Supper's Ready with a Little Lost Lamb

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Typical, isn't it? Like London buses and family pregnancies, you wait years for one to come along, then suddenly you're swamped with the things. Genesis' Lamb Lies Down stageshow remains one of the most legendary, but under documented extravaganzas of the 1970s. Hot on the tail of the official Archive compendium, however, Lost Lamb offered up the second full-length performance to hit the streets in as many months, and there's little difference between either of them. Or any of the others which are knocking around. So, unless you truly have to have every performance of the thing you can find, there is no reason on earth to get another. Which is unfortunate, because Lost Lamb is actually very good. Caught around that midway point when audiences finally knew what they were getting, but the band wasn't yet bored of giving it to them, the performance abounds with the rough bits with which this version of Genesis delighted in surprising folks with, without losing any of its technical proficiency. In another universe, Genesis could have been punk rock virtuosos ("Back in New York City" comes close; "Waiting Room" even closer); instead, their singer dressed up as a cabbage and they played long mellotron solos instead. Unlike the Archive performance, what they did was what you get -- no latter-day re-recordings mar the flow of the original performance, and the full concert is presented as well, complete with the mighty "Musical Box" encore. Shame, then, that Archive scuppers this set again, by giving an official release to the closing "Supper's Ready," and serving up the full preamble as well; Lost Lamb clips a few lines of dialogue from Gabriel's story about mud and worms. If you don't buy Archive and can't find From One Fan to Another (the three-CD bootleg box which was so cunningly duplicated for the official release), Lost Lamb is indeed a truly worthwhile performance. But if you miss this one as well -- well, like London buses and family pregnancies, there'll be another along in a few minutes, for sure.