Pavillion Of Memories (Highland HL244/245)
Pavillion des Sports, Geneva, Switzerland – September 21st, 1980
Disc 1 (54:22): Intruder, I Don’t Remember, Solsbury Hill, Family Snapshot, Milgram’s 37, Modern Love, Not One Of Us, Lead A Normal Life, Moribund The Burgermeister, Mother Of Violence
Disc 2 (54:38): Humdrum, Games Without Frontiers, band introduction, And Through The Wire, I Go Swimming, Biko, On The Air. Bonus tracks, Civic Centre, Guildford, England – January 28th, 1983: Here Comes The Flood, Solisbury Hill, Reach Out, I Know What I Like
Peter Gabriel spent the first couple years of his solo career experimenting with different musical styles looking for his own. In working with people like Bob Ezrin and Robert Fripp, he produced interesting yet inaccessible music.
He found his niche with his third solo album released in the summer of 1980. Often credited as the first album to use the “gated drum” sound which was to be immensely influential in the 1980s, he experimented with world music using unconventional rhythms and melodies. That album also produced several of his biggest hits to date, “Games Without Frontiers” and “Biko,” music which was fresh, new and exciting.
He premiered two songs, “Biko” and “I Don’t Remember” almost a year before the album’s release at the Reading Festival in August, 1979 where he was joined on stage by Phil Collins. Touring began in February 1980, several months before the new album, and took in sixty-nine shows scattered throughout the year in the UK, England and Europe.
Pavillion Of Memories on Highland is attributed to Champel, France, but it is actually the September 21st show in Geneva, Switzerland. Gabriel speaks French throughout the performance which lead to the mistake even though French is spoken in that part of Switzerland. The tape is an excellent sounding recording picking up many of the details in the sound from the stage.
Gabriel shows much faith in the new material and devotes much of the set to it. The tape begins at the beginning of “Intruder,” played at a slower tempo than its studio counterpart, followed by “I Don’t Remember” with its jazzy saxophone introduction. He get his first hit “Solsbury Hill” almost as a concession to the past so he can continue focusing on the new songs.
Gabriel gets into a long introduction to “Family Snapshot.” Even though the song was based upon the book An Assassin’s Diary written by Arthur Bremer about his attempt to assassinate George Wallace in 1972, Gabriel speaks about Kennedy and Dallas.
The song with its multiple parts is a tour de force in the setlist and the audience’s reaction is deserved. He follows with “Millgram’s 37,” a song so new it wouldn’t be released for another six years on So. In its early state it lacks the “we do what we’re told” singalong of later tours and the “one war” lyrics in the studio recording.
“Games Without Frontiers” was his biggest hit that year, hitting number four on the UK charts and it receives one of the biggest ovations in the night. The set closes with a nine minute version of “Biko” from the new album. It has a majestic, epic quality in this recording as the audience sings along. “On The Air,” perhaps the best song from the second solo album, in the only encore.
As a bonus Highland include four songs from the Steve Hackett concert on January 28th, 1983 in Guildford. The recording is very clear and was released in full on I Know What I Like ’83 on Heartbreakers. During the show Hackett announced that there would be special guests to raise money for Tadworth Childrens Hospital. Towards the end of the set Peter Gabriel appears to sing “Here Comes The Flood.”
Mike Rutherford also the comes on staget for a slower, incomplete rendition of “Solsbury Hill” played in a lower key. Gabriel’s microphone stops working in the beginning of “Reach Out” but he is given one that works and they complete the song without incident. “I Know What I Like,” Gensis’ first hit from ten years before, closes the event.
Overall Pavillion Of Memories is one of the very few Gabriel titles released by Highland but is very good.