Genesis – Daryl’s Birthday Party (Tarantura TCDG-1-1, 2)

Daryl’s Birthday Party (Tarantura TCDG-1-1, 2)

Kosei Nenkin Kaikan, Shinjuku, Tokyo,  Japan – November 27th, 1978

Disc 1 (54:29):  SE / Opening, Eleventh Earl Of Mar (Wind Wuthering), In The Cage (The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway), Burning Rope (…and then there were three..), Ripples (A Trick Of The Tail), Deep In The Motherlode (…and then there were three..), One For The Vine (Wind Wuthering)

Disc 2 (66:45):  Squonk (A Trick Of The Tail), MC, Say It’s All Right Joe (…and then there were three..), The Lady Lies (…and then there were three…), Romeo & Juliette, The Cinema Show (Selling England By The Pound), Afterglow (Wind Wuthering), Follow You Follow Me (…and then there were three..), Dance On A Volcano, Drum Duet, Los Endos (A Trick Of The Tail), I Know What I Like (Selling England By The Pound)

Trying to adapt to the new  musical landscape, one that held progressive rock groups like Genesis with suspicion, the band attempted to become more accessible on their newest album …And Then There Were Three….  Their change in sound is a bit overblown in retrospect.  The new songs were still musically challenging and told little fairy tales as before, but they were shorter and exhibited more concern for catchiness than before. 

Another sign of change is Genesis’ willingness to branch out live by performing their first (and only in the seventies) tour of Japan in late November and early December.

The first date was on November 27th at the Kosei Nenkin Kaikan in the Shinjuku section of Tokyo, Daryl Stuermer’s birthday.  An older very good sounding audience recording was utilized on discs one and two of G Men ’78 (Ayanami 047) and on Drunken Joe In Tokyo (Sirene 011), two titles on professional CDR.

Daryl’s Birthday Party on Tarantura is the first silver pressed edition of the show, and the first Genesis release on the august label.  It uses a previously unreleased Mr. Peach recording, and like many other releases is generally excellent stereo but with slight distortion in very loud and busy passages.  The remastering by ZERO-FIGHTER is very light and improves the enjoyment of the recording. 

The tape begins with the pre-show taped music before the lights go down and the band come onstage to play “Eleventh Earl Of Mar” from Wind & Wuthering.  It’s an exciting way to start the show and the audience give them a loud roar of approval afterwards. 

Some of the later shows on this tour are a bit difficult to listen to because there is a huge disconnect between the audience and artist.  The most glaring example is the December 2nd show in the Sun Plaza.  But this show is generally very effective.  The audience is responsive to the band and the performance is much better for it. 

Phil Collins stumbles a bit on the Japanese introductions and spends half his time speaking in English.  The audience don’t seem to mind, and applaud his effort.

After Collins’ introductions, they follow with “Into The Cage” from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, perhaps Genesis’ most popular LP in Japan.  Tony Bank’s organ chugs intently in what will be the only number from the double album to be played in the set.  They follow with the “Burning Rope,” the first new song of the night.  It is one of Banks’ best songs and, at over seven minutes, one of the longest from the new album. 

After “Ripples” they follow with “Deep In The Motherlode,” another new song.  Afterwards Collins introduces Daryl Stuermer, who was new to the band at the time, and bids him happy birthday before they play the Banks epic “One For The Vine.”

“Squonk” sounds extremely heavy in this recording and sounds very much like their intended Led Zeppelin tribute.  Much like “Eleventh Earl Of Mar,” it receives one of the biggest ovations from the audience all night.  Afterwards they follow with two songs from the new album.

Both tunes are heavy with on-stage dramatic interpretation.  “Say It’s Alright Joe” has Collins enacting the song’s narrative at the bar.  Before the next song, Collins spends a lot of time trying to teach the audience their parts, when to cheer and when to boo.  He tries hard to articulate the Japanese he’s reading on a music stand (you can hear him flip the pages of the paper).  The audience sound a bit befuddled, however, and the tune loses its dramatic impact. 

Collins has much more sucess with the “Romeo & Juliette” story.   Speaking mostly in English, the audience follow along and giggle.  “The Cinema Show” is played perfectly as is the segue into an majestic version of “Afterglow.”  They follow with the last of the new songs, the popular “Follow You, Follow Me,” with the audience clapping along very loudly.   

The set ends with the massive A Trick Of The Tail suite with “Dance On A Volcano,” the massive drum duet of Collins and Chester Thompson, and “Los Endos.”  For the encore they play “I Know What I Like” which includes the “Stagnation” interlude and Collins’ tambourine games in its nine minute duration.

The setlist is identical to that used on the US tour.  It would have been nice if Genesis were to have expanded it to include  more songs from the earlier albums to celebrate their first and only visit to Japan.  Other shows on the tour included “Down And Out” from the new album and “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” and parts of “Supper’s Ready.” 

Nevertheless this is one of the best concerts from an uneven tour.  Daryl’s Birthday Party is a great Genesis release worth seeking out.

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