Royal Cinema Show (Highland HL540/541)
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England – February 29th, 1984
Disc 1 (70:06): Dodo-Lurker, Abacab, That’s All, Mama, medley (Eleventh Earl Of Mar / The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway / Firth Of Fifth / The Musical Box), Illegal Alien, “Phil’s talking”, Home By The Sea, Second Home By The Sea
Disc 2 (69:27): Carpet Crawl, Keep It Dark, It’s Gonna Get Better, Follow You Follow Me, “band introduction”, “In The Cage” medley (In The Cage / The Cinema Show / In That Quiet Earth / The Colony Of Slippermen), Afterglow, drum duet, Los Endos, Turn It On Again (with sixties medley)
Out of the more than seventy shows they played for Genesis between November 1983 to February 1984 only five shows were played in England and all of them at the NEC in Birmingham at the very end. The February 29th show is the last concert of the tour and would be the final Genesis concert for two and a half years. It also is show played for the Prince’s Trust charity with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in attendance.
Royal Cinema Show uses an excellent sounding audience recording which captures the atmosphere of the event perfectly. There are cuts after the first old medley, “It’s Gonna Get Better” and after “Afterglow” but only a few notes are lost. Highland seems to have remastered the tape to emphasize the high end and at high volumes it begins to hurt the ears.
The tape begins with the opening numbers of the show, the two previous epics “Dodo-Lurker” and “Abacab.” Phil Collins is in extremely high spirits throughout the entire show, making funny comments and really working the audience. He greets them all after “Abacab,” saying, “Good evening Birmingham. Coventry. Headstone. Kidderminster… table for four. West Bromwich…three right. Windsor … table for two. Anyone from Newcastle? Portugal? Argentina? It was a long shot. Right now that we got that all sorted out, good evening to and welcome. We’re gonna be here for at least a couple of hours. … Tonight’s a very special night as you’ve already heard. We have some special guests. And also it is the last night of our playing tour. Boo? How quickly they turn. We’ve been here for five nights. We’ve been in America for a few more.”
There are loud boos and hisses… “you can’t please everyone all the time. Tonight we’re gonna be playing lots of our NEW SONGS. Some of our old songs and some of our REALLY old songs. Anyway we’ve been in America for the last couple of months and we learned ourselves some country and western music. So we’re gonna play some country and western music for y’all now ’cause we all know you love country and western music. Ain’t that right?… Oh shit. We’re gonna play it for you anyway since it took us four months to learn it. We just about got it right now.” Two new songs are played, “That’s All” and “Mama.”
Collins gets into a long explanation about why they play the medley, saying it’s a desperate attempt to please all of the people all of the time. The first oldies medley started out being, in the early days of the tour, focuses upon the two prog-Phil albums A Trick Of A Tail and Wind & Wuthering. Beginning with the intro and first verse of “Eleventh Earl Of Mar.” By the Birmingham dates it begins with the instrumental introduction of “Eleventh Earl Of Mar,” moves into “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” onto the middle instrumental section of “Firth Of Fifth” (with Daryl Stuermer trying to duplicate Steve Hackett’s famous solo), then ending with the final section of “The Musical Box.”
Collins gets into the illegal alien story and tunes their boom-box to play “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” by Yes and Van Halen “Jump” before “Illegal Alien.” More new material follows with their progressive epics “Home By The Sea” and “Second Home By The Sea.” Along with the excellent “It’s Gonna Get Better,” they play six out of the nine songs from the latest album Genesis. It was unusual for them at this point to neglect even the more recent hits, but very little material from the previous couple of albums are played.
The final song of the night is “Turn It On Again” with a medley pushing it to over thirteen minutes in duration. This is the third long medley of the set but is different from the others since it focuses upon covers instead of their own songs. On the final night of the tour they play: “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Twist And Shout,” “All Day And All Of The Night,” “Baby Let Me Take You Home,” “Karma Chameleon,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “In The Midnight Hour” before returning to “Turn It On Again.” Royal Cinema Show is a solid pressing by Highland and is worth having for very exciting early eighties era Genesis.