The week before last, whilst trawling around various sites on the internet and updating my new computer, I came upon my music hero’s website once more, and noticed that he was doing a gig at The Eden Project. After ascertaining the distance from Woolsery, and the feasibility of being able to go, I applied for tickets on line and, much to my joy and amazement, I managed to purchase two.
Now, you may be wondering, who is this hero of mine that caused such delight and excitement? None other than the very talented ex-frontman of that excellent 70s band Genesis – namely Peter Gabriel. I first saw Genesis in the early 70s at Brunel University (I used to live about 3 miles from there). I used to frequent the university quite often to see bands and was always chaperoned by my elder brother, Ant. My parents probably thought he used to stay with his little sister all evening, but none of that I can assure you lol. He used to walk me there, leave me to my own devices while he did ‘his own thing’, but, to his credit, he was always there to walk me home again. Anyway, I digress.
On that particular evening I experienced my first taste of, in my opinion, the best musical show ever. The music, the words and Peter Gabriel’s marvellous theatrics mesmerised me and there began my journey into the wonderful world of ‘Supper’s Ready’ and the famous ‘sunflower routine’. My friend, Sioux and I, then began years of attending every London-based show we could get to.
Alas, as the years passed, and with the band’s ever-increasing popularity, the distance between us and the stage grew greater until, on the last gig, the band were but mere pinpricks ahead of us. However, at Brunel they were but an arm’s length away and I was hoping that, at the Eden Project, I could achieve full circle and be, one more time, at arm’s length.
Gone are the days of standing outside the stage door awaiting the band’s emergence for eagerly awaited, and now much cherished, autographs. Gone, also, are the days when events like catching my hair in Phil Collins’ bomber jacket zip occurred (well, it was a very windy evening!) However, here was a long-awaited chance to hear Peter’s dulcet tones live again. He is one of those charismatic, quiet, unassuming characters of the music industry, whose soft voice could read you bedtime stories at night.
Alas, the weather was inclement to say the least. An outside gig in the atrocious weather we have been experiencing of late here in the West Country – and at my own admission, severely underdressed for the occasion – put paid to that dream. We did, however, witness the whole session from a very good vantage spot and, for my part, greatly enjoyed it. From what I overheard from other attendees who stopped off at our spot, we had a better view than if we had been down in the main arena.
Jon, by the way, proved that his claims not to be a hippy are nonsense, by dancing happily in the rain for most of the evening, and occasionally saying ‘groovy’. You see - no self-control!
Not only did I take back to the hotel a rather damp set of clothing, and, no doubt, a chill to boot, I also took back the memory of being able to see my hero again after some 33 years of absence.
If you will excuse the pun, even the leaking roof upon our return to Woolsery, did not dampen my spirits!