"Nursery Cryme" turns 50. We are approaching the birthday through the stages that led to this turning album in the history of Genesis, with audio, video, documents and much more.
The fifth stage takes place on March 7, 1971, when Genesis, with the new line-up, go on stage for the first time abroad, at La Ferme V, in Woluwe St Lambert in Belgium.
On January 14, 1971, at University College London, Steve Hackett made his (disastrous) concert debut with Genesis - Read -.
Now Belgium awaits them, a country where "Trespass" has incredibly placed first in the standings.
«We crossed the Channel, taking a ferry from Dover to Ostend from Dover to Ostend. It was the middle of winter and there was hardly anyone on board. (...)
It was still just the seven of us on the road together, which when you look at the armies of crew that bands employ nowadays seems ludicrously small.
It was a four hour crossing and we were bored to death because there was nothing to do there. I found this box with life vests in it,, and so we all put on our vests and posed for what has now become a famous Genesis photo, all of us with our hair down on our shoulders, Mike drinking from a bottle of Mateus Rosé because that's what we drank in those days, that or Liebfraumilch.
(...) Today when you go abroad you have satellite navigation that tells you exactly where to go and cell phones or maps, but I really had no idea where we were headed in Belgium. I didn't even have a folding map.
(...) The place, a club called Ferme V, was packed to the roof, but fans knew every note. It was amazing. While in England it was a very slow process, in Belgium it happened suddenly.
Another thing I remember is that we stayed in a very comfortable three-star hotel and that Peter shared a room with me because he could not bear to share her with Tony ever again, not after his experiences at the cottage. "
THU Genesis already perform the most representative song of the future "Nursery Cryme": The Musical Box. The masterpiece had already been almost completely composed by the band together with Anthony Phillips (with the compositional intervention of Farm guitarist Mick Barnard who, as we have seen, did some gigs with Genesis after the departure of Ant).
Exists a 1969 recording in which Ant and Mike play parts of it, albeit with the title "F Sharp".
And there is one recording of the concert at Ferme and therefore also the first essay of the immature performances of Genesis of "The Musical Box". Although at this stage the central section is still arranged differently and the text is provisional.
A similar "pre-Nursery" version is recorded in the BBC studios for the Bob Harris program "Sound of the Seventies" on May 10, 1971 and aired on the 31st.
“The first foreign shore we ventured into was Belgium. It was my first time abroad with the band and the first place I fell under the spell of Genesis. It is a small country with a big heart.
In the beginning there was a ferry trip. Blurred-eyed and sleepless, I was unprepared and fidgeted on the boat spilling my beer.
In Brussels we walked into a deserted, foggy street at 6am and ended up in a hotel with a narrow staircase and a single bathroom at the end of a dark and damp corridor.
Worse still, the place wasn't ready for us so we were back on the street. No sleep, no food, but alcohol was on tap. What healthy times those were!
The start of the world trip was really handled with a prolonged hangover, fueled by beer and cigarettes. For those who like sleep and regular meals, forget about travel.
The Belgians were welcoming and the nerves were finally calmed after the concerts which had been well received. The meals were also sumptuous and we were cheered.
We were still in a deplorable state, like walking wounded deprived of sleep and common sense, but we represented something exotic to Belgians who responded to the complexity and fantasy of music.
A special bond with Belgium has continued to this day. "
«For some reason the Genesis have a fair number of followers in Belgium. After being in the Netherlands with Flaming Youth, I only need a few demonstrations of love from Luxembourg to be able to say with confidence that I am famous in the Benelux.
And so in March 1971 the Genesis played their first concert abroad, in a small place in Charleroi called Ferme Cinq.
We cross the channel by ferry and, upon arrival, our excitement for being an international group does not diminish even when we see that the stage is made of crates of beer. We have to arrange them very carefully so that they do not wobble and do not tip over, perhaps in the middle of one of the weird neo-fantasy monologues.
Somehow we manage to keep upright and have a blockbuster. All six concerts are like this: all packed, all fantastic. Finally the Genesis have taken off. At least in Belgium. "
Take off, yes. Even if the venues where they perform are still small and unsafe. Like recalls Mike Rutherford in its autobiography, The Living Years, Arcana - Buy it below and, in addition to the author, also help Horizons Genesis - READ HOW:
«At the Black Cat Club in Brussels the problem was not the lack of toilets but the lack of fire exits.
It was downstairs, there was no back entrance and the crowd sat cross-legged on the floor. Smoke.
Since we now had a mellotron, which we had bought from the King Crimson and which was the size of a table with two huge double keyboards, a quick escape wasn't going to be easy. "
There is a bootleg of the Ferme concert - CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO FIND OUT MORE:
The other stages of the 50 years of "Nursery Cryme":
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