29 July 2004, gsparaco @ 12:35 am
Hunter Enters The Forest (Siréne-036)
Auditorium, Kitchner, ON, Canada – March 27th, 1976
Hunter Enters The Forest (and it’s cousin Entangled 1976) have been two important tapes for Genesis collectors. For years these tapes have rumored to exist and they finally surfaced a while back. Our friends at Sirene have found copies of these tapes and released very nice versions of these important shows. These are the earliest tapes that we have of the Phil Collins lead Genesis in existence. The story is well known. After Peter Gabriel quit Genesis in the early summer of 1975, everyone assumed that was it for the band. He was, after all, the star of the band and the others were considered good musicians with no stage presence (guitarist Steve Hackett sat on stage for goodness sake!) After the release A Trick Of A Tail early in 1976, which was their strongest LP in years, they had to retool their stage act. Recruiting drummer Bill Bruford they began their new era in London, Ontario on March 26th.
Unfortunately no tapes are known to exist of the first Phil show (although some nice photos exist and are used on this release), but here we have the following evening’s concert in Kitchener, Ontario. Taped from the backstage mike, this was probably done so the band can review their performance. The music is very clear and upfront but the tape sounds a bit too slow (or maybe the band were sluggish). The between song talking sounds a bit lower making it hard to understand at some points. Phil sounds very apprehensive as he tries to win over the crowd. He picks up some confidence by the second half of the show when he introduces Tony Banks and leads the audience in a round of “Happy Birthday”. Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett also take their turns in song introduction (Rutherford before “White Mountain” and Hackett before “Entangled” where he very pastorally says, “Now open your hymn books to page 21.”)
There is a cut between “Squonk” and “I Know What I Like” unfortunately eliminating “Supper’s Ready”. Why this wasn’t taped isn’t clear and the cut suggests the track may exist and may yet still appear in the future. The encore “It/Watcher Of The Skies” is thankfully uncut since many recordings from this tour fade out during the first couple of bars of the latter song. This is a very good release that is worth seeking out. The design is attractive with the Trick Of The Tail characters superimposed over the photos. It could have been improved if Siréne gave this the deluxe treatment on silver discs and corrected the tape speed. A four-disc set with the following night in Buffalo would have been a killer release and would have been essential. Hunter Enters The Forest is a good release and a fascinating document into an important period of Genesis’ history.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)