to the versions on Archive 1, except for the applause. "Stagnation" is an earlier version of the song with additional lyrics at the end: "come with me and join the quest for gold/there's enough to make us all feel good," etc. "Looking For Someone" has alternate lyrics. "Twilight Alehouse" is different than the version on Archive 1, because the b-side recording is different than the BBC Sessions recording, and this has got to be the BBC version (the Archive used the b-side). This version of "The Musical Box" is interesting, because the "Old King Cole" section in the middle is actually played twice, once without lyrics except for the section starting at "And the clock...", and then once more with all of the lyrics. Some of the guitar parts have interesting variations as well. It also sort of sounds as if Pete hadn't written the lyrics to the very ending of the song, as he sort of mumbles them and slurs over the syllables. This boot is one of 10 that I transferred from someone else's tapes. Even for that though, it sounds quite good.


The BBC Sessions


BBC Session: 22 February 70
The Shepherd (3:59)
1-02 Pacidy (5:45)
1-03 Let Us Now Make Love (6:14)
1-04 Stagnation (8:17)
1-05 Looking For Someone (7:21)
BBC Session: 10 May 71
1-06 The Musical Box (11:58)
1-07 Stagnation (8:54)
BBC Session: 9 January 72
1-08 The Return of the Giant Hogweed (7:31)
1-09 Harold the Barrel (3:02)
1-10 Harlequin (2:38)

BBC In Concert: 2 March 1972
2-1 The Fountain of Salmacis (7:50)
2-2 Intro: Musical Box (2:26)
2-3 The Musical Box (9:54)
2-4 Intro: Hogweed (1:01)
2-5 The Return of the Giant Hogweed (7:42)
BBC Session: 25 September 72
2-6 Watcher of the Skies (7:45)
2-7 Twilight Alehouse (8:01)
2-8 Get 'em Out by Friday (8:50)

Type/Quality: Radio/Very Good-Good (varies)

Comments: These are all the existing BBC session songs that Genesis did in this early period. Missing from this set are "Dusk" from the 22/2/70 session and "Salmacis" from the 9/1/72 session. I believe both have been lost and are not available on bootleg (this is no longer true in the case of the latter--see the final entry on this page). Technically all of these songs except the 2/3/72 "Hogweed" are rehashes of songs that I already have on other boots. But not actually. OK, on disc one tracks 1-5 are exactly taken from The Shepherd. Track 6 is also from The Shepherd, but I removed the fake applause from this one. Track 7 is taken from the Genesis Archive 1, disc three. Tracks 8-10 are not taken from BBC Tapes, below, as I found copies of these songs without the incredible hiss that they have on that bootleg. The sound loses a little depth, but I think it's a good trade-off. Some of the intros that were on my original copies were not on the better copies, so I spliced them together for these tracks. The same is also true of "Salmacis" on disc 2, but the rest of that session comes from a different source than BBC Tapes. If possible, it sounds even better. That session of tracks (1-5 on disc 2) is probably the best sounding bootleg recording I have from the Gabriel era. It's quite phenomenal. These tracks also have additional in between stuff on them than those on BBC Tapes; you get to hear the BBC announcer. Not much of an addition, really, since the guy is (quite frankly) an asshole. He mispronounces "Salmacis," calls Genesis' career a "three year rehearsal," and calls Gabriel a "court jester." Tracks 6-8 are directly from The Shepherd. All in all, a great bunch of songs showing the evolution of the band's sound. There is an actual bootleg floating around with these same songs on it, but mine has them from different sources and mine is in chronological order.

As for quality, mostly it's very good. In the case of 2/3/72, as I said before, it's very very good (I hesitate to say it, but really it's excellent). The only kind of sub-par set is the 9/1/72 session. They sound good, but not as good as the others. It's muffled overall, and "Hogweed" still has some hiss in it. As mentioned previously, see the last entry on this page for a very much better version of the 9/1/72 recordings.

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Twilight Francehouse


1 Happy the Man (5:44)
2 Stagnation (11:35)
3 The Light (11:02)
4 Twilight Alehouse (12:03)
5 The Musical Box (13:03)
6 The Knife (10:16)
7 Going Out to Get You (4:32)

Type/Quality: Audience/Poor

Comments: This is a gem of my collection (though the Hogweed 12 remaster, directly below, is a much shinier gem :), the earliest recording of Genesis in front of an audience. At La Ferme in Woluwe St. Lambert, Belgium (both the date and location for this gig seemed to be uncertain for some time, but I think that now everyone agrees on this venue). This is from the Trespass tour; at this point, Steve Hackett had been playing with the band for less than two months. Pete seems to be enjoying himself at this show; there is much laughter from him, and he tells humorous intro stories in a mix of French and English (actually a lot of his laughter is due to his sub-par knowledge of the French language). Unfortunately, you can barely make any of them out because of the low quality of this recording. It is understandable, given its age and the fact that it's an audience recording. You name the problem, and this boot has it (apart from speed problems): hiss, muffled vocals, audience conversation, snaps, crackles, pops, static, microphone bumps, missing bits of songs. One of the most intrusive problems is a repeated click that comes at varying rates of frequency, but by a strong force of will I was able to ignore it. From around "The Musical Box" on, there is a staticy crackle underlying the recording that is harder to ignore, and it gets worse as it goes on. I had thought at first that this crackle was caused by the burning process and was not in the original recording. However I now have two copies of this bootleg that both sound identical (not counting the Hogweed remaster). This is unfortunate, as the crackle is quite annoying, but fortunately the remaster has taken care of this problem (next entry). There are two different bootlegs aside from Hogweeds' version that I know of from this performance, this one and one called Besides the Silent Mirror. They both have the same track lists; in fact, I believe this one's source is the other boot. But it has supposedly been de-hissed or noise reduced or some such; at least I've heard a couple of times that this one sounds slightly better than its partner.

The only stories I could totally make out were those for "Stagnation" and "The Musical Box," though I'm sure those with a more practiced ear could do better. There were bits of the other stories I could understand, but not the whole things. "Happy the Man" is an early version of that song, played slower and with alternate lyrics; a very interesting moment in its musical evolution. "The Light" was actually a regular from this time in the band's history, and a crowd favorite. It's an early, longer version of "Lilywhite Lilith," with different lyrics. I believe much of the music for this song was contributed by Phil--that or the lyrics. One of his first writing efforts with the band. It's also said that this song is but one section of a much much longer instrumental called "The Movement," which was never played live or recorded, but from which many of the band's later tunes were taken. I also have a version of this recording of "The Light," taken from an mp3 file, on a self-compiled boot titled Studs and Stetsons, in the Compilations section. This version of "The Musical Box" is identical to the version played during the BBC session on The Shepherd above, in that they play the "Old King Cole" section of the song twice, both times with the "And I touch, and I feel..." line, but only the second time with the "Old King Cole" part sung. This was several months before Nursery Cryme was recorded, so the song is at an earlier stage in its evolution. Unfortunately, though Pete seems to get through most or all of the intro story for this song, it abruptly cuts into the song at the "And the nurse will tell you lies" line--the beginning is missing. There also may be a small part of the instrumental section near the end of "The Knife" missing (see below entry for a somewhat more detailed description of the cuts).

"Going Out to Get You" was another early crowd favorite and tour regular that was never recorded on an album (although a totally different-sounding demo with the same name was recorded and ended up on Archive 1); Ant always mentioned it as being "not very good," but I think it's a nice, pounding rock tune. Tony says that when they were recording the Trespass album it was a toss-up whether "The Knife" or "Going Out to Get You" would end up on it. Probably it would have seemed redundant to have both, as they are similarly angry and up-tempo numbers. I think they made the right choice by including "The Knife" on the album instead, but this song also has merit and is a valuable addition to any fan's song collection.


Hogweed 12 (HW12)



01 Introduction (1:13)
02 Happy the Man (3:23)
03 Intro: Stagnation (1:41)
04 Stagnation (9:29)
05 Intro: Light (2:18)
06 The Light (9:42)
07 Intro: Alehouse (1:30)
08 Twilight Alehouse (8:52)
09 Intro: Box (3:24)
10 The Musical Box (11:37)
11 Intro: Knife (1:33)
12 The Knife (9:01)
13 Intro: Going (1:33)
14 Going Out to Get You (4:09)

Type/Quality: Audience/Fair

Comments: At La Ferme in Woluwe St. Lambert, Belgium. I waited a long time with eager anticipation to get my hands on this, the remastered version of the earliest audience recording of Genesis--and, coincidentally, the band's first gig outside of the UK. This was originally slated as a FAde release, but when FAde shifted gears to deal with only radio shows, Hogweed took control of the job. This comes from a first generation source and has been miraculously and masterfully remastered to push the quality rating a full step higher (in fact, I considered adding a "-Good" onto the end of my rating). Gone are much of the noise problems of previous versions, including the most annoying loud clicking and scratching towards the end of the show. The show is now actually listenable, and though it still suffers from an overall muddiness, some of Pete's intros that were nearly unintelligible before are now clearer.

That having been said, I still found it difficult to make out some of the stories. Pete even tells an intro for "Going Out to Get You," which may possibly involve a butterfly, but I'm not sure. Happy the Man is described as a man who eats his toenails, and the character from "Stagnation" is a very fat man who seems obsessed with food. I could understand the gist of most of the stories, but not all of the individual words. I can't stress enough however the valuable nature of this very rare look into the Trespass tour, with incredibly unique songs (an early "Happy the Man," the only known recording of "The Light," an early "Box," and one of only three known audience recordings of "Going Out to Get You")--and I can't stress enough how much better this sounds than my original copy. Hogweed are to be commended for the great job they did on this show, including the artwork (though unless they know something that no one else knows about the venue, they seem to have spelled it wrong on the cover!!). Of course, they always do a great job, but this time they surpassed themselves.

It was very interesting to listen to this disc again knowing how much more confident Peter Gabriel would become on stage: here he is still very uncomfortable with the audience, and though they are appreciative and supportive, he can barely speak French and stumbles through the stories with many pauses and lots of embarrassed laughter. It's so interesting to listen to the band in this stage of their history, when they were still adjusting to each other and still working out the songs: one obvious example is "The Musical Box," which is in such an early stage that Peter doesn't seem to have any lyrics written yet for the very end of the song. In place of real words he sings a kind of gibberish. It's possible that he uses this tactic in parts of "The Light" as well.

Though this is an excellent remaster, it still suffers from the problems of the source recording. The very end of the intro for "Box" and the first few lines of that song are cut. Also a bit of the middle instrumental section before the "Old King Cole" part is cut. Finally there is a cut in the instrumental section of "The Knife" which takes out some of the guitar solo. Speaking of which, it's interesting to listen to Steve on here, as he hadn't been with the band for even two months and was still sort of messing with his guitar.

This is a very important recording for all fans of the band. If you have the previous versions of this show, you don't really have this show. If only more recordings from this period would become available!

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BBC Tapes


BBC Session: 10 May 71
1-1 The Musical Box (11:58)
BBC Session: 9 January 72
1-2 Harold the Barrel (3:12)
1-3 Harlequin (2:52)
1-4 The Return of the Giant Hogweed (8:09)
BBC In Concert: 2 March 1972
1-5 The Fountain of Salmacis (7:30)
1-6 Intro: Musical Box (1:47)
1-7 The Musical Box (9:25)

BBC Session: 10 May 71
2-1 Stagnation (9:22)
BBC Session: 25 September 72
2-2 Get 'em Out by Friday (9:36)
2-3 Twilight Alehouse (8:46)
2-4 Watcher of the Skies (8:04)
BBC Session: 10 May 71
2-5 The Musical Box (12:28)

Type/Quality: Radio/Good-Very Good (BBC Sessions), Very Good (Live)

Comments: This is an interesting smattering of BBC sessions recordings. The first four songs all seem to have been broadcast during the same radio show, as you can hear a guy between each one announcing them. There's some hiss, especially on tracks 2-4 on the first disc. Tracks 5-7 are really great sounding live cuts, probably from 2/3/72; this is the date of a very short (three song) live performance in front of an audience Genesis gave for BBC Paris Studios in London. This would explain the quality of the cuts as well as their presence on a boot claiming to be BBC Session recordings. There is a short error in "Fountain" right after the "creature crawled into the lake" line; the music seems to jumble around, but then gets back on track. Pete seems to come in late one or two times on these numbers, as though he was so busy jumping around the stage that he wasn't able to get back to his microphone quite in time.

It's nice to have the BBC session recordings of "Harold" and "Harlequin," which are hard songs to get alternate versions of as they were hardly ever played live. Track one on disc one and tracks 2-5 on disc two I have on The Shepherd, above. Track one on disc two is the same recording used on the first box set. In case you hadn't noticed the similarity in dates, "Musical Box" on disc one and the one at the end of disc two are both the same recording. The difference is that the second one is played too slow. In fact, the whole second disc here has speed problems. The speed problems with "Box" are obvious if you compare the times of the two tracks; they should be identical (or nearly so), but the slow one is 30 seconds longer. There are also some pops and crackles throughout the disc, and "Musical Box" is low. The speed problem is not as noticeable on tracks like "Watcher" and "Stagnation," but it's very noticeable on "Friday" and "Alehouse." Really the first disc is the only one worth it here. This was transferred from a tape. (For those of you interested in BBC sessions, I suggest my second boot in this list, The BBC Sessions, which combines all extant Genesis BBC recordings from 1970-72, all in pretty darn good quality. Also see the next entry.)

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Sounds of the Seventies


1 BBC Intro (0:27)
2 The Return of the Giant Hogweed (7:51)
3 Harold the Barrel (mix 1)(2:58)
4 The Fountain of Salmacis (7:42)
BBC Part 2 Intro (0:40)
Harlequin (2:41)
7 Harold the Barrel (mix 2)(2:53)
8 BBC Outro (1:20)

Type/Quality: Radio/Excellent-Very Good

Comments: On 14 March 2008, BBC 6 Radio re-broadcast the John Peel "Sounds of the Seventies" session recordings by Genesis, first broadcast on 9 January 1972. This CD documents that re-broadcast. They broadcast a "mix 2" version of "Harold the Barrel" which apparently was never broadcast before. As far as bootlegs are concerned, this recording of "Salmacis" (which the announcer incorrectly identifies as "Fountains of the Salmacis") had also never been heard before. There are multiple versions of this listed on the Movement; my track times most closely match the one called the "DAB Radio version."

Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to obtain this disc! It is a major improvement over my previous versions, has the extra "new" songs, and sounds truly excellent. Vintage Genesis that actually sounds good is hard to come by. If I was truly conscientious I would incorporate these tracks into my BBC Sessions compilation above, but so far I have not done so.

(Though this original broadcast technically occurred during the Nursery Cryme tour, I have chosen to put the entry on this page because it keeps all of my BBC Sessions material together.)

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